By Jack Jodell, Jan. 15, 2012 second in a series
We have already seen how Mitt Romney’s proposed tax plan would greatly benefit huge corporations and the richest 1% while doing very little for the overwhelming 99% majority of those below them. So would his proposed regulatory agency overhaul. He vows to repeal “Obamacare”, which would enable health insurers to once more discriminate against and exclude from coverage millions of sick people. He proposes to likewise repeal Dodd-Frank, which was passed directly as a result of the lack of effective regulation on Wall Street which very nearly pushed our economy into a second Great Depession in 2008! Such an embrace of libertarian and reactionary Republican principles of unimpeded “free market” economics is unthinkable to all but the staunchest, most misguided proponents of the disastrous former economic sustem we amended barely over 2 years ago! Romney’s disdain for regulation and his “reform” proposals belie his unfounded fears rather than past history or economic reality. His plan states “A new regulation can suddenly transform a profitable investment into an unprofitable one or render employees unproductive.” Such poppycock! What about greedy, unproductive speculators and profiteering venture capitalists, whose actions result in higher commodity prices and putting people out of work just so a very small few can realize enormous profit? REALLY, ROMNEY! Romney has also been highly critical, like many conservatives, of the Environmental Protection Agency. He basically accuses the EPA of overreach and claims its regulations unnecessarily drive up costs. He accuses the President of having unleashed a “regulatory onslaught”, even as our Gulf of Mexico is still engulfed in the horrible aftereffects of the BP oil spill and the notorious Koch Brothers continue to pollute our air and water in record amounts. I would suggest that Romney’s disdain for the protection the EPA and other watchdog groups provide is misguided, and all attempts by him or others to roll back necessary business regulation be stopped cold!
As President, Mitt Romney also proposes to reform our legal system to give more power back to the states and remove it from the federal government in the process. Like many conservatives, he wants to limit class-action lawsuits and the size of damages they award. This, of course, is greatly beneficial to large corporations and will protect them from too great a loss in the event they are found negligent or their products are found to be harmful to the public. We’ve sure got to protect those profits and dividend checks now, don’t we, Mitt? His unabashed use of corporate money in setting up a huge SuperPAC, as well as his comment to a heckler last August that “corporations are people, my friend” show convincingly that Romney agrees with the Supreme Court’s HORRIBLE Citizens United decision, and would be very prone to adding to the Supreme Court’s slim and terrible conservative majority if elected President. That is another of a powerfully long and important line of reasons why he must NOT be!
Regarding trade policy, the so-called “Massachusetts moderate” favors the implementation of pending “Free Trade” agreements, disastrous though they have been to American workers and wage levels within our borders. He accuses labor unions of causing President Obama to stall on these agreements, even as wages continue to stagnate and drop here and employee benefits diminish and/pr disappear. He considers the Trade Adjustment Assistance proposal an “ill-conceived piece of legislation”, even though the TAA would provide American workers whose jobs have been lost due to outsourcing with job training, extended unemployment pay, and relocation allowances. He dismisses it all as “redundant” and “a direct handout.” Easy for a trust-funder like HIM to say, since HE has never been victimized by outsourcing and has instead profited tremendously from it!
Romney’s stated plans on energy policy should alarm each and every American who values conservation and a clean environment. Why? Because he proposes to enable the President to dast-track the granting of permits for energy exploration. We all know that in the wrong hands, this would allow mining and drilling operations to occur virtually anywhere, even in currently restricted and protected natural parks, wildlife havens, populated offshore areas – anywhere and everywhere. He, like most Republicans, favors the quick construction of what would be a disastrous Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Mexico. This, of course, poses numerous environmental risks all along its proposed route across the nation’s richest farmland. There is no effort whatsoever toward conservation, as Romney is clearly pandering to short-sighted energy consumers who share his “drill, baby. drill” mentality. Equally as menacing is his proposal to amend the Clean Air Act to EXCLUDE the regulation of carbon! It flies right in the face of findings by the worldwide scientific community, and would undoubtedly please the ever-polluting Koch Brothers to no end. This is clearly a man who places short-term profits and desires well ahead of the long-term common good of the country, It is indicative, too, of Romney’s lack of concern for a clean environment.
In all of these endeavors, Romney opts for the profits-now, pay-later approach to governing. So long as the uppermost 1% can make more money, he’s all for it, no matter what the consequences may be for the remaining 99% of us. This will be made even more evident in my wrap-up post, out in a few days, which will deal primarily with Romney’s labor and foreign affairs/defense policies.