My biggest concern about a Mitt Romney presidency is that he would end up being a George W. Bush repeat: expanding defense spending, cutting taxes, while leaving entitlements untouched if we're lucky or larger if not. After all, if we are going to have big government, we need to pay for it. The only thing worse than high taxes and big government is low taxes and big government. In the former case, Americans living in the present are paying for services they receive; in the latter case, Americans in the present are living large while future generations are stuck paying the bills.
Up till now, Romney really wasn't very clear about where he stood on things. We know for certain that he is a Keynesian, and has expressed that he would hesitate to cut federal spending if the economy was still weak. He has promised to increase military spending, and to cut taxes. Without massive cuts to entitlements, the math doesn't even begin to add up. Paul Ryan as VP shows how Mitt Romney makes the equation work. It is a relief that Americans will actually have a real choice to make this November.
If I knew that Ryan's strategy to cut spending would actually work, I might be willing to vote for the challengers. I remain extremely skeptical that the Ryan plan will actually cut health spending rather than merely transfer it. The problem isn't medicare per say, the problem is the health care system itself. It is how we deliver care; it is about the incentives to do more that doctors, hospitals, and patients all have, and the consequences if they do less. Our system only knows how to do more - there is no restraint. Changing who pays for medicare doesn't change the system itself; in fact, it is more likely to exacerbate the worst tendencies of the system. In a previous post, I explain why I don't think the Ryan plan will work.
This is what democracy is all about - real choices. No matter who wins in November, I hope that administration will have some support from congress to enact their proposed agenda.