Open Letter to Romney: Are Your Alleged “Strengths” Actually Strengths?

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Dear Brother Romney,

I sit on the fence as to whether I should vote for you or for a third party candidate. Up to this point, your strategy has been to show how your plan is better than Obama’s. I could show you that smoking tobacco is healthier than smoking crack—but that wouldn’t convince you to support smoking tobacco, because smoking tobacco is still bad. In order to win my vote, you’ll have to do more than simply show me you are not as bad as Obama: you’ll have to show me that you’re a good option.

I don’t question your integrity or that you are a good person—I’ve heard from reliable sources that you’re a great person. However, if you’re a great person but misunderstand certain government principles, you would make a bad president. What I question is how well you understand certain government principles that you claim to stand for.

When discussing your strengths, your supporters frequently bring up two things: they claim you will reduce the federal government and that you believe in free enterprise. However, upon looking into this, it’s unclear to me whether these are actually your strengths, or whether you moving the wrong direction with these but at a slower pace than Obama.

  1. 1.       Will you actually Reduce the Federal Government?

Even though you say you will reduce spending, I am skeptical. Often politicians are deceptive in how they talk about this. They present a plan and say it will reduce spending a certain amount. However, instead of referring to reducing the amount government budgeted for this year, they are referring to how much is budgeted for next year. For example, if the government has a budget of $1 trillion this year and $1.2 trillion next year, and the politician’s plan is to spend $1.1 trillion next year, they simply say that they will reduce government spending by $0.1 trillion. The general public is lead to believe that government will spend less next year, when in fact the government will still spend $0.1 trillion more, just not as much as what other politicians’ plan on spending.

So, when you say you will reduce spending, will you actually reduce federal spending, or will you simply not increase spending as much as Obama?

On your website, you point out that you would like to target federal spending to be 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP). This specific value is a very ironic target to set, because the Book of Mormon states that King Noah ”laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver , and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain [Mosiah 11:3]. Those under his rule described it as “we are in bondage to the Lamanites, and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne” [Mosiah 7:15]. I would like to point out that your 20% plan doesn’t even take into account additional local and state taxes, and inflation “tax” (we’ll discuss how inflation is a tax in a moment).

Now, I’m not going to be ridiculous and say your taxation plan is as bad as Noah’s, because he used his tax “to support himself, and his wives and his concubines; and also his priests, and their wives and their concubines” [Mosiah 11:4]. While a portion of your tax will support bureaucrats, lobbyists, and special interest groups, a portion of it will also be redistributed back to the population. Compulsory redistribution may not be as bad as supporting a king and his concubines, it is still wrong. Don’t misunderstand—I believe very strongly in redistribution of wealth, but this should be done voluntarily through free market exchanges, private investments, and charitable giving rather than through compulsory government-mandated programs which are generally less effective.

On your website where you set your 20% federal goal, you point out that current federal spending is currently at 24.3% of GDP. A 4% decrease in federal spending would certainly get government moving the right direction and would probably win my vote. To the untrained eye, one might assume that your plan means a 4% reduction in federal spending; but such isn’t necessarily the case—due to inflation. If our money inflates 1% each year you are in office, you can make your goal without ever reducing federal spending. If money inflates 2% per year, you can actually increase federal spending 4% while you are in office and still make your goal.

President Ezra Taft Benson said: “The blame for inflation must be laid directly at the door of the federal government itself! Inflation is an increase in the nation’s money supply—an increase, to be more exact, in the supply of money and credit. Inflation is not caused by rising prices and wages. To the contrary, rising prices and wages, as any solid economist knows, are the direct result of inflation. It stands to reason that when the money supply is increased, all money automatically becomes less valuable. This includes, of course, our savings. So when our dollars shrink in value, businessmen naturally raise their price tags, and then their employees demand higher wages. You can see how it all becomes a vicious circle. In a free society such as ours, only the federal government can cause inflation. And the reason it puts more money into circulation is to finance its disastrous policies of deficit spending.”

Due to your education in economics, I’m sure you understand that inflation is one of the dirtiest ways the government can tax us, because many Americans don’t’ realize government caused it. On your website you talk about reducing taxes, but are you planning on doing this without causing inflation, or will these tax cuts simply be redistributed and paid for by others in the form of inflation?

