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Sunday, April 15, 2012

If You’re Leaning Toward Romney

So, you might vote for Romney for President.  Let me ask you some questions.

Do you work hard to earn your wages?
Of course you do.  Guess what, you’re going to have to work more hours -- another job maybe -- in order to pay for the tax breaks that Romney has in store for the richest 1% in our society.  First, he will extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  Second, he will lower the highest personal tax rate (it’s now at 35%), lower the corporate tax rate to 25%, cut out the 15% tax on capital gains, and then help the rich not to have to pay any substantial taxes on their inheritances.

Guess what? YOU will be the one paying for those breaks for the rich because the Treasury doesn’t have the money to do it, as it stands now.  So, the worth of your paycheck will automatically shrink when Romney gives YOUR money to his very rich friends!

Do YOU like your job(s)?
Of course you do.  But, guess what?  Your job is not safe.  Romney has no problem with seeing people fired.  He has been part of a high level consulting business that got rid of jobs to strengthen companies (“do more with less“).  Romney is a businessman who would have no qualms about encouraging his friends and fellow businessmen to move their businesses overseas if that was needed to increase profits.  In fact, as head of Bain Capital, his primary goal was not job creation, but making corporations more valuable by being more profitable. This meant embracing aspects of capitalism that have unsettled some Americans: laying off workers when necessary to gain profit, expanding overseas to chase profits and paying top executives significantly more than employees on lower rungs (Washington Post).
 
Are you a union worker or a government worker?
Oh, oh!  Your job is very vulnerable.  Romney favors neither and makes no bones about it.   Andrew Sum, a professor of economics at Northeastern University, says the unemployment rate fell when Romney was Governor of Massachusetts only because people were leaving the workforce in droves during Romney’s term. Just one state had a bigger drop in its labor force during the same period, according to Sum — that was Louisiana, which was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“There was not one measure where the state did well under his term in office. We were below average and often near the bottom,” said Sum, who is also the director of Northeastern’s Center for Labor Market Studies.

If that’s not clear enough for you, how about the fact that Romney has promised, in writing, to reduce the overall federal workforce by 10%!  That’s not all.  Again, in writing: “One of Mitt Romney’s most important goals is peeling away…layers of bureaucracy…”  He believes that there are many government functions and services that can be better performed by the private sector, and cites Amtrak as one example (would be interesting to see how many Amtrak employees would get laid-off if there were no more government subsidies). 

And, finally, Romney believes fervently that there are many federally-funded functions and services that state governments can better manage.  He cites Medicaid as the major example. 

But, what YOU need to know is that Romney wants to subject every federal government program and budget to a top-down review to see if they can be run more efficiently elsewhere.  So here’s the question for you: what happens when all these programs get sent to the states for administration and management, but the federal dollars that were spent on staff and administration don’t follow along?   (To save money at the federal level, often what happens is that programs devolved to the states don’t have enough administrative money attached and therefore the service or function has to be run by state staff who are already overburdened because of cut-backs).  The service or function becomes less effective, and recipients suffer.  All of this, while you, as a federal worker, are being kicked out of a job, or as a state worker are being overburdened and under-paid! 

How about that paycheck?  Expecting Romney to increase it?
Sorry,  that’s not going to happen, for all the reasons given above.  But there’s something else.  Romney supports a national budget (put together by Republican Representative Paul Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee) that is aimed right at YOU.  It’s going to cost you more money out of that paycheck to cover the cuts they plan to make, and the breaks for the rich they plan to give away. 

And how about health care?
Well, here’s the story:  get ready to pay higher premiums, get fewer benefits and maybe actually lose what you have gained under Obamacare.  Romney will get rid of Obamacare, starting on his first day in office (that is, if the Supreme Court has not done it for him).  Got a child in their 20’s on your health insurance?  Gone.  Got some extra benefits for a disabled child?  Gone.  Had some extra help for your mother or father’s prescriptions?  Gone.  Your wife had some preventive services like mammograms free?  Gone.  A child had a pre-existing condition that no longer kept them uncovered like under your old insurance.  That will be Gone.  Got rid of that lifetime cap on your health services?  Sorry -- it’s coming back to haunt you!
Everything you started to get used to under Obamacare will be gone, and you will be left holding the bag.  You’re going to pay more, get less, and wonder what the hell happened! 
Worse, private insurance conglomerates will have free rein to do everything they can to take more of your money and to give you very little in return.  You will be screwed on health care if you vote for Romney.  Too bad…

