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That’s how Romney should sell himself.

Mitt Romney campaigns in Beallsville, Ohio, August 14, 2012.

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Deroy Murdock

Freeze federal spending for one year, and then cut it 1 percent every year thereafter. Obama’s 49.7 percent increase in U.S. national debt bought Americans nothing, even as it ballooned from $10.6 trillion at his inauguration to $15.91 trillion today. Enough! Obsolete, useless, and duplicative federal agencies — such as the Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Housing and Urban Development — should be padlocked, their budgets vacated, and their authorizing legislation rescinded.

The real budget savings, of course, are in entitlement reform. How do we do this? Look no further than the fine work of the next vice president of the United States.

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Representative Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity is a fine route to follow back to fiscal health. As my running mate proposes, current Medicare recipients and those age 55 and above can look forward to Medicare as we know it. Starting in 2023, as low-to-modest-income seniors turn 65, they  will receive financial help to purchase Medicare plans tailored to their needs and tastes, not to Washington’s preferences. (This program has borne the rather puzzling name “premium support.” No one knows what that means. Let’s call it simply “insurance assistance.” Alternatively, columnist Quin Hillyer suggests “Personal Health Grants.”) In addition, while retirees and near-retirees will be left alone, optional personal accounts should be part of Social Security for younger Americans.

Medicaid recipients likewise should receive vouchers to help buy the health coverage that they like, not what bureaucrats dictate. And at some point, means-testing will assure that the wealthy do not receive more than their fair share of government benefits.

I have a secret weapon to make this entire plan succeed: the American people.

From coast to coast, industrious and innovative Americans yearn to return to work. We can inspire the world again — with our products, inventions, and ideas. First, we must pry Uncle Sam’s unaffordable, dream-crushing boots from the necks of enterprising men and women. With your help, I will liberate the spirit of American enterprise and the free people who embody it. I have maximum confidence that when Washington once again is the home of our servants and not the mansion of our masters, this republic’s emancipated citizens will reconstitute the economy, the society, and the nation that we love, remember, and miss so much.

New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.



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