Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mitt Romney's Pants Are on Fire. Does America Want a Sleazy Serial Liar As President

Mitt Romney's Pants Are on Fire. Does America Want a Sleazy Serial Liar As President

Yesterday, Mitt Romney gave a big speech in which he accused Obama of lighting a “prairie fire of debt.” It’s a good line, and it has received widespread media coverage.

Romney’s speech has already been dissected by Jonathan Chait and Steve Benen. They note that it’s entirely at odds with conventional understanding of how deficits work, and utterly disconnected from context, rendering it almost unquantifiably misleading.

But I wanted to make another point. If you scan through all the media attention Romney’s speech received, you are hard-pressed to find any news accounts that tell readers the following rather relevant points:

1) Nonpartisan experts believe Romney’s plans would increase the deficit far more than Obama’s would.

2) George W. Bush’s policies arguably are more responsible for increasing the deficit than Obama's are.

Oh, sure, many of the news accounts contain the Obama campaign’s response to Romney’s speech; the Obama campaign put out a widely-reprinted statement arguing that Romney’s plans would increase the deficit and that he’d return to policies that created it in the first place.

But this shouldn’t be a matter of partisan opinion. On the first point, independent experts think an actual set of facts exists that can be used to determine what the impact of Romney’s policies on the deficit would be. And according to those experts, based on what we know now, Romney’s policies would explode the deficit far more than Obama’s would.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has taken a close look at this question. It has determined that relative to current policy — that is, if you keep the Bush tax cuts in place, as Romney wants to do — Romney’s tax cutting plans would increase the deficit by nearly $5 trillion over 10 years. That’s on top of keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Romney has promised to close various loopholes to pay for his tax cuts, but he hasn’t specified which ones. Until he does, the Tax Policy Center concludes, his plan would cost $5 trillion — which would be added, yes, to the deficit.

By contrast, Obama’s plans would not increase the deficit by anything close to that amount. Relative to current policy, the Tax Policy Center has found, Obama’s plan would reduce the deficit by approximately $2 trillion over the next decade. Now, under Obama, the deficit would still increase. That’s because current policy means we’re forgoing the $4.5 trillion in revenues we’d gain if we let all the Bush tax cuts expire. But neither candidate is going to do that. Obama, however, would end the Bush tax cuts for the rich and bring in revenues through a variety of other tax increases. Bottom line: relative to current policy, Obama’s plan would reduce the deficit by bringing in $180 billion or more in revenues a year, or approximately $2 trillion over 10 years; Romeny’s plan would increase the deficit by nearly $500 billion a year — $5 trillion over ten years.

The Tax Policy Center’s Roberton Williams summed it up perfectly in a quote to me:

    “The bottom line is that whatever baseline you use, until Romney makes good on his promise to pay for his tax cuts, he would increase the deficit far more than Obama would.”

On the second point, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has determined that the policies put in place under Bush are the main driver of the deficits that are projected over the next decade.

Yet anti-American PACs like American Crossroads are running ads complaining about the deficit. They support a Romney presidency and the Romney/Paul Ryan (R-WI) economic plan which will increase the deficit and mean severe cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Obama's debt bad, conservative Republican debt is good. Its the Bush 43 presidency redux. Tell the Big Lie and repeat constantly.

Another thing the current pro-Romney ads are claiming is that Romney is a job creator. We have been through this round of lies already and the Romney as job creator myth will continue. Only the numbers will never add up. If Romney practiced accounting the way he figures his jobs record he would be arrested for fraud, but since he is a conservative he gets away with pants on fire lies. The ads are only using the jobs that some companies added, but they do not count the number of jobs lost. In a rare moment of candor - Romney Camp Admits That Its Bain Job Creation Number Is Bogus

Mitt Romney, last night’s Iowa caucus winner, has been on the campaign trail claiming that the private equity firm he ran, known as Bain Capital, was responsible for creating loads of jobs. Romney responded to criticism about his time at Bain by saying, “I’m very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs.”

When a group of Romney backers ran an ad making the same claim, they were unable to back up the number with data. And as it turns out, the Romney camp can’t either, as it admitted that the statistic is nothing but cherry-picked job growth from a few companies that did well after they were bought by Bain:

    [Romney spokesman Eric] Fehrnstrom says the 100,000 figure stems from the growth in jobs from three companies that Romney helped to start or grow while at Bain Capital: Staples (a gain of 89,000 jobs), The Sports Authority (15,000 jobs), and Domino’s (7,900 jobs).

    This tally obviously does not include job losses from other companies with which Bain Capital was involved — and are based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain. (Indeed, Romney made his comments in response to a former employee of American Pad & Paper Co. who says he lost his job after Bain Capital took it private.)

Bain Capital has been responsible for thousands of layoffs at companies it bankrupted, such as American Pad & Paper, Dade International, and LIVE Entertainment, which Romney’s stat completely leaves out. He’s also taking credit for jobs created long after he left the firm to launch his political career. To sum it up, the stat Romney uses is incredibly dishonest, like much of his jobs rhetoric.

Only in conservative LalaLand could Romney be thought of as a "success". When the rich rob the middle-class to make money that is a kind of theft, not success.