To progressives, money buys happiness. That's why income inequality is such a big deal on the left: They think if everyone had more money, everyone would be happy. It explains the Occupy movement and Democratic class-warfare rhetoric about everyone's "fair share." It explains the explosion of new regulations on businesses and proposed taxes on "millionaires and billionaires." We see the attitude that more government stimulus money can buy happiness for all. The problem is, voters don't agree. Poll after poll shows that voters' top concerns are a sluggish economy and rising deficits.
And so when the left chooses to talk about income equality instead of economic growth, and fairness instead of prosperity, people see through it. They know that the secret to happiness isn't money, it's earned success. That's true whether you are an entrepreneur with a start-up, a parent teaching a child to read, or an Olympic athlete winning a gold medal. People aren't stupid. They know that more government isn't going to spur economic growth and generate happiness. The truth is, less is. It is free enterprise, not wealth redistribution, that is the best system in the world for creating prosperity through earned success. The president likes to say there are two vastly different visions at stake in this election. He's right. Mitt Romney should remind voters of that every day. Time to go on the offensive.