Dora Dogood does her own magic...

...over coffee with her friend Peregrina.  Dora and Peregrina like to spread their business around town...the last time the old ladies had coffee together, it was in the Dryden Dunkin...

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At morning coffee with my friend Peregrina at the Queen Diner in Dryden we began discussing recent political ads.  The main thing these ads should be about, we agreed, was the dismal state of our economy.  However, the ads put out by the Obama camp include those attacking Mitt Romney over his income tax returns.  The case against Obama’s stewardship of our economy is pretty straightforward: an anemic recovery, huge unemployment which in fact is far worse than reported when you count the discouraged not looking for work and involuntary part-timers, and declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of another $5 trillion of accumulated debt. But some people’s attention has been diverted to a sideshow.

What we decided was that we are witnessing an attempted magician’s trick.  My late father taught me about magic and that part of the magician’s task is to divert your attention so you are looking in the wrong place.  Obama would have us look at Romney’s tax returns.  Why?  So, we don’t look at Obama’s mismanagement of the American economy.  There is one thing that Mitt Romney should not let us lose sight of, that it is about the economy, the economy, and the economy.  The basic question is whether people are better off now than they were four years ago (or, as Charles Krauthammer says, "Are you better off today than you were $5 trillion ago?") and if they believe that four more years of pursuing the same class warfare, anti-development, and anti-business policies will somehow miraculously turn the economy around if only we take on more government expenditures and more public debt.
 
The President maintains that those who are successful owe their success to help from government.  But, that help does not really come from government.  Roads and other public programs are paid for by taxation.  The government does not create wealth itself, it taxes away wealth from the private sector.  Roads may be constructed by government but they are financed ultimately by private sector dollars drawn out of the private sector by taxes.  So, successful people and businesses have paid their share of the costs of these improvements, they have not received them for free.  Ronald Reagan wisely said, “it is all our money.”  The successful get no “free lunches” from government.  And, as successful people will tell you, “If you’ve got government as your partner, you’ve got a thousand pound gorilla on your chest.”
 
The last thing we discussed over coffee was the growth of the “Imperial Presidency.”  Peregrina, who knows the value of our constitution, pointed out that the constitution requires the president to “faithfully execute the laws.”  Now, when I went through social studies classes in high school and later in college I learned that that means all the laws, not just those the president felt like enforcing.  Also, I learned that in a separation of powers government, Congress makes the laws, the president only enforces them.  But, this president not only has not enforced our country’s immigration and labor laws selectively, he has taken it on himself to modify them with executive orders.  He has appointed people to “recess appointments” when Congress would be surprised to learn it is on recess, and tried to use “czars” who are not submitted for Senate approval.  Some of his new policies he is well aware have not made it through Congress or could not make it through Congress.

There is one thing Obama should be really afraid of, public discussion of his economic record.  So, we decided that we face the grim reality of ever more outrageous attack ads on Romney to divert us from Obama’s record.  We think these will get worse.  Someday soon, we expect to pick up the newspapers and be told that an “unidentified source” told someone who related it to the administration that Mitt Romney eats babies for lunch or that he “masticates in public in front of little children.”  What the Obama administration will not talk about is the awful jobs outlook for our young people and those facing today’s labor market without jobs or in poverty.  The illusion is Romney’s alleged faults, the reality is Obama’s demonstrated economic record of incompetence.  Watch the magician at work, but keep your eyes where they belong, not on the sideshow.
 
 
 
Editor's note: In need of a little R&R?