Saturday, August 4, 2012

Part V: Digganalysis of Romney's 59 Point 'Plan'

Part V of the Digganalysis of Romney’s 59 point plan is a quick peak into Romney’s labor and fiscal policies and an overarching summary of the grand plan. The italics are the words directly taken from the plan in the third person.  My commentary follows.

·         “’Card Check’ was the top item on the union wish list, which is unsurprising, since it goes right to the heart of current union woes about declining membership. This change, strongly supported by President Obama…” This is another GOP red herring along with President Obama will take your guns away.  If this was so important to President Obama, he would have pushed it through during 2009 while the Democrats controlled the house.  If anything President Obama has turned his back on organized labor for NOT pushing ‘Card Check’ and for staying out of the Wisconsin battle on union powers.

·         “In using borrowed funds and taxpayer money to bail out General Motors and Chrysler, the Obama administration dispensed special favors to organized labor.”  This passage is indicative of the entire Romney plan: nice headline - nothing to back it up.  In fact union concessions were significant in terms pay scales and overtime, so while Romney worries that the benefits package at the Big Three is greater than other workers.  This completely misses the point.  Instead of attacking the healthcare benefits enjoyed by union workers, he should asking non-union businesses  why are they continuing to restrict healthcare access and cut benefits. The foreign car manufacturer who sets up in Alabama enjoys the benefits of right to work states and in the process you have one of the most uneducated and unhealthy states in the country.  He is missing the big picture. 

·         “As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney helped create an on-the-job program that reimbursed private companies for training expenses.” But what was the outcome?  How many jobs were created by this program?  Massachusetts was 47th in the nation during Romney’s tenure as governor.  The important thing is not the plan, but the outcome.  In the case of Romney’s job creation skills as governor, the outcomes do not match the rhetoric.

·         “One traditional yardstick of gauging whether government is living within its means is spending as a percentage of GDP. Since the 1950’s, federal spending has hovered around 20 percent of GDP.  When president Obama took office, it shot up to 25 percent.” Once again, a great headline but let’s dig deeper.  In citing historic numbers, Romney fails to mention that under Reagan and Bush spending as a percent of GDP skyrocketed and this during recoveries. While under Clinton, we experienced tremendous economic growth and spending as a percent of GDP went DOWN.  As for the Obama spending, Romney fails to mention that every economist says that in order to kick start a recovery, governments need to act by providing stimulus after the economy (GDP is the measure) contracts.  Do we wish GDP was higher?  Absolutely, but if you listen to Romney, he is basically saying that when your economy retracts, government should cut spending.  I am not sure if he is ignorant, reckless,  or both.  No economist would recommend cutting spending in the face of a weakened economy.  If you don’t believe me, look at how well austerity is working out in Britain as it finds itself mired in a nasty double dip recession.

The Romney ‘Plan’, and I use that term lightly because plan’s include sufficient details, does include some worthwhile points: retraining of citizens, increased visas, corporate tax reform, and long term spending controls.  The problem, err problems, with Romney’s plan are quite numerous:

·         The numbers do not add up.  He thinks he can further reduce taxes but not cut defense spending.

·         He talks about reducing corporate tax rates, but doesn’t say what loopholes, subsidies, or credits he will eliminate.

·         He sticks to the GOP platform that all regulation is bad while ignoring that the worst economic distresses always occur after massive cuts in regulation.

·         He embraces the Ryan Medicare plan but claims there will be no adverse impact to citizens.

·         And most embarrassingly, his plan is so vague, compared to president Obama’s American Jobs Act, that it can only be scored by making unrealistic assumptions.

He promises everything, but doesn’t indicate how he will deliver.  In the end he sounds like a teenager running for student council president promising pizza and tater tots every day, longer recess, and no detention.  Romney loves to bash President Obama about “eating our peas”, well Mitt that’s exactly what is going to need to happen and unlike you, I do not believe that the wealthy get the desserts and everybody else gets canned peas.

In the end, the Romney ‘Plan’ is hollow, but worst of all, it is bad for America.

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