Six and a half minutes into “The Daily Show” last night, Jon Stewart played a clip of Mitt Romney forecasting what would happen on his first day in office if elected president. Romney predicted, “Without actually doing anything, we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.” Stewart derided the claim as “magic,” then further excoriated Romney for not having a plan for the economy. What Stewart actually revealed was a complete misunderstanding of Romney’s point.
For four years, President Obama has demonized small business owners as the “one percent.” He bullied the “fat cat” bankers. At every turn, he threatened to raise the taxes of those making $250,000 a year or more. Obama has implemented laws which make starting a business more difficult. He has instituted fines which make starting a business more expensive. He has protected unions, increasing the price of labor for companies that needed the restructuring afforded by bankruptcy. Is it any wonder that hundreds of billions of corporate dollars are “sitting on the sidelines,” while new business start-ups are few and far between?
President Obama’s ambitious government planning, tax threats, bailouts, endless stimulation, monetary tinkering, fixing and refixing have created a state of economic catatonia. And whatever a President Romney might do, he won’t do that.
The magic that Jon Stewart ridiculed is what built the largest, most diverse, most wildly inventive marketplace the world has ever known. It’s the magic of individuals acting in their own self-interest. It’s the magic of a government doing nothing, and staying out of the way of its citizens. It’s Adam Smith’s invisible hand. And that hand has had an anchor tied to it for the last four years.
Mitt Romney understands that magic. He was a great practitioner of it, and he still believes in it. But Jon Stewart and President Obama don’t. They don’t trust the individual. They want a planned economy — as do far too many of the Washington elite. And if we keep allowing the planners to plan, the old-fashioned American magic will dissipate completely. Eventually, we’ll all stop believing in it.
Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at email@example.com.