And, one more thing: did you have plans to get re-trained for a better-paying job?
Forget-about-it!  One of the first things Romney wants to do is to take all the federally-funded job training programs, consolidate them, and then return funding and responsibility for job training to the states.  Besides the problem with administrative dollars that I mentioned before, “consolidate” means to combine them all into one pot; a fatal mistake since individual job-training programs are usually aimed at distinct constituencies in order to provide specific training for specifically-needed skills.  Combining these into one pot means that training or re-training will be made into “one size fits all”, rendering job-training impotent from the start as mostly irrelevant to what people need!

So, let’s say you want training in a specific area, like computer programming in health care settings.  You go to a state office of labor, and ask if they have any job training for your specific need.  Nope, they just have one job re-training program available because of “consolidation.”  Take it or leave it! 

You want to be able to afford a house and one or two cars? Romney wants a car elevator to accommodate his four cars in his renovated mansion in the tony La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego  .  There’s also a planned outdoor shower and a 3,600-square foot basement — a room with more floor space than the existing home’s entire living quarters.  Those are just some of the amenities planned for the massive renovation, according to plans on file with the city.

Romney's luxury-home portfolio includes a six-bedroom contemporary sitting on 11 choice acres along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, in the resort town of Wolfeboro, N.H. Real estate experts value the 5,400-square-foot residence there plus separate guest house, boathouse and stable at around $7-10 million. News reports indicate that the Romney's upgraded their Wolfeboro property with tennis courts and other amenities.
The family also has a townhouse outside of Boston in Belmont, MA covering a mere 2,100 square feet and assessed at $773,000. We should also mention the Romney's 9,514-square-foot extravaganza in the plush skiing resort of Park City, Utah, sold in 2009.  

One home that doesn’t usually get reported is "a white-sided cottage on a sandy ridge overlooking Lake Huron in Grand Bend, Ontario – a property purchased in 1950 by Mitt Romney’s father George”, says Politico. 

What's notable about Romney's real-estate holdings, including the townhouse, is how totally they physically separate him from the rest of humanity  (Huffington Post).  It is also reported by Politico that the Romney's have other property holdings that would be considered commercial in nature.

You want to be able to afford a few luxuries (like maybe a 50-inch HDTV), and live well?  
Besides the four cars in San Diego, and the car elevator, and the huge underground family room, Romney boasts a few other items like:

-- a lobbyist.  He's already spent more than $20,000 on a lobbyist to help expedite the approval process through the city government  for all the renovations to his San Diego property
--staying in nine of the most exclusive hotels in the country, which all share in common that they are "Luxury Hotels of the Romney Campaign," as revealed in federal campaign;  filings.   Is this what you would call “fiscal responsibility”?

--the Romney campaign also unveiled their charter plane — an Embraer jet equipped with 50 seats 

“Between Cadillacs, NASCAR (owners), and $10,000 bets, Romney certainly has done his fair share to demonstrate an inability to understand the economic challenges facing most Americans,” Bill Burton, of the Obama-allied Priorities USA, wrote this month. “Americans (should) understand that Romney’s policies would primarily help himself and other extremely wealthy individuals at the expense of the middle class.”

So -- you want to vote for Romney because you believe all the rhetoric about his being a job-creator with business experience.  You believe all that stuff about him being the answer for our ills -- that he can get things moving again.  You believe that Romney  being President will help you get better benefits, a better job, or a better life?  You think Romney has the skills to turn the economy around and make your life better?  Then you haven’t got a clue. 

The stark truth is -- Your interests are NOT Romney’s interests. Vote for him and you vote against yourself!

The results will be fewer jobs, greater control of your paycheck and benefits by the richest 1%; higher food and gas prices (inflation everywhere to satisfy the appetites of the businesses and corporations that will control every aspect of your life), and a threat to your well-being.  More next time.