Noonan: A Nation That Believes Nothing - WSJ.com: "When Americans go to Europe they see everything but the taxes. The taxes are terrible. But that's Europe's business and they'll have to figure it out. Yes what happens there has implications for us but still, they're there and we're here. What Americans are worried about, take as a warning sign, and are heavily invested in is California—that mythic place where Sutter struck gold, where the movies were invented, where the geniuses of the Internet age planted their flag, built their campuses, changed our world. We care about California. We read every day of the bankruptcies, the reduced city services, the businesses fleeing. California is going down. How amazing is it that this is happening in the middle of a presidential campaign and our candidates aren't even talking about it? Mitt Romney should speak about the states that work and the states that don't, why they work and why they don't, and how we have to take the ways that work and apply them nationally. Barack Obama can't talk about these things. You can't question the blue-state model when your whole campaign promises more blue-state thinking. But Mr. Romney can talk about it. Both campaigns are afraid of being serious, of really grappling with the things Americans rightly fear. But there's no safety in not being serious. It only leaves voters wondering if you're even capable of seriousness. Letting them wonder that is a mistake."
But all that changed on August 11th--
Romney's choice of Ryan reshapes race for White House | Reuters: "Romney's choice of the powerful chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee is likely to turn the campaign - which has focused largely on the economy and a series of nasty attacks by both sides - into more of a debate over government spending, specifically Ryan's controversial budget plan that would include reductions in health programs for the elderly and poor. Welcomed onstage by Romney before a cheering, flag-waving crowd in front of the retired battleship USS Wisconsin, Ryan said the United States is in a "dangerous" moment of trillion-dollar budget deficits and rising national debt. "We're running out of time and we can't afford four more years of this," said Ryan, 42, who has been in Congress for 13 years. "Politicians from both parties have made empty promises which will soon become broken promises with painful consequences if we fail to act now." And Ryan, in what could be taken as an acknowledgement that the Republican campaign is willing to engage in a risky debate over spending on popular programs, said: "President Obama and too many like him in Washington have refused to make difficult decisions, because they are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation. "We won't duck the tough issues," Ryan said. "We will lead. We won't blame others; we will take responsibility."
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