We are days from the 2012 elections. The Republicans have their candidate and the Democrats theirs. Romney versus Obama. You have a decision to make. It is all yours and it could affect the rest of your life.
The object of the Republican candidate is to discredit the record of the current President. Governor Romney has done his best to discredit the President. In fact, one might say with considerable rudeness. In addition, he has now taken positions contrary to many of the positions he held while he was running, much farther to the Right, in the GOP primaries.
The President, for all his faults–and those on the Liberal side feel he has almost as many as those who view him from the Conservative side–has been largely evaluated, except by the carping Fox misanthropes–as one who tells the truth.
So there is your first decision. Will you vote…everything else being equal…with someone who said that he was pro-choice and now says he is pro-life? That is a pretty significant change. Or vote for someone who once developed a health care plan for everyone in Massachusetts (with Democrats) but now says that the plan–Obamacare–that followed the Massachusetts formula should now be repealed? Not amended. Repealed…which is what the health insurance industry wants.
Should you believe someone, and maybe vote for him, who says that we have to stop sending jobs to China, but sent hundreds of thousands of jobs to China? (And who will not condemn Bain, his former firm, who are right now sending hundreds of jobs to China? After their company, Sensata, had just made the highest profit ever?)
Should you believe Romney’s economic plan when he has “changed his mind” on so many really significant matters? He implies that the President has done nothing about creating jobs. Well, the facts seem to be just the opposite. First, of all, in 2009 with the stock market at 6,900, which means that there was no money in any bank anywhere ready to be lent to businesses, President Obama rammed through a stimulus package, with no help from Republicans and created 3 million jobs. He did it with a stimulus that was made as weak as the Republicans could possibly make it.
Against almost universal obstruction from Repubicans and skepticism from some Democrats, President Obama bailed out the auto industry which is now fueling the economic comeback in Michigan and Ohio and Wisconsin. And what was that obstruction?
The day that the President was inaugurated, the Senate Minority Leader said that their most important job over the next four years was to see that the President did not win re-election. They didn’t seem concerned that the previous month 760,000 jobs were lost. (George W. Bush only created one million jobs in eight years.) The Republicans proceeded to filibuster every single jobs bill and over 360 filibusters against everything over the next four years…a record number of filibusters by a wide, wide margin.
Since that time, President Obama has proposed 19 separate jobs bills, including a transportation bill…normally routine…and a bill most recently that would prohibit major corporations from sending jobs overseas. All 19 jobs bills, including this last one, were filibustered (e.g., vetoed) by the Republicans in the U..S. Senate. Romney says that he can get them to cooperate with him. They will cooperate…in sending jobs to China!
So how would Romney’s cooperation with Congress work? He had a huge number of vetoes when he was governor of Massachusetts. He wants a voucher system for Medicare, a cut in taxes to 25% from 35% for the very rich. His vice president wrote the budget that will kill Medicare and leave Social Security hanging by a thread. Why? (So that the rich can have the 25% tax rate, dummy! Duh!)
Look, if you vote for Romney, he may…though there is no guarantee…end abortions. But you will lose Social Security and Medicare and health insurance will return more costly than before. Why? Because Obamacare put into effect a plan that would reduce health care costs.
Romney and Ryan and the Republicans in Congress get their money from the health insurance industry, from the pharmaceutical companies, from hospital chains and hospital equipment manufacturers. Those people are already milking you for every dollar they can, and spending hundreds of billions to get their guys elected. Do you think that these CEOs give tens of millions of people who want to help you get lower costs? Has that been your experience with health care? That everyone is trying to reduce your costs? Or have your premiums gone up every year?
Romney is lying to you when he says he will balance the budget. It is impossible with another tax cut to the richest Americans. Economists say that a reduction to 25% top rate will add $5 trillion to the deficit. He will say that he is going to cut out all deductions. Will that work?
Do you want your deduction for your mortgage interest removed? Of course not. Congress won’t allow that. So.. since that is the biggest deduction, as former Republican Senator Alan Simpson of the Simpson-Bowles Commission says…it is a lot of bunk. There aren’t enough deductions. And the home mortgage deduction is the biggest.
Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson of the Bowles-Simpson Commission say that there are not even remotely the number of deductions needed by the Romney plan to prevent another $5 trillion being added to the debt. You must ask yourself…if most economists say that at most there is about a trillion in deductions and credits and oil industry depletion allowances to make up about a trillion dollars, then if Romney is taking $5 trillion dollars from the Treasury in tax cuts…at best we are looking at another…another….$4 trillion added to the debt, not subtracted from the debt.
Here are the stakes. If Romney is lying to win your vote, and if he is really working for those people who nominated him, the Right Wing of the Republican Party, backed by the Super-Rich, here is what he would do.
First, he would repeal Obamacare. No matter what he says and Paul Ryan say now, their supporters, all large corporate CEOs and billionaires in oil and coal and pharmaceuticals and health insurance companies—who can afford to pay for any health plan they want–will take us back to 2007. You will still be one job loss away from having no health care.
