Friday, November 02, 2012

The Thing About Mitt. Or Why You Should Not Vote For Him.

I will give you three extra reasons:

1.   Mitt Romney believes that he has a right to privacy but that women do not.

I don't think the right to privacy is the best defense for contraceptive and abortion access for women.  Equality of opportunity is.  But the US Supreme Court chose to use that as the justification for Roe v. Wade.

Romney doesn't want women to have privacy but he sure keeps his own affairs behind the curtain.  Thus, we are not allowed to learn how much he paid in federal taxes during the last decade.  He simply refuses to come clean.  A secretive guy.

That information matters.  Romney wants to run the budget based on taxes.  If he has carefully minimized his own contribution to our common wallet,  I want to know.  The information is relevant.  It is also relevant because Romney agrees with the view that Americans have "no skin in the game" if they don't pay federal income taxes.  Romney doesn't let people figure out how much skin in the game he might have had.

2.   Mitt Romney's tax cut proposal is a mirage.

He offers as bread and circuses, but it's only the circuses we would get:

Start with taxes. Romney has campaigned for months on the central idea that, if elected, he would implement a 20 percent income tax cut for every American (reducing the first bracket from 10 percent to 8 percent, and so on). In addition, he would reduce the corporate tax rate by nearly 30 percent and repeal the estate tax, the alternative minimum tax and certain other taxes. It’s quite simple to calculate the amount of federal revenue which would be lost through all of these cuts, and non-partisan institutions have made the calculation. They would cost the federal budget $4.8 trillion over ten years. Let’s just call it $5 trillion.
Now, Romney insists that he would cut tax deductions to offset it. Four of the biggest tax deductions are those for mortgage interest, state and local tax payments, charitable contributions and employer-provided health care. Of course, he will not disclose how far he would have to cut these back to neutralize the budget impact of the $5 trillion tax cut. That’s because only drastic reductions in them would match that sum.
Further, Romney implies that only the wealthy use these deductions so most Americans shouldn’t worry about it. That’s false. The primary beneficiaries are middle income Americans. There are 24 million middle-class families, for example, who benefit from the mortgage interest deduction. And 37 million middle-class families who don’t have to pay taxes on health care coverage through their employer. And, it is these families who would lose under the Romney tax plan.
Mitt's personal right to privacy or secrecy enters at this point, too, because he will not explain how the magical trick of implementing a revenue-neutral 20% across-the-board tax cut could happen.  It's very easy to understand that if tax rates are cut the only way to keep the total tax revenues constant is to expand the base of taxable income.

3.  Mitt Romney's ideal disaster operation consists of you with your bucket and flashlight after a hurricane

This is what he said about FEMA in 2011:
At a Republican primary debate in June of 2011, CNN’s John King asked Mitt Romney for his views on disaster relief. “FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say, ‘Do it on a case-by-case basis.’ And there are some people who say, ‘You know what, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role.’ How do you deal with something like that?”
Mr. Romney responded ““Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”

That's more likely an expression of his true feelings than what he might say now, right after a major hurricane and right before elections.  Because the idea that the private sector could do disaster aid alone is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

Disasters, by their very nature, require giant coordinated responses.  Small local firms could not cope and I can't see how they could charge their products.  Disasters do not occur at some predictable rate, and keeping that kind of a firm in a state of readiness would be very expensive. 

The most likely form such firms would take is what we have seen in operation when some of the Iraq operations were privatized.  Blackwater....

It would end up as a peudo-governmental giant bloodsucker with the kinds of powers which belong to the government.

Or we could always have that bucket-and-flashlight alternative.