You talk about reducing government spending by cutting Obamacare. However, you also state that you will increase spending for national defense and that you will preserve and strengthen both social security and medicare. Do you realize that national defense, social security, and medicare, each ALONE costs more than Obamacare, and combined may be 5 to 10 times more than Obamacare? So increases in each of these could easily outweigh any savings by cutting Obamacare and the other cuts you propose?

Hopefully I have explained my skepticism, and this is why I need a straight and honest answer from you: will you actually reduce federal spending, or is your plan to simply increase government at a slower pace than Obama?

  1. 2.       Do you Believe in Free Enterprise?

During the republican debates, I often heard you say you support “free enterprise”. However, some of your recent stances contradict this. For example, you say that you support federal minimum wage increases. Also, you support subsidizing certain industries, such as the auto industry. Do you realize that wage requirements and subsidies oppose a free market system?

Many of your fellow republicans have proposed to get the federal government out of the house-loan business. When the government backs housing loans, banks are willing to give loans to high risk parties. This increases demand for housing, and therefore a housing bubble is created, where houses are selling for higher than their true value. Later on, when many of these high-risk loans start defaulting, this causes the bubble to burst. The government must subsidize these, thereby passing the tab onto the population in general. In essence, we are forced to pay for this vicious cycle, one of the primary contributors to the recent recession. Surely you see how subsidizing loans opposes free enterprise. I have not yet heard you say you want government out, which leads me to think you support them.

Many of your fellow republicans have proposed to audit the federal reserve, and some of them want to phase it out, helping us move back to the gold standard. Under our current monetary system, government works with the federal reserve to expand the money supply, which leads to inflation. Government controls where the increased money supply initially goes, effectively redistributing wealth which must be paid for through inflation. Moving back to a monetary system which is backed by an actual commodity (such as precious metals) would safe-guard against this compulsory redistribution of wealth. Brother Tremain Peterson has recently explained this concept well. Note that the Nephites used a monetary system based on precious metals [Alma 11:5–19], and our Founding Fathers also supported such. I have not heard you support a federal reserve audit or a move back to the gold standard, which leads me to think you support the fed, thereby supporting wealth redistribution.

Once again, Brother Romney, I need a straight answer. Do you support free enterprise? Do you oppose subsidies (including house loans) and a federal reserve system which lead to compulsory redistribution of wealth?

  1. 3.       Do you agree with the Constitution?

Your website states: “Mitt Romney’s view of the Constitution is straightforward: its words have meaning. The founding generation adopted a written constitution for a reason. They intended to limit the powers of government according to enduring principles”.

Elder Oaks said: “In the pantheon of ideas in our divinely-inspired constitution, the idea that the government is limited to the powers expressly and impliedly conferred by the Constitution is second only to the principle that the people are sovereign”. The federal government is limited to the powers stated in the Constitution, that the people delegated to it.

Unfortunately your website shows support for federal powers and programs not mentioned in the Constitution, such as social security, medicare, and education. The only part of the Constitution that specifically addresses these programs is in the 10th amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

You speak of block-grants for some of these programs. While block grants are a step in the right direction with our current out-of-control government, they still require taxation at the federal level. Money is still sent to the federal government, upon which it is redistributed it back to the states. Hopefully you realize that ultimately block grants must be phased out to be aligned with the constitution.

So, do you agree with the Constitution? Do you believe that any power not delegated to the federal government, including social security, healthcare, and education, should ultimately transition back to the state and individual level?

Conclusion and Strategy to Win the Election

As I mentioned, I sit on the fence about voting for you. However, in light of the above evidence of your alleged strengths, I am starting to lean towards that third party. Are you a good choice or simply not as bad as Obama?

If you continue to speak vaguely and not address the above issues, you may gain the votes of some moderates, but this will come at the expense of votes from those who love liberty, free enterprise, and the Constitution.

From a strategic perspective to win the election, you may point out that losing my vote to a third party doesn’t hurt you as much as losing a moderate’s vote to Obama. However, I have a solution for you to gain both: pick a vice-president candidate who has a public record of voting and speaking out for actual decreases in federal spending, full support of free enterprise, and an understanding of the Constitution. You can speak vaguely to gain the support of the moderates, while your running mate can gain the support of liberty lovers.

