Russ Roberts at Cafe Hayek has a nice, short assessment of Romney’s RNC speech.
Russ focuses on this line (this is Romney’s line from the speech):
“MY promise…is to help you and your family.”
Now, Russ points out how this line is delivered in contrast to what Romney sells the audience as being the promise that BO made (“To heal the planet”). But what Russ really focuses on is this (Russ’ words and Russ’ belief about government):
“My only problem with it is that I don’t want or expect the President of the United States to help me or my family. Or other people and their families.”
This deserves a big YES. Russ has nailed it (as he usually does). And he elaborates in a very practical way the practical ramifications of this belief about government:
“God forbid, if something bad happens to me, I don’t want to be on my own. I want help from family and friends and my religious community and even people who like my blog or my podcast. Or who follow me on Twitter.
Being against government help is not the same as being against any kind of help. Why is this so hard for people to understand? Is the misunderstanding deliberate and malicious or does it just reflect a lack of imagination?”
This deserves another big YES. Russ has nailed it. Why is it so hard for people to understand that government is not the only entity that can help. Friends, family, private charity – these all can be there to help. But government crowds them out. Government makes it harder for these other help mechanisms to exist (for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the (mis)(re)allocation of funds from private individuals into the tax system and welfare system. Crowding out is real and it’s not a good thing.