Believe me, the right’s approach would be much worse. But the underinsured are getting a worse deal than you think
It’s impossible for me to identify with anyone who is undecided in the middle of October, who went into the debate without a clear idea of his/her preferred candidate, or who watched last night’s debate and still came away undecided. But that’s precisely what happened; as Nate Silver points out:
A CBS News/Knowledge networks poll of undecided voters who watched the debate found 37 percent giving an advantage to Mr. Obama, 30 percent favoring Mitt Romney and 33 percent calling the debate a tie.
When I watched the debate, I came away with the distinct impression that Mitt Romney has one platform plank: President Obama didn’t do enough to fix America’s economic woes. His solution, however, is utterly nonsensical. It involves lowering tax rates, extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, more military spending, no additional taxes on the middle class … and somehow a balanced budget. Whenever Romney is pressed on this issue and told that the math won’t work, he simply replies that it will work. This is like listening to someone who believes in unicorns or a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis.
That said, if you are someone who agrees with Romney’s simple assertion, then you have made up your mind. If you’re someone who agrees with Obama that Romney’s plan is just a series of impossible platitudes and that economic recovery isn’t something that just magically happens when a president waves a magic wand, then you have made up your mind. If you’d like to hear more from Romney about how his plan will work, however, you should know that you’ll be waiting forever.
Economic recovery is a slow and painful process, especially in a democratic system characterized by checks and balances and two belligerent political parties who are actively trying to make it more difficult for one or the other to get anything done; if you want it to go faster, perhaps what you want is an authoritarian governmental system.
Now, if the economy isn’t the only issue on your mind this Fall, then the choice seems just as stark.
On the question of entitlements, you either believe Romney when he says that his 47% remark doesn’t represent what he really thinks or you believe Romney when he says that 47% of the country won’t ever vote for him because they’re lazy “takers.” On the question of guns, you either agree with Romney when he says that single-parent families are largely responsible for gun violence or you believe that we might have a broader problem with guns in our society that requires a reexamination of the notion that easy access to guns makes us free and safe. On the question of women’s rights, you either agree with Obama when he says that women ought to have more control over their health and reproductive choices than the government or you agree with Romney when he says that restricting women’s choices is one of the only things the government ought to do. And then there’s the nonsense about helping women in the workplace that Romney trotted out last night in order to demonstrate … that it takes a good man to search and search and search until he finds some women to hire (who will then need to be allowed to leave work early so they can cook dinner for their families).
Anyhow, this list goes on and on and on. I won’t even mention trade with China and war with Iran.
On these issues, the differences between these candidates couldn’t be more stark. It is almost certainly the case that being undecided at this point actually means that you haven’t thought out how you feel about these issues. So, instead of worrying about who looked more presidential, whose interruptions were more impolite, or whose disagreements with the moderator about time-keeping were more annoying, perhaps you can spend some time thinking about your beliefs on equal pay, the idea that some people are “makers” and others are “takers,” women’s reproductive health, a possible war with Iran, vouchers for services upon which seniors depend, and magical tax cuts that solve all of our economic troubles.
Doing that will probably help you if you’re undecided.
[Image: Brian Snyder/Reuters] [Source]
All around us, we see economic decline, immorality, corruption, growing secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty.
I don’t think “religious liberty” means what you think it means.
Who is in Romney’s 47 percent? People living in red states, to start…(and senior citizens, college students, and members of the military too.)
It is a well-known fact in most political circles that a large amount of “red” states get more federal funding than they pay in federal taxes. While the reasons for this are many, and it’s not necessarily a negative thing, it does highlight Republican hypocrisy, as they are the ones who are supposedly advocating for a weaker federal government, and are very critical of what they refer to as “distribution of wealth”. Well guess what? that’s exactly what this map is showing.
As someone who lives in a blue state, and a state that pays more to the federal government than we get back (California), I do not have a problem with this. So why do Republicans?
There are all sorts of qualifications that Romney should have mentioned before heaping forty-seven per cent of the population into the pile marked “dependency culture” and dismissing them…
John Cassidy Mitt Romney’s lack of clarity: http://nyr.kr/PxdBZG
Open mouth, insert foot.
" There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax."
Patton Oswalt on Obama vs. Romney.
Romney is money’s bitch. He’s ambition’s bitch. He’s success’s bitch and he’s victory’s bitch. And, like those particular sort of pampered dogs you see in the laps of the very rich, he yaps and snaps and snarls at the everyday mutt. He’s frightened and confused by a dog who’s happy to treasure the sunshine and play with the other dogs and eat enough food to fill its belly and lap enough water to slake its thirst and then get out of the way for the other dogs to have their turn. Romney’s been trained since birth that not only are there No Other Dogs But Him And His Ilk, but that dogs who don’t aspire to immobility on a fat lap are to be snarled at, chased away, and bred out of existence.
In 2010 and 2011, Mitt and Ann paid $6.2 million in federal tax on $42.5 million in income (get away from my food!!!) for an average tax rate just shy of 15 percent (get away from my water!!!), substantially less than what most middle-income Americans pay (yapyapyapyap!!!)
He’s curled up so snugly and safely in the lap of wealth that he’s never once bolted and gallivanted and lived in the world. The freedom’s there, but he’d rather put more diamond studs, more trinkets and jewels, and more frills and feathers on his too-tight collar, and double-check that his leash is double-clasped to it, never to come loose.
And there’s nothing wrong with any of that — except that Romney has zero sympathy for those who don’t feel the same way he does. And he’s infecting other people — former friends of mine, who have warped and mutated into creatures of liquid ambition, effortless greed, with zero compassion for anyone who would dare to be happy to work a job and then simply value time with their families and friends and maybe expect some reasonable amount of health care and comfort. I’m seeing too many people, people who should know better, who truly think that life should be an endless hunching over a food bowl, chasing everyone else away, without respite. Fear is the fuel, and nothing frightens them more than people who aren’t fueled by fear.
Nothing wrong with being rich. Nothing wrong with striving and bettering yourself. But there’s definitely something wrong with people confusing capitalism and corporatism (the latter wants to destroy the former) — and then demanding everyone else make the same mistake. Obama is rich — by his own hand. He made his money writing two books — and those didn’t even make him bestseller bucks until after he became president. And he’s acted, as president, the way that people who become rich and know how to spend their money act. He’s traveled the world, broadened his horizons. And in his travels, maybe, maybehe’s tried to conquer some of the fear which, let’s face it, none of us truly never rid ourselves of. But goddamnit, he’s trying. Mitt Romney is the only person I’ve ever seen who’s traveled the world in wealth and comfort and managed to narrow the canvas of his experience and opinions.
Obama has heroically, foolhardily, quixotically tried to make things work for both sides — the super-rich and the people who are genuinely repelled by the world of the super-rich. They can both live on this planet. Not according to Romney, though, who’s repeatedly said, over and over, “I believe everyone should live this way.” This statement is usually made standing on someone’s private tennis court.
Well, everyone can’t have a private tennis court. Obama understands this. Romney recoils from this. Obama wants to make a world in which every strata can live, happily, on their own terms. In recoiling from the gorgeous messiness of America, Romney is building a scrubbed-clean, fenced-off citadel, surrounded by a worker dorm shantytown.
I’m voting for Obama. I’m voting for the messiness.