Attending the Republican National Convention

Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

I’ve never been to a political convention before, but Jo Ann and I were invited to the National Review party on Tuesday night at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club along Tampa Bay. We met quite a few friends right from the start, including conservative columnist Cal Thomas; Senator John Cornyn, the junior senator from Texas (who said he had read my “Making of Modern Economics” and loved it); Steve Moore (Wall Street Journal); Chris Ruddy (Newsmax publisher): Rich Lowry (editor of National Rreview) and Jack Fowler (publisher of National Review); Jeff Carneal (my Eagle publisher); Jeb Bush (former governor of Florida); and Senator Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania). It was wall-to-wall fun.

National Review had printed up 23,000 extra copies of a special GOP convention issue (dated Sept 10), and we have a full page color ad for next year’s FreedomFest in it, with the theme “Are We Rome?” It seemed that everyone wanted to talk about the conference after seeing the ad. Here’s a 2 1/2 minute preview video of what it’s all about and why it’s generating a lot of interest.

The National Review cover shows Romney and Ryan holding blue prints and a large book, ready to take office and get the country going again, economically. Certainly President Obama and the Democrats have had their chance and have failed to deliver. The economy is still stagnating, as the Austrian economists including myself have warned. Artificial stimuli such as TARP, the bailouts and heavy deficit spending by the Federal government have been offset by events like private enterprise holding off action due to financial uncertainty, imposed regulations (ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, Sarbox, etc.), and heavy taxes. In short, there is no multiplier effect with fiscal stimulus.

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I was at the San Francisco Money Show last week (before the RNC), where I predicted that Mitt Romney would win in November. His victory should be positive for stocks and the economy, in general. Last week two political scientists at the University of Colorado, Ken Bickers and Michael Berry, used their economic indicator model to predict who would win in November. Their model has correctly predicted the outcome of the past eight elections, and this year they predict a big Romney victory with nearly 53% of the vote. Right now my views are contrarian, as www.intrade.com, the political futures market, has Obama ahead by 55% against Romney’s 45%. If you want to place a bet on Romney on Intrade, you might make a big profit there.

You Blew It! Republican Leaders Blunder

Most Republicans are pleased with the choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential candidate. It counters the argument that Romney is a middle-of-the-roader and is not a consistent supporter of small government. Ryan is viewed as ideologically pure.

But is he? Unfortunately, Congressman Ryan was a big supporter of practically everything George W. Bush supported while president from 2001 to 2009. Bush was a big-spending Republican, which is why the Republicans lost control of the government in 2008. Ryan was in Bush’s camp, voting for the Prescription Drug Bill, the Patriot Act, extending the debt ceiling, and TARP. When I confronted him on this record, he said it was “defensive voting.”

Personally I would have preferred that Governor Romney choose Senator Rand Paul on his ticket. Now there’s a consistent defender of liberty and small government, while at the same time more electable than his father, Ron Paul.

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Republican leaders have also blundered by denying credentials to Ron Paul supporters, and refusing to let Ron Paul speak at the convention. They wanted to approve his speech and insisted that Congressman Paul endorse Romney. He refused. On the positive side, the Republican leadership did show a video of Ron Paul at the convention, although they left out any mention of his views on foreign policy (Paul is a non-interventionist and opposed our meddling in the Middle East).

Yours for peace, prosperity, and liberty, AEIOU,

Mark Skousen

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