A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Is Romney a secret socialist, or does he lie?

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Gentle reader, as you have listened to former Mass. Gov. Romney, tell us all how he is going to cure all of the maladies from which he perceives the body politic to be suffering, has it ever struck you that under our Constitution, laws, and precedents, no one can make all these things happen without summarily seizing, confiscating, or otherwise taking over every aspect of private enterprise currently existing in our great republic?
Some of Mr. Romney’s colleagues have had a running complaint about President Obama that he is a socialist, or that he wants to introduce European style socialism in this country. If they would just examine the facts, the law, logic, and common sense, they would see that their presumptive standard bearer is really the one who intends to introduce socialism, whether European style, or otherwise.
For instance, Mr. Romney promises to create millions of jobs in the private sector.
We are sure that you understand, dear reader, even if he does not, that the owners or controllers of private enterprise decide whether or not to create jobs and hire people.

So far the only thing that we have heard him to propose so that he could carry out this promise is an undertaking to cut taxes and erase regulations. Either or both of these actions would require Congressional consent or judicial acquiescence, neither of which is a certainty, and neither carries any guarantee that a single new job would result.
Thus, it would only be if Mr. Romney either owned or controlled the various private enterprises that he could actually cause them to create jobs and hire people.
Despite Mr. Romney’s vast wealth, even he could not acquire enough American free enterprises by purchase to give him the ability to create these jobs and hire people to fill them.
No, the only way he could acquire this ability to control the businesses would be for him to seize control by executive order, or by acquisition through judicial condemnation.
With our present Supreme Court, he could probably do this and be sustained in it, but one would hope that the Republican Establishment would finally find an outrage from one of their leaders which even they could not stomach, and would rise up and undo such a usurpation, but don’t bet on it.
Likewise, his promise to lower gasoline prices, would at best depend upon the actions of forces over which he as president would have absolutely no control, and could only undertake restricted actions which could not produce noticeable results for some years.
For instance, he could approve the Keystone Pipeline construction permit.

As we have shown in previous columns, if the permit application had been approved the day it was filed, there would not now, or for years to come be any oil flowing through the pipes.
Another possibility floated by the candidates in order to persuade the voters that they could have an effect on the price of gasoline any time soon, is to allow unlimited drilling in the off-shore waters.
Even if one is, despite the horrendous consequences of the BP oil spill, prepared to live dangerously and let these proven incompetents take risky chances with their rigs, once again, no oil would flow for years, and, if the oil interests are telling the truth about their refineries being so bad that most of them have had to be shut down, then, even if oil did start to flow quickly, what use would it be in this country to reduce gasoline prices since cars don’t run on oil until it is refined into gasoline?
Once again, this oil would be sold on the foreign markets to be used in China, India, Brazil, or other countries. The same defect infects the proposal to open up all the national federal lands for drilling.
This too would be subject to the years to be required to produce usable product, in addition to being contrary to our long-term national interest for utilization of our national lands.
No, the only way to produce an immediate reduction in the price of gasoline would be to impose governmental price controls.

As past experience has proven, although the federal government has the authority to impose price controls, as has been done in the past/ such imposition distorts the free enterprise system to a considerable extent.
And to be fully effective, federal price controls require the creation of a considerable cadre of new federal employees. We recall, for instance, the old O.P.A. which functioned during World War II. This agency had a huge book of prices for various goods and commodities, with variations and modifications based upon locale, and other circumstances.
We well remember accompanying our uncle Charlie Robbins on a few occasions when he would make his rounds of the little country stores to be sure that their prices all complied with the fixed prices set out in the big book.

With the available computers and other modern devices, it would probably be much simpler in a way to see that price controls on petroleum products were observed, but in other ways it would probably be much more complicated.
In any event, to fulfill all of his promises, Mr. Romney would have to insert federal governmental controls far deeper and more intrusively into the body politic than we suspect most folks, especially Republicans, would find desirable.
So, either Mr. Romney in order to win the presidency, is willing to spout the most flagrant nonsense, or try to sell the public a bill of goods, or just downright lie to us, or else he is prepared to adopt a programme of socialism, i. e. governmental control of the means production and imposed commercial policy.
So, if you want to yield to the siren song of socialism sung by Mr. Romney, then do so, but don’t say you weren’t warned. If we may conclude with an old chestnut — Mitt Romney is a very promising candidate: He’ll promise you anything!
As long-time readers know, we are always both glad and proud when Roane County natives carry their talents to other counties, states, or nations.
Another instance of this has come to our attention courtesy of the News Sentinel Sports section of 6 March.
It seems that another member of Rockwood’s Pemberton family continues to do well, in that Mark Pemberton, C. W. Pemberton’s son has been named football coach at Brentwood Academy in Nashville, thus continuing the family’s tradition of coaching.
Since his beginning as head coach at Rockwood in 1986, Mark has coached at several schools, including Knoxville Catholic.
He beat out more than 100 other coaches who applied for the Brentwood position.
Our congratulations and confident expectation that Mark will continue the great traditions of Rockwood and Roane County graduates.