A Republican elected official who travelled the country this fall campaigning for GOP candidates reports a clear message from party activists: There is no front-runner for the 2012 nomination. This squares with recent polling data. Despite former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's name-recognition, money and organization, Republicans are reluctant to back the man who built an ObamaCare prototype in the Bay State.This means that at least until a former mayor of Wasilla decides whether to run, the door is wide open for conservatives to woo GOP primary voters. Making a particularly strong case this week in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club was Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana. The outgoing chairman of the House Republican Conference, Mr. Pence has not yet announced whether he will run. But on Monday, he stoked conservative interest by sketching out a Reagan-style economic program: sound money, limited government and tax policy that encourages growth.After criticizing the excessive money creation under Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Mr. Pence called for eliminating the Fed's dual mandate to pursue both price stability and full employment. He wants the Fed to focus exclusively on price stability and thinks the U.S. should consider returning to gold in setting the value of the dollar. President Reagan understood that inflation is the thief of the middle class and that investor confidence is destroyed when governments debase the value of their currencies. Mr. Pence apparently understands this, too.The Indiana congressman also called for limiting federal spending to 20% of GDP, a healthy reduction from the roughly 25% it is consuming in the Obama era. In describing the virtues of a simple flat tax on income, Mr. Pence spoke to a new generation of conservatives when he asked, "How about a system where you could file your taxes on a Blackberry, or a system where you might even be able to file a return with 140 characters or less? How would you like to tweet your taxes?"
Thursday, December 2, 2010
From James Freeman of The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 1: