Dear Mitt: *You* Don’t Get to Say That

Dear Mitt Romney:

Your so-called Medicare reform is just a way of shifting health expenses from millionaires (whose taxes you want to lower) to middle class and working people (with whom you want to stick the bill). A 48-year-old today, who starts getting Medicare in 2030, would have to pay an extra $124,600 under your plan! Meanwhile, your running mate’s tax plan would reduce your own income taxes, as a multimillionaire, to less than one percent a year. You don’t get to say that!

You and your running mate are blaming Barack Obama for high gasoline prices. But you demand a stricter blockade on Iranian petroleum! Given that the present blockade has taken perhaps a million barrels a day off the market at a time of increasing demand in Asia, you don’t get to slam President Obama for causing high gasoline prices. Prices, as your MBA courses might have informed you, Mr. Romney, are based on supply and demand. If you reduce Iran supply, and demand stays the same or rises, then prices will go up. Since you want to tighten the blockade, you don’t get to say that!

After campaigning for months on repealing Obamacare, you suddenly say you want to keep “parts” of it, including preventing insurance companies from declining to cover people for pre-existing conditions. The way Obamacare allows that provision, however, is to make all the healthy young people get insurance or face a fine, thus increasing the pool size so as to allow those with known health conditions to also join the pool without bankrupting the companies. I mean, this is flip-flopping on an epic scale. First you invented Obamacare in Massachusetts, then you repudiated it as a national program, now you are embracing the key “parts” of it while pledging to repeal it! You don’t get to say that!

You defend yourself for not mentioning the Afghanistan War, in which US troops are fighting and dying, in your acceptance speech, by saying that people should focus on policies, not on words. But, you didn’t mention Afghanistan policy, either. What is your position on the US branding the Haqqani Network a terrorist organization? How will that affect US-Pakistan relations, given that we think the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence has links to the Haqqanis? What about the the US halt to training Afghanistan policemen because so many turned out to be … Taliban? But training up local security forces is the pathway the US has announced to exit from Afghanistan. Where do you stand on this policy, since you like policy? In fact you haven’t told us what your foreign policy will be on almost any issue, except that you have managed for no good reason to anger Russia by branding it our number one enemy? I mean, I know Mormons don’t like Vodka, but still… You don’t get to say that!

Your running mate Paul Ryan all of a sudden says states should have the right to legalize marijuana for medical purposes and not be bothered by the Feds. But you’ve been campaigning for years on a ‘war on drugs’ platform. As with ‘parts of Obamacare,’ your campaign is now speaking out of both sides of its mouth to muddy the waters and perhaps attract some votes. You don’t get to say that!

14 Responses

  1. The debates will not be pretty. Probably the challenge will be to decide just how much humiliation to inflict on Mitt and Marathon Man.

  2. This election will be a test of the nation’s stability and sanity. Or will that be its basic self-interest and intelligence? Differentiating between madness and stupidity can be hard at times to do…….

  3. I have a business degree with a minor in economics graduating in 1971 so I am likely not up to date on developments in the field. Nonetheless I am curious what business theory Mitt and other prominent Republicans rely on to assert that solvency can be enhanced by giving away ones revenues (tax cuts)?

    • The theory is well-established, but ignored by mainstream media. It’s called “neoclassical economics”, or “bankrupt the state until it cuts all money to the poor.”

      Its history as an imperial conspiracy by American government and industry against progressive democracies in the 3rd World is documented in Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”. Her contention is that it co-developed along with controversial theories of altering human behavior that the CIA investigated for use against captives. Then Milton Friedman’s gang developed it as an argument for purging the “contagion” of egalitarian social beliefs in an entire country. So it was implemented by military coups at first. Then it was imposed by the World Bank and IMF via blackmailing elected governments in the 3rd World – exactly what is being done in Greece now.

      The final parts of her book involve the final solution, to impose these policies in the 1st World. A Reagan administration official admitted in his memoirs that the Reagan tax cuts were intended to cause a future fiscal crisis for which destroying social programs would be the only available solution. Exactly what Scott Walker did in Wisconsin.

      So the point of the tax cut is to destroy the goverment and restore it to its 19th century role, not to make it solvent. The evil assumption lurking behind this is that when the “right” Americans regain a monopoly of power, the economy will grow again as it did back when strikers could be butchered in the streets and slaves whipped in the fields and Indians dispossessed of their lands. The far greater economic growth of the big government era after 1932 is slandered and erased because too much of it went to the “bad” Americans.

      • Did you notice that in the second part of Mitt’s famous quote about paying not less than 13% in taxes, he said it approached 20% if you counted charity! Wow, does that reflect what you just wrote! Mixing up taxes and charity. The safety net should be the domain of charity only. It’s ahistorical. The New Deal came about because capitalism was in crisis, not because of some theory of the state.

        In the ’50s, the pillars of the US economy (auto, steel, transport) were booming. Workers negotiated defined benefit pension plans and generous health care coverage. When companies can’t or won’t continue these benefits, ones that propelled the American economy to new heights, what happens? That’s what’s happening. Republicans are dumbing down the standards of what it means to be middle class today.

