I’m for Gary Johnson because I believe the War on Drug Using Americans is the greatest problem facing this country. But he won’t win. Of those who might I’m increasingly impressed with Mitt Romney.
1. Romney doesn’t consider global warming to be a hoax.
2. He refuses to join the other Republicans in criticizing fiat money and/or calling for tighter money.
3. He understands that jobs are the big problem.
4. He has Greg Mankiw advising him.
5. He recently came out for UI personal accounts, a very Singaporean solution that even Singapore doesn’t have.
Yes, I’m sure you can find a few cases where he throws red meat to the populists, but mostly in areas that won’t tie his hands as President. I’m not excited about the Mass health care reform, but at least he tried to solve a very real problem—45 million uninsured. I don’t see many good alternative proposals coming out of the GOP. And let’s not forget that lots of conservatives supported Romney’s bill, until Obama adopted the same idea.
Matt Yglesais mentioned the personal UI accounts idea, but then went off on a tangent that seemed, in my eyes, slightly misleading. He cites empirical results that support Romney’s proposal, and yet I’d bet the average reader of Yglesias’s post thinks he’s criticizing it. See what you think. The research shows that unemployment insurance has one inefficient effect (discouraging employment due to potential loss of benefits), but perhaps an even bigger beneficial effect (encouraging optimal job search by making workers less liquidity constrained.) Ronney’s proposal is presumably aimed at getting the best of both worlds. No disincentive effects from a potential loss of UI benefits, but also a financial cushion to fall back on while you search.
Josh Hendrickson does a good job explaining why Romney was right in saying that corporations are composed of people. Romney’s critics would argue that they are rich people, but that’s not at all clear. What is clear is that corporations should not pay taxes (on capital income), rich people should pay taxes (on consumption.)
The best argument for Romney? Look at the other GOP figures considered to be “major candidates.”
BTW, with Perry entering the race there’s a lot of debate about Texas. Although I don’t like Perry, I do like the Texas model. I did a post defending Texas a few weeks back; here are a few highlights:
1. Of the 7 south central states between Georgian and Arizona, 6 are seeing population growth below the national average. Texas has seen very fast population growth, for quite a long time.
2. Other south central states like Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, etc, are energy rich. Texas grew extremely rapidly when the energy industry was depressed in the 1980s and 1990s.
3. All seven south central states have very cheap housing prices.
4. Texas has no state income tax, the other 6 south central states have one.
5. Lots of poor, middle class, and rich people move to Texas every year. Revealed preference anyone?