John Stossel

The Republican Convention ended on the theme "Believe in America." That sounded nice, but it was just another platitude. Mitt Romney's speech was filled with platitudes: "We will honor America's democratic ideals. ... We're united to preserve liberty."


Liberals and conservatives have real differences. We should state them.

America is going broke, and tough decisions must be made. To save our future, we must slow the growth of entitlements and military spending. Mitt Romney was silent about that.

Sure, "Believing in America" means individuals get to decide how to run the businesses we create. But it should also mean that we get to run the rest of our lives, too: whom we marry, what we do for recreation, what substances we ingest, how big our soft drinks are. Mitt Romney said nothing about that.

I want to believe that if Romney is elected, he will finally impose some fiscal discipline and fight to put America on a sustainable course -- but his Tampa speech gave me no confidence that he would.

Instead, he pandered, saying, "As governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman lieutenant governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials. ..."

So what? What does that have to do with America's problems? Was that supposed to persuade people that Republicans don't wage "war on women"? It won't.

If conventions are mere infomercials, Republicans should at least do them well.

It's offensive that politicians force taxpayers to pay $18.3 million to subsidize these pep rallies. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., tried to end the subsidies, saying, "There is no justification for spending public funds on booze, balloons and confetti." He's right. But Congress ignored him.

The Republicans did some good things in Tampa, like showing two debt clocks and allowing speakers like Ted Cruz to say, "Rights are secure only when government power is restrained." But then Mitt Romney spoke. He said nothing of significance.

"Believing in America" means objecting when politicians claim they solve our problems. Romney said he has a "plan to create 12 million jobs." Huh? Why not 13 million? Why not 50? Promising 12 million is an absurd conceit. When politicians say, "Yes, we can," we should say: No, they can't! Government fails, but individuals succeed.

The Dems are worse. What do they stand for? They say they believe in a progressive, liberal society, but to them that means a giant government that pretends to solve problems, causes new ones and then spends even more to appear to solve those problems.

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate