“My View” from the May 11, 2012 edition of “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer.”
President Franklin Roosevelt fought the Great Depression with an approach that may be his greatest legacy: persistent experimentation and creativity. Take an idea and try it. If it fails, stop doing it — and try something else.
What mystifies me about Mitt Romney and the Republicans is that they want to take methods that have already failed and keep doing them.
Take deregulating financial services. We used to have rules created in the aftermath of the Great Depression, and those rules brought us financial stability for 60 years. Then government — and both Democrats and Republicans were complicit in this — repealed them and we’ve seen the result: the financial cataclysm of 2008.
So what does Romney call for? The repeal of the few remaining reforms we passed in 2010 so he can replace them with nothing. This, even today, after JPMorgan Chase lost over $2 billion on some high-risk trades. Big banks still have the knack for making huge losing bets with our money.
Here’s another example: the Bush tax cuts. They were supposed to create jobs. But instead of jobs, we got gargantuan deficits. So the Republicans’ answer? Do it again.
Yet another example: Global warming is getting worse and more treacherous, so the Republicans say, “Give oil companies more tax cuts.”
Sure. Let’s become even more dependent on fossil fuels.
Conservatives may slam Roosevelt for expanding federal power, but his greater legacy should be a government that experiments and learns and confronts new problems with creative ideas — and throws out the stuff that doesn’t work.
It would be nice if Romney at least acknowledged that much.
That’s “My view.”