Posts Tagged ‘mitt romney’

Decoding Romney’s platform

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

I honestly have no idea what Mitt Romney will do as President. Who will show up on day 1? The self-described “severe conservative” from the primaries or the moderate from the debates? I really have no idea what this guy stands for.

I looked at the spending page on his web site to try to learn more about his platform. A few things stood out to me:

Reduce Waste And Fraud — Savings: $60 Billion. The federal government made $125 billion in improper payments last year. Cutting that amount in half through stricter enforcement and harsher penalties yields returns many times over on the investment.

This is confusing to me. If you know that $125B of the payments you made were improper (you’d have to know which payments in order to get that number), why wouldn’t you cut that amount to zero? What are these payments? Who’s getting paid? What?

His plan to cap federal spending at 20% of GDP says this:

Requires spending cuts of approximately $500 billion per year in 2016 assuming robust economic recovery with 4% annual growth, and reversal of irresponsible Obama-era defense cuts

GDP growth hasn’t been at 4% in about 13 years (source). Why you would assume Clinton-era growth in this economic climate is beyond me.

The bigger issue is that he seems to promise all these things (20% tax cut, increased military spending) without calling out what he’s going to cut to balance the books. When asked this in the debate, he brought up PBS (0.0012% of the federal budget). There are two possible reasons for not telling us what he’ll cut: either he doesn’t know (thus his assurances of balancing the budget are meaningless) or he doesn’t think we’ll vote for him if he tells us. Could be both.

For the record

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

During the foreign policy debate, Mitt Romney referred to Syria as Iran’s “route to the sea”. They don’t actually share a border, and Iran already borders the sea:

Flip Flip Ctd.

Friday, October 12th, 2012

From The Onion:
Romney Proudly Explains How He’s Turned Campaign Around: ‘I’m Lying More,’ He Says

“The best part is, it’s really easy to lie,” said Romney, who added that voicing whatever untruths come into his mind at any given moment is an easy thing to do because all it requires is opening his mouth and talking. “For example, if someone accuses me of having a tax plan that makes no discernable sense, I just lie and say that I do have a tax plan that makes sense. I also say there is a study that backs up my plan. See that? Simple. None of it is remotely true, of course, but now we’re moving on to the next topic because people are usually too afraid to ask me straight up if I’m lying, because that is apparently not something you ask someone who is running for president.”

One of those funny-because-it’s-true things.


Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Consistency in the opinions of politicians over time is something that is over-valued in American politics. Being labeled a flip-flopper is certainly a bad thing. However, it’s important to note that there are different reasons to change one’s opinions and they can range from extraordinarily honest to cynically opportunistic. For example, if you learn new things or have new life experiences, it’s reasonable to change your opinion about things. Those of you who have known me for a while have seen me do this on a whole host of issues. With that said, changing an opinion on something important out of pure political opportunism is bad, and changing your message dramatically when speaking to different audiences is worse.

Mitt Romney is doing a lot of the second type of this. He has had that reputation for a long time now (for example, on abortion), but it really showed during the first debate. Romney went from being a self-described “severe conservative” to acting like a moderate very abruptly. Steering towards the middle in the general election is normal, but Romney did it by flat-out lying about his platform. These aren’t misrepresentations or exaggerations or gray areas, they are lies. One example that stuck out is his unambiguous claim that “preexisting conditions are covered under my plan”. CNN followed up with the Romney campaign on this issue after the debate:

When pressed whether Romney would require states to include a pre-existing conditions stipulation in their legislation, Fehrnstrom answered: “We will give the state initiatives and money so that they can manage these decisions on their own. But, of course, we’d like them to see them continue that pre-existing band for those who have continuous coverage.”

Saying “we’d like states to do it” is not the same as being “part of my plan”, by any stretch of the imagination. Also, it’s not clear to me how you’d cover preexisting conditions without an individual mandate (i.e. why buy health insurance when you’re healthy if you can just wait until you’re sick?).

The sad part is, there are a lot of low-information voters who will hear Romney say this and will have no reason to question him.

Here are some more: