August 17, 2012 by David K. Sutton
5 Issues That Reveal Mitt Romney Is Bad For America
Mitt Romney has some bad ideas and some worse ideas for America. Here are 5 broad issues where Mitt Romney has it all wrong.
1 – TAXES
What Romney Would Do: Romney’s tax plan calls for a permanent, across-the-board 20% reduction to all marginal tax rates on personal income and maintain the current tax rates on capital gains and dividends. He would also cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.
Why It’s Wrong: Federal income tax rates are at historic lows. You don’t need to take my word for it, look it up. There is no point in history where across-the-board rates have been lower than they are now. At the same time that tax rates are historically low we have a historically high deficit, even if you take inflation into account as well as link it to GDP. There is no other way to look at it, we have a massive deficit. But this is not a surprise, given we have historically low tax rates (leading to lower than normal revenue) combined with the effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression. The reason Mitt Romney is wrong on taxes is simple: we can’t afford to continue to reduce tax rates. We need to pay for the stuff we’ve already bought. Nobody likes to pay taxes, but some of us think we need to be adults and do what’s necessary for the health of the nation.
What Romney Would Do: Romney’s plan for Medicare is to turn it into a voucher program. This means seniors will receive a coupon to go purchase health insurance on the private market. This means replacing the publicly run insurance program that is at the heart of the current Medicare system with insurance sold by private companies.
Why It’s Wrong: Romney plans to privatize Medicare, at least the insurance aspect of Medicare. It would still be run by the government, including the taxes that are collected to pay for it, but when it comes to the actual health insurance coverage, that would be handled by private insurance companies. This means ending Medicare as we know it. It may continue to be called Medicare, but it will have little resemblence to the current Medicare system that has existed for nearly 50 years. And let’s not forget that Medicare is a very popular program, usually polling from 80 to 90%. We don’t need to fix Medicare by ending Medicare. We need to strengthen it, and this means extending Medicare beyond it’s current high-risk pool of senior citizens. We need to go in the opposite direction from what Mitt Romney proposes. We don’t need more gifts to private companies to solve our problems, we need to build a robust publicly run universal health care system that doesn’t leave people behind and does a better job of controlling costs. Let’s face it, over 80% of Americans already get their insurance through a private insurance company, so we know that private insurance is not the answer for cost containment.
3 – HEALTH CARE
What Romney Would Do: Romney says he will work to repeal Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) if elected president. He says Obamacare “will take us in precisely the wrong direction.” Romney’s health care plan is to push it back to the states, allowing states to regulate their local insurance markets. The overall philosophy behind Romney’s plan for health care is to run the health care system like any other private market. The idea is that competition will lead to less waste and better products and services. This is what is referred to as the ‘free market’.
Why It’s Wrong: We don’t need more ‘free market’ ideas for our health care system. The current health care system in the United States is already a market based system, and it’s highly inefficient because of it. We have hundreds of different forms and standards to accomplish the same task because we have hundreds of different insurance providers and thousands of hospitals all with their own specific requirements. If we can standardize forms, services and practices within our health care system we will see better outcomes and better cost savings. The only way to achieve this with the best results is to have one system for all. There is no reason we need to run health care like a department store or an electronics company. When it comes to people’s health, we should not be making life or death decisions based on profits and stock prices. This is why health care insurance should not be for-profit. Profits, when it comes to your health care insurance, are simply a waste and it makes health care more expensive for everyone. This leads back to issue #2, we need to extend Medicare to all citizens. We need Medicare-for-All.
4 – REGULATIONS
What Romney Would Do: Romney’s broad plan on regulations is to reduce them as much as possible. He believes regulations are “economic burdens.” His plan is to repeal Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), repeal Dodd-Frank (Wall Street reform) and an across the board review of any other Obama-era regulations.
Why It’s Wrong: Romney’s approach is wrong because it assumes that regulations (put in place to protect citizens and consumers) will cause harm to businesses and the economy. But we have evidence throughout the past century of many work-place regulations that did not harm economic growth. In fact, when government goes out of its way to protect the “little guy” it actually turns out to have a positive effect for businesses and the wealthy as well. If government goes out of its way to build a large and robust middle class, that means a large class of workers who have the purchasing power to buy the products and services sold by businesses. It’s a win-win. Romney’s focus is in the wrong place. The Republican belief that you need to reward the “job creators” with less taxes and less regulation is wrong. Wealthy people do not need government assistance, they are doing fine thank you. When government is looking out for the poor and the middle class, it is to the benefit of the entire nation, not just a few wealthy elites.
5 – SPENDING
What Romney Would Do: Romney will cut federal spending to 2008 levels and he will cap it at 20 percent of GDP. He will also cut non-discretionary spending by 5 percent across the board.
Why It’s Wrong: This is a “no questions asked” approach to spending cuts. It doesn’t matter who it affects or who will be harmed, it’s just numbers on a spreadsheet. In the real word, people will be harmed by Romney’s plan to slash spending. But the biggest problem with Romney’s approach to spending is that it leads us back to issue #1, taxes. Under no circumstance is Mitt Romney willing to raise taxes. Romney won’t even raise the top tax rate by 4 lousy points before cutting spending to programs for the poor. This is definitely a fiscal plan that is cold and calculated and it is not what America is all about.