Mitt Romney – He’s Not Talking

On April 4, 2012, in remarks to the Newspaper Association of America, Mitt Romney made the following statement:

“Unlike President Obama, you don’t have to wait until after the election to find out what I believe in – or what my plans are.”

Only one week later, however, Romney declined to respond to a direct question on whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which provides legal recourse for women who, in violation of federal law, are denied wages equal to those of men doing equal work for the same employer.  Ironically, this gaffe occurred the same week that Republicans began a feeble attempt to push back on the concept that their party was engaged in a “war on women” (LINK  LINK  LINK  LINK  LINK).

More recently, Romney has stumbled badly trying to explain his criticism of the president’s recent order halting deportations of immigrants illegally brought to this country as children, many of whom have become model citizens.  Curiously, the candidate says only that he will put “something” long term in place which will be “better,” but spells out few details other than that those who serve in the military will get special treatment and that he will complete the border fence.  How’s that for being clear about what he believes in and what his plans are?

Romney HAS said SOME things he wants to do as president.  He’s said he wants to cut taxes even more, eliminate the deficit and increase military spending.  Okay, everyone already knows (don’t you?) that we’re running a deficit on the order of $1.3 trillion, which means that we’re spending that much more than we’re collecting in taxes.

To anyone with more than a first grade sense of arithmetic, then, quickly comes the question: Just what are you going to cut in order to reduce taxes even more, increase already bloated military spending AND eliminate the deficit?  Hey, food stamps, foreign aid and health insurance for poor kids won’t get you even 10% of the way there.  So what’s it gonna be? Social Security?  Medicare?  Your home mortgage interest deduction on your income tax? Employers’ tax deductions for providing insurance to their workers?

Those are the biggies, the only ones (other than defense) that you can cut that will make a big enough difference to come close to what Romney SAYS he wants.  Well, wait.  You COULD cut 100% of Medicaid.  But most of that goes for two things: (1) the elderly and (2) the disabled.  More than half of all nursing home patients are covered by Medicaid (no, Medicare DOESN’T cover that, Medicaid does and only for people with no money and no assets).  It also covers many people on critical life support (remember Terri Shiavo?).

So, is he going to unplug grandpa and toss granny out into the street?  No?  Then what IS he going to cut?  You guessed it.  He won’t say what his plans are.  Guess you’ll just have to wait until after the election.

Elect Republicans and Cut Taxes

That’s what those of you intending to vote Republican are going for, right?  HERE is an interview with one of your gurus, Rand Paul (R-KY), who wants to do just that.  Now, I know you guys have WAY too short of attention spans to read all that, so let me just cut to the operative quote for you:

“Democrats think working with us on Social Security will bring a compromise. They think we want changes to Social Security and we will agree to bring taxes up. This is wrong-headed. We are not jumping up and down to reform entitlements; we want to fix them because they are broken.”

And by “fix them,” he clearly means “cut them,” because, as he says, any notion that Republicans will “agree to bring taxes up” in order to accomplish that is “wrong-headed.”

Now, you guys understand, right, that there are two big “entitlements,” Social Security and Medicare?  According to the Washington Post, Paul’s plan would:

“… cut the average Social Security recipient’s benefits by nearly 40 percent, reduce defense spending by nearly $100 billion below a level the Pentagon calls “devastating,” and end the current Medicare program in two years — even for current recipients, according to the Senate Budget Committee staff. It would eliminate the education, energy, housing and commerce departments, decimate homeland security, eviscerate programs for the poor, and give the wealthy a bonanza by reducing tax rates to 17 percent and eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends.”

Now, I know all of you can take a 40% hit in Social Security.  And you do understand, right, that your existing medical insurance reverts to a “Medicare supplemental” policy at age 65, which only covers the 20% that Medicare doesn’t?  And, of course, you can live with that when “Medicare is ended in two years,” right?  And nobody really cares if Housing, Commerce, Education and Energy are eliminated or whether Defense and Homeland Security are “devastated,” much less whether programs for the poor are “eviscerated” or the rich get even MORE tax cuts, but COME ON – have mercy on those of use who can’t take that 40% SS cut, will ya?

I have only two other comments:

Be damn careful what you wish for.  You just might get it.

AND

You don’t always get the government you NEED, but you almost always DO get the government you DESERVE.