Pay attention…with no restrictions on health insurance companies, your premiums will go up again by 15% per year. Remember this…thanks to Republican obstruction and health indutry lobbyists…Obamacare is still not fully implemented. More than 50 million people have no health insurance and that will go up under Romney-Ryan. At some point it reaches you.
Second, Romney will increase military spending (he has said by $2 trillion) and will probably try to stay longer in Afghanistan. He says he will spend more money on military hardware, possibly build up forces somewhere in the Middle East, and even possibly make a disastrous strike at Iran. He could send us into a world-devastating war with us on one side and the Russians and Chinese on the other.
Third, whatever he says, he is for privatization of Social Security. He hasn’t brought that up, but that is the only possible outcome if you will not raise the FICA to cover those making $200,000 per year from the top limit which is now $100,000 per year. He may decide to simply let it go “bankrupt” which means that everyone’s benefits will fall to 78% of current payments. So someone who gets a barely livable $1,000 per month will instead get $780.
Fourth, he will eventually pass the Ryan legislation for Medicare. Under that plan, each person will get a check for $8,000 with which to buy health care insurance. Of course, it is a private system, so there is no guarantee that you can get health insurance.
You will be at the tender mercies of the health insurance industry. In other words, no Medicare…just private health insurance. How do you think seniors will fare against private health insurance companies? How are we all doing with private health insurance companies right now? Romney and Ryan say that they will keep Medicare, but with only the poor and the very sick…those who cannot get private health care…in Medicare it will soon fold. Costs versus revenues will simply be unsustainable.
Look, once you turn 67–because they have to push the age back to make it work–although they haven’t proposed that yet, you will pick up another $8,000 of your costs for health insurance. No more Medicare. Today, supplemental insurance costs maybe $300 per months for two. On average, with co-pays, etc., it is about 25% of your costs, which is still bad enough for seniors without income beyond Social Security. But under the Ryan plan you are probably going to pay about 68% of your total care costs. That is a whopping big difference.
So why do we have all these problems? Well, a little reminder. Ronald Reagan cut taxes for the very wealthy from 70% of income over about $80,000 per year to 28% in the early and mid-1980s. It tripled the national debt in less than 8 years, Clinton came in and raised taxes in 1993 to a top rate of 39.6%.
With a good economy and more revenue, he balanced the budget. Then idiot Bush came in, and during a recession and after a terrible blow to our economy on 9/11…people forget how devastating it was to the economy…and two wars—he dropped the top rate (and therefore all rates) to where we are now…35% top rate.
The result: huge spending, and lower government revenues. Big deficits every year. Before the crash, Bush and Cheney had already added $7 trillion to the deficit. Then they crashed the economy, put tens of millions out of work, costing the government an additional $700 billion a year in unemployment, welfare, food stamps…you name it…with the Republicans preventing any jobs from being created.
Even with our experience of a national debt that Bush raised to $16 trillion, Romney and Ryan want to cut revenues by dropping top income tax rates to 25%. Even under their phony budget numbers, there won’t be enough money to have Medicare and Social Security as we know them. To make the numbers come out, they pretend that some new private health insurance plan for seniors will be better for them. It is nonsense. It is, in fact, a lie.
Please understand. We do have a large national debt. But there are two things you should know.
First, we are only about 20th in the world in the amount of our debt versus our Gross Domestic Product. Yes, it is important to reduce the national debt. We have 99% of GDP in debt. In other words, we have $16 trillion of debt versus a GDP of $17 trillion. But Germany, the greatest industrial power in Europe has 169%, and the conservative Swiss, with their hi-tech manufacturing and huge banks, have 391% of debt to GDP, and Great Britain and France are all several multiples of debt to GDP. All much, much worse off than we are.
Second, we could be out of annual debt in a matter of a couple of years, paying down our debt. Why are we crying “crisis?” Because the Republicans have all pledged to one man, Grover Norquist, who represents the huge Right Wing Billionaires and the Fortune 500 CEOs who all make 400 times what the average worker makes (400 x $45,000…do the math) that they will not raise taxes. And that is how all these crazy predictions about disaster are made, with the idea that there will be no new revenues. Remember…it is always about money.
If we simply raised taxes and created government jobs to lower unemployment by about 2 points, we would be in balance. The government jobs would cost about $200 billion, but they would end most of the huge costs right now for unemployment and welfare.
These jobs will convert to private jobs over about 5 years. In the meantime, government jobs would stimulate the economy, which is about 80% consumer driven right now…a sad but unfortunate fact. So 5 million jobs would create another 5 million jobs almost overnight.
So we can do this. But we cannot do it if the Right Wing of the Super-Rich continue to buy elections and put their own henchmen into power who continue to filibuster anything that will make the Middle Class stronger.
We would need to raise the level at which FICA cuts off to those who make $200,000 rather than cutting it off basically at $100,000. That would take care of Social Security for 75 years or more. But Romney and Ryan would do the opposite…telling you, as Reagan, Bush the First, Bush the Second, and Cheney did…that cutting taxes for millionaires will somehow magically make you better off. That is wrong. As we have seen, you will be worse off.
Let’s be very clear about why we worry about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as President and Vice President. Our current President, if he were Biden instead of Obama, would have earned every single accolade by now and would have forced the Republicans into the shadows of history. Why? Why would Biden have had a greater popularity than Obama…even with the same results? Let’s be honest. Because Biden is white.
Look for a second at who opposes President Obama. Really look. It is the Senators from South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Mississippi. It is some Western state Senators. It is the bigoted South, the old Confederacy. It is the people who think that Strom Thurmond, one of the greatest racist-bigots ever to walk through the doors of the Senate chamber, was a great man. It is the former Segregationist Democrats who became Republicans when Ronald Reagan said the famous code words in his first speech in Mississippi…that affirmative action is dead.
All bigots…from McConnell to DeMint. Bigots and racists. That is why Biden would have done better than Obama. The bigots have used President Obama’s race in a truly reprehensible campaign of race baiting. They have used every trick that the KKK and others in that sick, sad, pathetic, grimy underbelly of the American public have used to repress African Americans.
They have rallied all the racists in the country…and the Republican Party has embraced the slights and the slurs to the Presidency that we thought we would never see again once that stupid, lazy, chicken-hawk-war-monger and foolish economy-and-job killing, war criminal George W. Bush left the White House.
Too harsh? Doing the same to him as the GOP is doing to Obama? Hardly. Remember this. He was playing golf when he told Richard Clarke’s people he was too busy to read the warnings about 9/11. He went to war with Iraq when he knew there was no reason to go to war with Iraq. But he lied to the Senate, the House and the American People, and the United Nations, saying that we were in danger of a “mushroom cloud” of nuclear war. He lied.
Because he lied, 4,500 military personnel…sons, fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers…and one political science graduate student, who was in the reserve, a helicopter evacuation pilot, Major Tammy Duckworth, gave both her legs to her country…one of over 30,000 wounded Americans. For what? So that Dick Cheney’s company, Halliburton, could go from a couple of billion dollars to $13 billion dollars in contracts, but still try to cheat the government out of more?
Crooks and liars and traitors…giving up the name of a secret agent of the CIA, which probably caused the deaths and perhaps torture of her foreign contacts? For that alone, treason, they should have been hanged. One man went to jail…Scooter Libby…a fall guy…and even he was pardoned right away by the head crook, Bush.
They don’t care. It is all about the money that Cheney made, as he gave contracts to Halliburton while hanging on to his stock so that it would go up. He should be dead, not given another heart. He fixed intelligence, lied to the American people and deliberately…for money…caused the deaths of at least 250,000 Iraqis…we have no idea of how many really died…and devastated their country. He did things 100 times worse to the average Iraqi who was simply trying to stay alive under Saddam Hussein than Osama Bin Laden did to us. But Cheney gets a new heart and Bin Laden a bullet through the eye.
Biden? An old Senate hand…been around longer than almost all of those corrupt Republican Senators, the obstructors. He would have tossed their words right back in their faces, and called them the liars and panderers to the rich that they are.
But President Obama is a different man. He is not used to being called a “nigra.” He is not used to having his portrait painted as an African King sitting cross legged in African costume with a bone through his nose or being called “Nigger” as we have seen on so many Tea Party and other Republican political signs and blogs. Not only does he deserve the respect and admiration of everyone in this country, he is even that rarer person, at a level of accomplishment, not merely as President but recognized by world leaders for his efforts to bring the world together….with a Nobel Prize for Peace.
The Republicans have filibustered 360 times since 2008 to wreck the national agenda, stifle job creation and bring down the Middle Class for the Class Warriors of the Super-Rich. Mitt Romney has pandered to the worst elements of the Republican Party…the Tea Baggers…the do-nothing Congressmen and women who have been supported by the Super Rich so that nothing will be done, so that no money will be spent, so that no new taxes will be established…so that they can enrich themselves even more. And there is not one good reason for it. As Ted Kennedy said, “When will the greed stop?”
So, yes, go vote. But vote for a man of integrity, of reason, a man in the tradition of FDR, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter. Vote for a man who listens to the advice of one Clinton…who created the largest number of jobs in any 8-year administration in this country…and was so highly regarded that the other Clinton accepted the post of Secretary of State, traveling the world to repair and build anew our image in the world.
But you vote Democratic, you must vote Democratic right down the line. We have seen the worst Senate and House of Representatives since before the Civil War. It is that bad. The Republicans have sold out to the billionaires and the corporations. Our only security is to vote them all out and push the Democrats even harder for a full employment economy while we build new industries and bring jobs back from Asia. Only the Democrats will do this.
A vote for Romney, a deca-millionaire or more…he won’t show his tax forms…is a vote not for the wealthy, but for the Super-Rich. They are driving the bus. They are the ones telling their pal Mitt to cut taxes to 25%, no matter how it affects you, and to lie to you about what will happen then. Don’t believe it. History is not on your side. History shows that they will do anything for the Super-Rich who fund them…lie, cheat and steal…your Social Security, your sons’ or daughters’ lives, your home equity, your Medicare and now your health care…if you vote Republican.