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.

Mitt Romney - photo by World Affairs Council of Philadelphia2 – MEDICARE

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.

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EconomyElection 2012Financial RegulationGovernmentHealth CarePolitics

#Affordable Care Act#free market#health care#job creator#medicare#middle class#Mitt Romney#obamacare#regulations#spending#taxes#wall street#wealthy

  • Jeff

    No one will read this, but I will make the comment anyways. Someone in America needs to put on their big-boy pants and make some changes to our government’s finances. We are a lot closer to Greece and Spain than to where we need to be. Our spending is extremely out of control and Obama is not doing anything about it. Raising taxes on ‘millionaires and billionaires’ (how is a person making $250,000/year a millionaire?) will have a minimal affect. Lower taxes to stimulate spending by real people, which leads to more jobs and a broader tax base. It’s a win-win for everyone. Increasing fuel production will create jobs (but in Republican areas like Texas, Louisiana and the Dakota’s) which also increases the tax base and expands our economy. Obamacare is hurting job growth because companies need to pay more per individual they hire. If hiring an employee costs $100,000 for salary and benefits vs. $80,000 before Obamacare, it will affect hiring. If you have $400,000 to hire new employees, you can only hire 4 not 5. Spread that over the country and it can add up. Somehow a bunch of Obama supporters got exemptions. Go figure. Social Security and Medicare are in trouble. Romney wants to start solving the problem now, not pushing it back 4 more years. Obama stated in the first debate that Medicare’s lifespan is 6 years longer under his plan than Romney’s, so he isn’t going to touch it. This just pushes it off to the next president. That person might actually have integrity and not blame his predecessor. Whoever is elected needs to do something to the government’s finances even if it stings a little bit. It’s not going to be easy and might even cost some political points, but in the end it will be better than the status quo.

    • The problems you describe are not solved by a laissez-faire approach to governing. Putting on the big boy pants does not involve extending the Bush tax cuts and decreasing them a further 20% across the board. There is nothing adult about that position. It is the utmost in political pandering to promise a tax cut to citizens. A president who actually does what is necessary to fix the economy and fix health care, extend Medicare and protect Social Security, well, that’s putting on the big boy pants. Medicare does have problems, and the cost savings that are part of Obamacare do indeed extend the life of Medicare’s solvency but plenty more needs to be done, and it should not include privatization. Social Security, on the other hand, is NOT in trouble no matter how much people repeat that it is. It needs to be adjusted (like it has been many times in the past) to keep it solvent. On this point, I will concede that Democrats are many times unreasonable when it comes to ideas like raising the retirement age or means testing, but I can also understand their reluctance to change SS as it could be seen as opening the door to eventual big changes or even privatization. But Social Security is a very successful program that’s been around longer than most people have been alive. There is no reason it cannot continue to be successful if we stop the partisan nonsense and work to keep it that way.

  • Richard

    Jeff: A person making $250,000/year that isn’t a millionaire should be one in short order. Millionaires are measured by net worth, not income nor liquid assets. Lowering taxes doesn’t stimulate significant spending by real people because they won’t pocket much of any change – most of their taxes are payroll taxes which can’t get much lower without breaking the system, and their federal taxes run from the low thousands to nonexistent.
    Finally, your math on Obamacare is wrong. The companies that will have to pay more are the ones who are already doing insurance wrong. I’m insane enough to work for small business – the only one with a job for me in the area – that contributes minimally for coverage to my wife and daughter – my premium contribution is $10,000/yr, an insane amount of money for someone my age. Health insurance is supposed to be a benefit, not a program my employer uses to subsidize costs of their older employees. I’d switch to private insurance, which will likely be 1/3rd the cost, but with the laws favor employers heavily both in case of taxes and continuous coverage. There’s nothing I can do about it. That goes away with Obamacare. Heck, that’s almost the only thing Obamacare does. If you work for a large employer they are self insured and very little will change anyway.