Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How Elections Work: Romney and Obama

Elected... Alice

   Republican Presidential candidate Mitt (Mitt) Romney, and his running mate for Vice President, Paul Ryan, don't seem to understand how elections work.
   In past elections, especially those for the highest office in the land, candidates have traditionally put forth their policies, and how they intend to achieve their goals in some detail, before the election... not after.
   That's usually the way it goes. But Mitt and Paul want to do away with all of that. Do away with all of those burdensome details on how they intend lower tax rates for everyone by $500 billion a year, increase defense spending by 4%, repeal cost savings through the Affordable Health Care Act by repealing the Act itself, and balance the federal budget.
   How specifically are you going to do that Mitt? Magic?
   Something like that, yeah.
   "Well, that's something Congress and I will have to work out together," he told Scott Pelley on "60 Minutes," Sunday night.
   Pelley: "You’re asking the American people to hire you as president of the United States. They'd like to hear some specifics."
   Romney: "Well, I can tell them specifically what my policy looks like. I will not raise taxes on middle income folks. I will not lower the share of taxes paid by high-income individuals. And I will make sure that we bring down rates, we limit deductions and exemptions so we keep the progressivity in the code and we encourage growth in jobs."
   Pelley: "The devil’s in the details, though. What are we talking about — mortgage deduction, the charitable deduction?"
   Romney: "The devil’s in the details; the angel is in the policy, which is creating more jobs."
   Pelley: "You have heard the criticism, I’m sure, that your campaign can be vague about some things, and I wonder if this isn’t precisely one of those things."
   Romney: "It’s very much consistent with my experience as a governor. Which is if you want to work together with people across the aisle, you lay out your principles and your policy, you work together with them but you don’t hand them a complete document and say take it or leave it. Leadership is not a take it or leave it thing; there’s too much of that in Washington."
   So what is Romney saying in plain English rather than political gibberish?
   "I'm going to tell the electorate what they want to hear without providing any specifics on how I'm going to do what they want, so you're just going to have to trust me. And once elected I'm going to do whatever I want because then it will be too late for anyone to do anything about it."
   Mitt wants to leave the American people out of the decision making process by dismissing the possibility of an informed vote. 
   "Trust me and believe everything I tell you even if it doesn't make any sense, and the numbers don't add up right now. Believe what I tell you and not the arithmetic. After you elect me to the presidency, when I've got the job for four years I'll some how change the laws of physics and make the math add up, and  keep the BS promises I made before you elected me, except I really won't be able to because the math doesn't add up, and I'll wind up screwing the middle class, just like I said I wouldn't do, while giving more tax breaks to my wealthy buddies and corporations, which you should have known I was going to do because the math didn't add up to begin with, you dumb morons."  
   That's what Mitt's saying.
   He's even saying he's not going to provide any specifics to Congress when trying to pass legislation to advance his "policies." I wonder how that works.
   His running mate, of course,  isn't any better.
   When asked why he wasn't providing any details about his and Romney's economic plans, such as how they would deal with medicare and social security, Ryan said, "Because we want to get it done."
   That's all very well and good, but how about if people don't want it done to them?!
   That's what the voting process is all about. The more information available the better the voters are equipped to make an informed decision.
   Apparently the Romney campaign believes the American people don't need that kind of info.
   If I'm running for office I can tell you anything. I'm going to provide full employment. I'm going to get the Israelis and Palestinians to hug each other and make up. I'm going to guarantee Iran doesn't become a nuclear power. I'm going to end poverty in the United States. I'm going to see to it that all Americans become rich. I'm going to end war. I'm going to fix social security and medicare. I'm going to stop illegal immigration. I'm going to give every American a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage, and a strawberry lollipop.
   That sounds great Rick. I'm sure gonna give you my vote. Err, how again exactly are you going to accomplish all of these things.
   Oh you don't have to worry about that. We'll work out the details once I'm elected. Trust me.
   Just trust me. Trust me, trust me, trust me.
   Mitt's asked voters to trust him in the past, like when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts and said he'd been filing tax returns as a resident, and he hadn't. He was caught red handed. And he's lied again, and again during this campaign. Still he asks us to just trust him.
   "I've paid all of my taxes," he says. Just trust him, because he won't give out his tax returns.
   Mr Romney doesn't mind asking quite a lot.
   Granted, electing someone to office is a hit or miss proposition inherently, and depends a great deal on trusting the personal integrity of the individual candidate to carry out promises made during their campaign. Not many live up to that standard. I can't think of any who live up to that standard.
    The Republican House campaigned on creating jobs, but have done nothing in that regard after winning the election, preferring to wage a war against The Affordable Health Care Act and women's health.
   Scott Walker did not campaign in Wisconsin on destroying labor unions, but that's what he's tried to do since gaining office.
   Obama sure hasn't kept all of his campaign promises (PolitiFact rates him thusly: Promises kept 192 or 38%, Compromise 73 or 14%, promises broken 84 or 17%, stalled 47 or 9%, in the works 110 or 22%, not yet rated 2 or 0%), and to a large degree he is to blame for that.
   Yet again, to a large degree  he is not responsible. The President has faced an unprecedented degree of Republican obstructionism never before seen by a Democratic or Republican President.
   So how does the electorate make an informed decision given the fact that it is a certainty (considering how things in Washington work) that candidates will not keep all of the promises made by them during their campaigns, and that once elected candidates are essentially free to do whatever they want.
   The electorate is forced to become fortune tellers, to predict how candidates will act once they are elected. Fortunately we do have at our disposal some clues, like personal characteristics of said candidates, such as integrity. And we have history. To a degree we can tell what a person will do in the future by what they have done in the past.
   Also, do the candidates offer specifics or vague generalities?
   We've just been exploring that very question in regards to Mr. Romney. He offers little specifics, while the President's policies are already in effect and on record. In other words, you know exactly what your getting with Mr. Obama (to a large degree. In all fairness the Obama Administration has been vague regarding what it would do toward Social Security reform if he were reelected. The possibility of the President using a lower inflation indicator toward recipient's cost of living increases exists as a bargaining chip for a deal with Republicans over automatic budget cuts scheduled for 2013. America's Senator, Bernie Sanders is working hard to prevent this from happening).
   Is the candidate for the most part truthful? Do they use lies and distortions to advance their campaign? Let's see:
   You decide.   
   Do the candidates policies conform to the voters values and do they work in the real world? 
   Interesting points. Here's what Romney said Sunday night in regards to health care:
   "Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people — we — if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and — and die. We — we pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care," Romney said. "And different states have different ways of providing for that care."
   Pelley pointed out, "That's the most expensive way to do it."
   "Diff — different, again, different states have different ways of doing that. Some — some provide that care through clinics. Some provide the care through emergency rooms. In my state, we found a solution that worked for my state," Romney explained. "But I wouldn’t take what we did in Massachusetts and say to Texas, 'You’ve got to take the Massachusetts model.'"
   Let me get this straight, Mr. Romney wants to repeal Obamacare which provides health insurance for Americans previously not covered, and turn over national health care concerns back to the states (i.e. insurance companies) and guarantee free health care to all via emergency rooms, for which tax payers get the bill, while advocating Romneycare in Massachusetts, that mandated  every resident of Massachusetts obtain a state-government-regulated minimum level of health care insurance coverage and which provided free health care insurance for residents earning less than 150% of the federal poverty level, at the same time stating his Massachusetts plan isn't for everyone.
   The good people at Raw Story sent me this article yesterday morning. Here's the link:
   They're always sending things like this. Here are a few observations made by other readers:

   You can't go to the ER to get CHEMOTHERAPY, Mitt..
   You can't go to the ER to get RADIATION THERAPY, Mitt..
   You can't go to the ER to get PRE-NATAL CARE, Mitt..
   You can't go to the ER to get NUTRITIONAL ASSISTANCE, Mitt..
   You can't go to the ER to get PREVENTATIVE CARE, Mitt..
   You can't go to the ER to get DENTAL CARE, Mitt..
   You can't go to the ER to get EYEGLASSES OR VISION TESTS, Mitt..
   You can't go to the ER to get DIABETES TREATMENTS, Mitt..
   What the FUCK is this depraved excuse for a human being doing running for President
? -Sandy Berman

   Sure, Mitt. Health care through emergency rooms is just fine. Except it is the most expensive health care on the planet. And passes all its costs on to others. And it is the most inefficient form of health care when it comes to health planning and prevention because it waits until there is an emergency. But clearly it meets your standards, Mitt. Your standards for those whom you have written off, that is. Because you're rich and above it all. -Ritorna Vincitor

   Well said! And here I thought he was such a brilliant businessman. We just HAD to elect him because of his business acumen. Since when is it good business to pay as much as you possibly can for inferior products/services? -Nick_1

   This post is not intended to give any kind of comprehensive comparison between the two candidates now running for President.
   That's your job dear readers. It's your duty as American citizens to become experts on the candidates and the issues our country currently faces, and to make an informed judgment on who and what to vote for come November 6th; not to vote because your spouse is voting that way, or your parents are voting that way, or because of where you live, or because your church has told you to vote a certain way, or because all of your friends are voting a certain way, or because Fox so-called News, or Rush Limbaugh, or MSNBC, or CNN, or The View suggests a certain way to vote.
   It's your job to independently search out the facts as best you can and make up your own mind.
   All I've done in this post is hint at some guidelines to consider, and pretty much let the cat out of the bag as to who I'm going to vote for. Please don't tell anyone.
   The candidate I'm voting for is not perfect. No one is perfect. But considering the alternative choice, I feel very good about who it is I am voting for, and if he wins, the future of this country.

Paul Krugman: Romney as the Optimism Fairy... Everything's Going to be Just Fine... If I Win

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