If you pick another candidate similar to yourself who doesn’t address the above, such will lead me and many others to believe you are ignorant to the above and not just acting strategically to win the election—and such may cost you the election. The ball is in your court…

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Johnny Hardy

About Johnny Hardy

Johnny Hardy is passionate about Christianity, science, and politics, and especially the areas that they overlap, which has caused some friends to call him "Johnny Liberty". He has a wonderful wife and so far is the father of one amazing son. He earned a PhD in engineering and currently works in the medical field.
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9 Responses to Open Letter to Romney: Are Your Alleged “Strengths” Actually Strengths?

  1. JC Bollers says:

    I would be a hypocrite after publishing the article that I just did and negligent if I didn’t say the following: It doesn’t matter who a vice president is. If a presidential candidate states a platform upon which you should elect him and you give your vote to that presidential ticket, then you are consenting to unrighteous dominion and you are responsible before God for your actions. I did not publish this article.

    • Chelsea says:

      I agree with JC and in his article he states the gadianton robbers have taken control. Johnny, do you really think the vice president will actually be picked by Mitt? Seriously? And at this point, if he wanted to answer your questions bluntly, he would have…doesn’t that give you your answers? I hope you can reason through the debate you have in your head about Mitt.

  2. Aaron says:

    First, thank you for asking those very important questions, Johnny. Second, Mittens is most definitely a ‘lesser of two evils.’ JC is correct in reminding us that any man who lends his support to a candidate who uses or stands (by opinion or action) for the use of unrighteous dominion will be accountable before God. May I suggest reading “Many are Called, Few are Chosen” and “The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil” by H. Verlan Andersen? I did not possess even a tenuous grasp of the principle of Agency until I read those two books and meditated on the scriptures referenced therein.
    Since man IS individually responsible for which candidates and leaders he supports in this life, we must choose good and wise men for all offices. We may be fooled sometimes, but God knows which case is which, and as long as we remain repentant for those instances where we were derelict in our research efforts we will be forgiven. One final thought to all: abstention from voting (when presented with only evil candidates) is JUST as much a message as pulling that booth lever. A no-vote is a vote of no confidence in either candidate and a message for those men and institutions who would have the populace subjugate themselves by consent.

  3. Johnny Hardy says:

    In “The Proper Role of Government”, President Ezra Taft Benson said:
    “Obviously, not all welfare-state programs currently in force can be
    dropped simultaneously without causing tremendous economic and social
    upheaval. To try to do so would be like finding oneself at the
    controls of a hijacked airplane and attempting to return it by simply
    cutting off the engines in flight. It must be flown back, flown back,
    lowered in altitude, gradually reduced in speed and brought in for a
    smooth landing. Translated into practical terms, this means that the
    first step toward restoring the limited concept of government should
    be to freeze all welfare-state programs at their present level, making
    sure that no new ones are added. The next step would be to allow all
    present programs to run out their term with absolutely no renewal. The
    third step would involve the gradual phasing-out of those programs
    which are indefinite in their term. In my opinion, the bulk of the
    transition could be accomplished within a ten-year period and
    virtually completed within twenty years. Congress would serve as the
    initiator of this phase-out program, and the President would act as
    the executive in accordance with traditional constitutional
    procedures.”

    This was published in 1968, when President Benson proposed 10-20
    years. Our government has grown incredibly since then! We can’t
    expect to fix everything overnight. But what we can do is support a
    candidate that starts moving us the right direction.

    Let’s say Romney commits to reduce federal spending 2% over his first
    term in office. Let’s say further he picks a running-mate who is more
    outspoken about reducing government (such as Ron Paul). Are those not
    moving the right direction? Would you not support that?

    Romney has called for block-granting many unconstitutional federal
    programs back to the states. Isn’t that moving the right direction? In
    some areas he plans to reduce government faster than…gasp…Ron Paul.
    Such as social security:
    http://www.libertarianrepublican.net/2012/01/nr-romney-more-of-fiscal-conservative.html.

    Given the above, I don’t think it’s a stretch to think Romney can
    select a more outspoken liberty-lover. And picking such would indicate
    to us that he does support liberty, but right now he’s simply speaking
    vaguely to strategically gain the moderate vote.

    If Romney selected a running mate such as Ron Paul, would you vote for
    him? If not, I fear you are fighting for the wrong side, for you are
    working against a move in the right direction!

  4. Jeremy says:

    Johnny, Just being an outspoken liberty lover isn’t enough (words can be very hollow) – an individual needs to actually be a doer in advancing liberty. That being said, Ron Paul is definitely a “doer” in advancing liberty.

    If Romney actually committed to reducing all government expenditure, that would certainly be a huge step in the right direction on this issue. Just slowing down the growth of government though isn’t good enough – as any government growth at this point is evil (just less evil than more government growth). If Romney actually committed to reducing all government expenditures (including unfunded entitlements), then on this issue it would come down to whether you actually believed him. Given his performance as a governor and his history of flip-flopping on issues, this is hard to believe.

    This article does not address the problems with Mitt’s foreign policy. For Mitt to engage in any wars of aggression is a violation of the principles of liberty. For him to engage in any wars not declared by congress is a violation of the Constitution. Foreign policy is at least as important, and may even be more important, than domestic spending issues.

  5. Romney is a Socialist. He proved it with his record in Massachusetts. Romney supports the 2nd, 5th and 10th planks of the Communist Manifesto. The man is just another twin evil Republican. The USA is done for. Put a fork in it. The members are apostate because over 90% are practicing Socialists today. The member apostasy predicted in the Book of Mormon has been well underway.

    Members were repeatedly told they could not be faithful and socialists at the same time. They rejected this warning and have embraced the voluntary slavery of Socialist Security and Income taxes and paper money. Name a Mormon that does not voluntarily have a Socialist Security Number and voluntarily file and pay income taxes without even knowing the definition of the word “Dollar” or using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to free himself/herself from voluntary slavery.

    Put a fork in the Elders of Israel. They don’t even read the Constitution let alone know how to save it.

    Romney will not change a thing. He was and will remain a Socialist and a puppet of the One Worlders just like most Mormons. Benson was right in Not Commanded in All Things. McKLay was right too.

    “Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world in which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the Unite States. If members of the Melchizedek Priesthood allow the U.S. Constitution to be destroyed, they not only forfeit their rights to the Priesthood, but to a place in this highest degree of glory as well.”
    (David O. McKay, The Instructor, Feb. 1956, p.34)

    By this statement most so-called Priesthood holders have lost their priesthood and forfeited their right to the Celestial Glory.

    Message from the First Presidency, Improvement Era, August 1936, p. 488.
    Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to false ideologies such as socialism and communism. The official Church position on communism remains unchanged since it was first promulgated in 1936: “We call upon all Church members completely to eschew Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America.”

    • Joy Metcalf says:

      “Name a Mormon that does not voluntarily have a Socialist Security Number and voluntarily file and pay income taxes without even knowing the definition of the word “Dollar” or using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to free himself/herself from voluntary slavery.”

      I’ll name myself, to start, and I know several others. I assume you include yourself in that number, as well. Even so, having that knowledge doesn’t ensure that one can get rid of the SSN or opt out of paying income taxes, since the courts ruled against its use to opt out in two cases. Per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Freedom_Restoration_Act

      “In the case of Adams v. Commissioner, the United States Tax Court rejected the argument of Priscilla M. Lippincott Adams, who was a devout Quaker. She tried to argue that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, she was exempt from federal income taxes. The U.S. Tax Court rejected her argument and ruled that she was not exempt. The Court stated: “…while petitioner’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened by payment of taxes that fund military expenditures, the Supreme Court has established that uniform, mandatory participation in the Federal income tax system, irrespective of religious belief, is a compelling governmental interest.” In the case of Miller v. Commissioner, the taxpayers objected to the use of social security numbers, arguing that such numbers related to the “mark of the beast” from the Bible. In its decision, the U.S. Court discussed the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, but ruled against the taxpayers.”

      You won’t see tax and SS cases coming before the USSC, so these cases are what we’re stuck with.

  6. Erik says:

    I hope that the patriotic spirit of Prophet Ezra Taft Benson is re-ignited in the hearts of the members. This election is more about voting Obama OUT of office than it is about voting “for” Romney. IMO, Jeff Flake is the one LDS member of either House most friendly to the idea’s of liberty. He would make an excellent President.

  7. Greg says:

    Don’t vote. It only encourages them. Voting is condoning the use of force against your neighbor.
    Force is satan’s way.

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