By Adam Bitely — If you thought 2012 would bring change to government, think of it more as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The two leading candidates at the moment on the right are not champions of limited government.
Mitt Romney is well known to all for being a flip-flopper on almost every position he has ever taken. His Achilles’ heel for conservatives, RomneyCare, was the blueprint for ObamaCare. As a candidate for President, Romney has come to the realization that many GOP voters don’t like mandated health care purchases, and has criticized mandating health care at the federal level.
Romney isn’t the only candidate in the GOP field who has walked back support of health care mandates. Apparently you can’t be a candidate for President unless you can flip-flop consistently.
Newt Gingrich, a long-time supporter of mandating that all Americans must purchase health insurance told Meet the Press host David Gregory back in May, “Well, I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay — help pay for health care. And, I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond.”
But now that Newt has a serious campaign for President, he is opposed to such mandates at the federal level. Or at least until after the votes are counted.
Health care mandates are not the only issue where Mitt and Newt see eye to eye.
As Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner recently wrote, “Both Gingrich and Romney have long supported more federal involvement and spending in education. Both backed No Child Left Behind. In fact, both endorsed the same strange idea of having the federal government buy a laptop computer for every child in America.”
Looks like these two could pass as identical flip-flopping twins.
Politicians are known for their abilities to bend the truth and for telling voters exactly what they want to hear. They are also known for saying one thing on the campaign trail and doing the exact opposite once in office. Big promises made in exchange for support in the voting booth are made for being broken. That’s the business of being a politician. And that’s what Newt and Mitt are, politicians.
George Mason University economics professor Don Boudreaux wrote earlier this week about the difference between false advertising for businesses and the false ads that are routinely peddles by politicians. One is obviously more dangerous than the others. As Boudreaux wrote at CafeHayek.com, “False and misleading political advertising, in contrast, invites the gullible to impose the costs of their credulity on everyone. If enough Joneses recklessly clamor to buy the latest Save the World political elixir, even the alert and wary Smiths must share in the resulting harm. And too often the swindler – skilled, after all, in the cunning arts – can for a long time successfully, if falsely, blame his elixir’s failure on dozens of extraneous circumstances.”
Newt Gingrich as George Will said is a “rental politician.” He will support whatever he needs to support to get ahead. Currently, he needs the supporters of limited government to help him defeat Romney. Keep that in mind as he peddles cheap rhetoric about government largesse that he himself had a hand in creating.
Sadly, it appears that those who consistently support limited government rarely seek high office.
Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.