Sunday, August 5, 2012

Romney's Five Point Plan*

5.  Tax Reform consisting of broadening the base, flattening the rate and simplification.  Sounds appealing but based on an analysis by the conservative leaning Brookings Institute , it would actually mean cutting taxes on the wealthy and raising taxes on the middle class.**  Hmm, sounds kinda familiar and I don't think that it worked out so well in the past.

4.  Adopting a Fiscal Policy that includes, inter alia, cutting federal spending and cap it at 20 percent of GDP, turning Medicaid into block grants and pursue further entitlement reform (i.e. privatizing Social Security?) and pursue a Balanced Budget Amendment.  Three words:  dangerous, frightening and stupid.  Just ask Great Britain and Europe how austerity is working for their economies right now. Shifting the buck to the States solves nothing and just think where this country would be right now if we had not resisted the  Bush Administration's big  push for privatizing Social Security (a change the CBO deemed revenue neutral with all the savings, trillions of dollars, all going to Walls Street in the form of service fees***) in 2004-05 after the financial collapse they (the Bush Administration and largely Republican policies) caused in 2007-08.

3.  A Regulatory Policy consisting of  repealing and replacing "...Obamacare and Dodd-Frank Review" and eliminating "...Obama-era regulations, cap new regulatory costs at zero dollars", requiring "...Congress to approve all major regulations" and the tired and untrue.reforming " liability system".  This isn't even a policy, but rather a pie in the sky, ridiculous, right wing rant and wish list.  The idea that any administration could easily repeal and replace, major health care reform, something that every administration has tried and failed since FDR is preposterous.

In reality, what could happen if the Republicans got their way, is that if the Affordable Care Act was repealed, all Americans would loose the vast and increasing benefits and protections that have and are to be implemented under the ACA, including the end to discrimination based upon pre-existing conditions, children being covered under their parent's plan until age 26, no lifetime cap on benefits and most recently rebates to employers and/or consumers of amounts over 20% of premiums not spent by health insurance carriers on actual medical treatment as opposed to administrative costs and profits (i.e. the Franken Amendment copied from Minnesota State law, Ski U mah!).  Moreover, if the ACA were repealed without simultaneously enacting new legislation, it is conceivable that all Americans would be left with some kind of pre-existing condition of one kind or another and we would all be left to the mercy of health insurance companies and whatever whim they decide to charge in the form of premiums.

The idea that "Congress approve all major regulations" just underscores how out of touch Mr. Romney is with reality let alone modern government.  Hello?  Mr. Romney, the current Congress cannot even agree on the sky being blue and you would have the requirement that all major regulation be approved by this band of jokers?  No wonder you believe the Garden of Eden in in Missouri and that African American were not our equals until the late 1970s.

Finally, any lawyer can tell you that nearly every state and countless pieces of federal legislation have addressed tort reform and any further moves in this direction is simply code for denying individuals their right to a remedy under law to the benefit of businesses, corporations and wrongdoers.  It's about time the American people realize that the trial lawyers, the plaintiff's bar, represents you and "tort reform" hurts you and your family by denying you full compensation if, God forbid, you or your loved ones are injured through the fault of someone or some entity.

2.  At first blush, Mr. Romney's Energy Policy seems innocuous enough and something we all agree with:  “Spending our energy dollars here for domestically produced energy while also funding research, development, and production of new sources of energy creates jobs, strengthens the dollar, and reduces our exposure to supply risks and volatility. We must vigorously embrace and develop all of our domestic energy sources.”  Agreed.  But when you look at what little detail his "plan" gives on how we accomplish this, you have to wonder where Mr. Romney was during the massive Amoco oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Mr. Romney's criticism of the President on energy policy boils down to siding with big oil and big coal at the expense of the environment and the American people and shows an utter disregard for one of the most basic tenets of good government:  stewardship of the land and natural resources.  Just remember America are you really comfortable with putting in charge those that do not believe in science, that global warming is not occurring or one of the most important scientific principles in history (i.e. evolution of species) which forms the basis for the biological sciences and its relation to the earth sciences?

1.  Labor Policy and Human Capital:  Romney's plan calls for appointing experienced and even-handed arbiters to the NLRB, guaranteeing businesses the right to allocate capital as they choose, protecting right of workers to choose whether to unionize and ending funding of union political campaigns through
paycheck deductions.  As for immigration and education policies, which Romney lumps together as "Human Capital", his plan calls for consolidating federal programs, returning authority, responsibility, and funds to states for retraining programs, supporting private-sector participation in the process, raising visa caps for highly skilled foreign workers and giving permanent residency to eligible advanced-degree recipients.  The first thing that immediately strikes you as you read these aspects of Romney's "plan" is the utter callousness with which Romney like many big business tycoons and millionaires view their fellow citizens, not as fellow human beings and Americans deserving of rights and protections and basic human dignity but rather as an input, a line on a spreadsheet no more deserving of rights than beasts of burden.  His policy can realistically be summed up as all for business and anti worker, vehemently anti union and needless to say anti immigrant.  But come on, Mitt would say " Dad was born in Mexico".

Finally, just last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reported "I’d been told by a very credible source that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes for ten years".  Is it no wonder then why Mr. Romney has released only one year of his tax returns and his tax policy is nothing more than a return to the disastrous and failed trickle down theory?

Well Mr. Romney , in the case of your father it is just too bad that Ambrose Bierce's quote was not reality:  "To be a Gringo in Mexico -- ah, that is euthanasia!"

*Believe in America:  Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth

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