Thursday, October 4, 2012

Reviewing Mitt Romney's 5-Point Plan

by Ennealogic 

Reporters keep trying to get details out of candidates Romney and Ryan, details of their economic plans that are supposedly much better than President Obama’s failed plans. It’s been tough – Ryan says there’s not enough time to explain it and Romney changes the subject. Well, post-conventions, the Romney-Ryan ticket published this five-point plan for job creation in the US.  "If we do those five things I'm talking about, we're going to create about 12 million jobs in the next four years," says Mitt. I thought it would be a good idea to examine this plan and see exactly what they're proposing since 12 million is a lot of jobs. 


This sounds like Drill Baby Drill to me. Screw regulations that make coal-mining operations pay attention to watersheds and environmental destruction. Go Keystone, even though that project means no energy directly for the US, only a few hundred jobs, and the potential for environmental disaster. Overall jobs creation? Minimal. Overall disasters for our land, water and air? Massive. But if you value profits over people, I guess that's how you think. The notion that we can mine or drill our way to energy independence is like believing that praying to the tooth fairy will prevent cavities. Why is there no mention of alternative fuel research or production? Even IF we could temporarily solve our dependency on oil by drilling more here, oil is a finite resource. Methinks the R/R ticket should create a new song, “Don’t start thinking about tomorrow, maybe it’ll never come!” 

And it's not like President Obama has been a slacker when it comes to energy. He has reduced our dependency on foreign energy, has opened more lands and seas for energy exploration and drilling, and has invested in alternative energy sources that are now paying off. 


The Romney/Ryan administration would do all they could to emasculate teachers’ unions. They’d like to kill public schools by financing charter schools while promoting home schooling.  Where are the great schools and teachers going to come from to replace public education? As for affordable and effective higher education, it sounds good on paper but nothing that's been proposed in a GOP budget seems to support this notion. They are calling for cutting 20 billion for higher education, and spending $5.3 trillion less than President Obama's budget in education spending over a decade.  The only point that sort of makes sense is Romney's focus on job training (read: technical schools) vs a well-rounded college education that produces thoughtful citizens. We can build robots. We can't job train people to be inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, or caring and loving human beings. Attracting the best from around the world sounds to me like giving up on America and instead taking advantage of other countries who know how valuable a real education can be. 

Education is very important to me, and I believe our focus on educating our youth is what set us apart from other nations back in the late 1900’s. Instead, R/R seems to want to politicize education by attacking teacher unions and de-funding a public education system that produced several generations of innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, artists, and amazing productive remarkable citizens. 


We move into la-la land here. How would Romney spank China? Has he taken into consideration how many businesses already depend on China for inexpensive labor? (This reminds me of how short-sighted his (and Ryan's) policy about slashing food stamps is.  Our major food producers depend on people who are able to buy their products with food stamps.) Romney is already on record as supporting NAFTA and CAFTA. What does he mean by opening new markets, specifically in Central America? How do people in other countries become able to buy what we may produce? Maybe he's in favor of removing requirements for other countries to treat their workers well.  And nothing in these Trade bullets speaks to strengthening American manufacturing. If we have not got a solid manufacturing industry here, what exactly do we have to export? I'm also puzzled by the term "Reagan Economic Zone."  Somehow I doubt Reagan would back R/R now… 


 What programs would be on the chopping block for an immediate five percent of discretionary spending? Mssrs Romney and Ryan won't say.  From what can be discerned from their plans, the CBO says their numbers don't add up.  If we want to give the very wealthy another tax break and burden the middle class with increased taxes, we can reduce the deficit! (NOT.) Why hogtie the government to a fixed spending number when economic conditions may require something other? Oh‚ right, pass responsibility for programs over to state control, regardless of whether or not they can manage the administration of those programs or the spending they require. As for indexing pay for federal workers so it matches that of private-sector counterparts, I'd like to see some examples. The private sector people who do jobs similar to government workers are in large part contractors. The contractors may earn less than their government counterparts, but is that taking into consideration the actual amount charged to the government per worker by the contracting company? As a contractor, I don't think so. Privatizing services does not save money anyway. 

Small Business 

First, define small business. I have no problem with the notion of tax reform. In fact, I believe it is vital. But the idea that job creation is tied to corporate and individual taxes is a red herring. Nothing in Romney's plan serves to help the middle class grow to afford more goods and services. President Obama has already made sure that small business is not burdened with too-high taxes. President Obama is already examining regulations that are unwieldy when it comes to hiring new workers. Business thrives (both small and large) when citizens have money to spend on goods and services. Romney would love to eliminate labor unions, because he doesn't think the ordinary worker needs an advocate in the workplace. They should simply take what they're offered and STFU.  How does that help small business? And finally, Obamacare. Replace it. Right - with what, please? President Obama's plan already controls cost. Improving care is up to the caregivers, and the ACA already rewards better outcomes in health care. Romney has been all over the map with his defense of certain aspects of 'Obamacare' and his firm assertion that he'd repeal the entire thing. 


So, Mr. Romney, your five points are either already being implemented, or are being blocked by a GOP congress. I suppose you could postulate that if you were President, you'd be able to get bills passed (the same bills) that President Obama can't because of GOP obstructionism (read: because Obama is a black Democrat). But I don't think that's a reason to vote for you. You're a white male. You're already rich beyond imagining. You'll be fine. It's the rest of us I'm worried about, and I don't see any concern in your five-point plan for me or the rest of the 47%. And I don’t see anywhere near 12 million new jobs in your plan.


BONUS (by Patrick):

Barack Obama's message today in his speech in Denver: The real Mitt Romney didn't show up to the debate!


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