        Remember Adam Smith’s ‘linen shirt’. Smith said the free market should compensate workers according to the standards of the day. According to Smith, workers needed to dress to the standards of the day to get a job. A ‘linen shirt’ was a necessity, not a luxury. It’s true that because of savings in production, many consumer items (including high tech electronics) are available to more people today than ever – and required in an information age economy. That only leaves retirement and health care! If the private economy won’t or can’t provide them, who does? After all, other industrialized countries provide both – the ‘linen shirts’ of today.

      • “The theory is well-established, but ignored by mainstream media. It’s called “neoclassical economics”, or “bankrupt the state until it cuts all money to the poor.”

        Actually, the term currently in vogue is “neoliberal” economics, and you have got it precisely wrong. It involves privatization and entrepreneurship, and the chief exponents of it in the world are China and India. Over the past thirty years, beginning with Deng Xiao-Ping, China has practiced “neoliberal” or market economics, and the result is that China has averaged a 9 percent GDP over the last thirty years and lifted literally millions of its citizens out of poverty. In order to alleviate poverty, a country must grow its economy, and the greatest engine of growth is the free enterprise system.

        Likewise, while India stagnated under the old Soviet-style “five year plans” throughout the ’60s, ’70s, and most of the ’80s, since it turned to the free=market system, its economy has grown, on average, 7 and 8 percent annualy. Neoliberal (or the old classical)economics) definitely is the way to go if the goal is lifting people out of poverty.

        • I think if you looked into it you’d find that you’re way over-estimating the degree to which India has moved away from socialism.

        • “I think if you looked into it you’d find that you’re way over-estimating the degree to which India has moved away from socialism.”

          As you suggest, India has not completely adopted the free-enterprise model. Nevertheless, to the extent that it has gone in that direction, the result has been a much higher growth rate than under the old socialist model.

  4. That is a good question. And the double standard David Gregory stuck to was jaw dropping. Romney won’t even come close to the open air policies his own father (the other Governor Romney) championed, by showing over a decade of his tax returns, but Gregory decides that question is OVER? Is that because Ann Romney said ‘stop it!’? Good lord, Romney not showing his returns is a vital and important issue in judging his financial character and now the press is dropping it while they clung to the ‘Elvis Lives’ nonsense about the president’s birth certificate for years, AFTER HE HAD BEEN ELECTED and the FBI, Secret Service etc. had long since confirmed his validity as a citizen!
    And too, while president Obama was practically forced to to be publicly baptized and answer for every strange remark made by his hot headed pastor, Mr. Romney’s Mormon faith is apparently off limits, even though there are elements of it the do have policy implications. Romney was a grown man in the Mormon faith before the church changed its policy to ALLOW BLACK PEOPLE TO JOIN! My God. I know there are a countless good people in the Mormon faith and I’m sure they all have a personal story of how they dealt with this issue if they are Romney’s age. America does need to hear Romney’s story there too. What an unbelievable double standard this interview presented.

  5. They sit at the golden idol of greed. Whatever holy writ they find to justify their beliefs they cling to with a powerful orthodoxy. “Business theory?” This is religion we’re speaking of here. They will fight to the death to defend their god……

  6. Juan, when you write, ‘You don’t get to say that!’, you omit the protasis, ‘If you don’t want to be a hypocrite…’ But as the saying goes, ‘Embarrassing a politician with accusations of hypocrisy is like embarrassing a dog with accusations that he licks his own balls!’

  7. I thought that this blog post was very eye opening in many ways. It allowed me to see the economic effects that Romney’s Medicare plan would have. Although I knew how Governor Romney wanted to reform Medicare, I never really considered how it would affect me because I am nowhere near the age to receive it. I also never realized that his plan would raise the cost of Medicare that much, which would not be economically beneficial to anyone who is middle class. In regards to Romney, it may not be a huge amount but to an ordinary citizen, it is a lot of money. Furthermore, I don’t understand how Romney can criticize the President about the high gas prices when the president does not have direct control over the price, but rather it is controlled by supply and demand. In addition, Romney’s plan to tighten the blockade of Iranian petroleum would raise the prices of gasoline, which would not be beneficial to him. To me, it would make sense for Romney to decide if he wants to lower gasoline prices or have a stricter relationship with Iran. Furthermore, it is infuriating to me that Governor Romney only wants to keep parts of Obamacare when it was largely based of his own plan. If he felt strongly enough about health care, to enact one almost identical in the state he was governor of, then why is it not appropriate for the whole country? Furthermore, as him and Ryan are running on the same ticket, I think it would be beneficial if they share the same views on things at least publically because it does not look so well when the two differ on such critical issues.

  8. Romney says whatever pops into his head at the moment because he has no core beliefs or values beyond “I should be President.” I guess you could also add “the rich are different and do not have to play by the same rules as the common people.”

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