By Jack Jodell, Jan. 11, 2012
Early signs point to Mitt Romney being the Republican nominee for President this year. He has amassed a gargantuan SuperPAC to do his attack ads for him and, having prepared for this run for a great many years, has also put on the ground a very formidable network of volunteers in his organization. In the next intermittent series of posts, I will clearly demonstrate why Mitt Romney is definitely NOT OUR MAN FOR PRESIDENT! I will do so by drawing from examples of his past practices, past speeches, as well as points taken from his current 59 published policy proposals. By the end of this series, you will have no doubt whatsoever that Romney must NOT succeed Barack Obama as President!
Romney has had a long history of double-talking. Way back in 1994, in an unsuccessful bid to replace Ted Kennedy as Massachusetts Senator, Romney tried to flip-flop on the touchy issue of federal funding for a woman’s right to choose. Joyce Cuhna, a womens’ rights activist, characterized Romney as being “multiple-choice” on the issue, pointing out how he had proclaimed himself pro-choice on abortion but had refused to support a Senate bill to change abortion rights into an actual law. Today, of course, as he is trying to appease party conservatives, Romney claims to be pro-life, a complete about-face. Also back in ’94, then-Kennedy press secretary Rick Gureghian probably summed it all up best by stating, “[Romney] has shown himself to be nothing more than a caricature of what is wrong in politics: windy rhetoric, little substance, no sense of humor, and recklessness with the truth.” I thought of this quip just the other day when I heard Romney say that President Obama had inherited a tough economy but had made it “worse.” This, coincidentally, was on the same day it was announced that the economy had produced 200,000 new jobs in December, a number greatly in excess of what had been anticipated. It looks to me like Romney has changed little from 1994 when it comes to telling the truth!
After his Senate defeat, Romney returned to private life and invested in Boston-based BAIN CAPITAL, a venture capital company. The company either bought or invested in a number of iconic American companies, among them Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burlington Coat Factory, Sealy, Hospital Corporation of America, Toys ‘R’ Us, Domino’s Pizza, Staples, and many, many more. Bain would typically swoop down on these businesses, lay varying numbers of people off, slash their pay and/or cut their benefits, or export their jobs overseas, and then sell the stripped-down companies, often for millions of dollars in profit and many times more than what it had originally invested. Mitt Romney grew INCREDIBLY wealthy during his time of laying off American workers with Bain Capital!
In prepation for his current run for the White House, Romney has unveiled a 59 point plan on how to reinvigorate the American economy. The plan deals with tax policy (both individual and corporate), regulatory policy, trade policy, energy policy, and labor policy. By and large, it is a plan designed to favor the status quo and roll back any structural dhanges in the economy that Obama has made. This includes a promise to repeal “Obamacare” and to end the regulations on business which have been passed during the past 3 years. In essence, it is a plan to basically benefit the richest 1% of the country, and is therefore woefully inadequate for the very real immediate needs of the bottom 99%, especially the bottom-most 20%!Regarding tax policy, for example, Romney wants to keep the individual marginal rates exactly as they are today. By this very stance alone he is proposing a continuance of the ghastly income disparity we have now. THAT is certainly no cure for what ails us at this time! He proposes to completely eliminate the inheritance tax, (the so-called “death tax”)thereby guaranteeing that wholly unproductive trust-funders can continue to live lives of unimpeded luxury while the rest of the population must compete for increasingly scarcer good jobs. He also favors an elimination of taxes on capital gains, dividends, and unterest on taxpayers whose adjusted gross income falls below $200.000. Since most of the people in that income category have little or very small amounts of income serived from those sources, this is by and large a foolish proposal to even offer, as it would provide those near or at the very bottom of the income scale who need help the most with very little practical help at all. Regarding corporate taxes, Romney pledges to lower them, even though very few corporations currently pay anywhere near what they are actually supposed to pay. Many, in fact, as in the case of General Electric, even receive tax refunds even though they have paid NO tax at all! Others, through greedy and dishonest tax-avoidance schemes, insist that their headquarters are actually outside the country or that the majority of their income is derived outside of our borders, when in fact this is patently false. Romney seems to think that by greatly reducing the corporate tax rate, American corporations will magically start paying what they actually owe and will once again start investing their profits back here in the United States. We all know this to be a ridiculously naive notion!
UP NEXT IN PART II: Romney’s proposals on business regulations and trade policy.