Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Okay, lots of politicians flip-flop . . .

But in consecutive sentences?! Willard M. Romney:

By Shira Schoenberg, Globe Correspondent

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is already attacking President Obama’s 2013 budget, which is being released today.

The Associated Press reported that Obama’s budget would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years by cutting spending and raising taxes on the wealthy. House Republicans are already preparing their own budget that would make more cuts in entitlement programs like Medicare but would not increase taxes.

In line with the Republican view, Romney criticized Obama this morning for doing nothing to reform entitlements. “This week, President Obama will release a budget that won’t take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis,” Romney said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. “The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors. I believe we can save Social Security and Medicare with a few common-sense reforms, and – unlike President Obama – I’m not afraid to put them on the table.”

So Romney is criticizing Obama for "cutting Medicare benefits," and for not cutting them enough. Actually, as usual, he's not only contradicting himself, he's lying. Obama has not cut Medicare benefits; he has reduced payments to so-called "Medicare Advantage" plans, for-profit managed care plans that were basically bilking the government by charging more than it costs to provide standard Medicare. It's Romney and the Republicans who want to cut Medicare benefits. Those are the "common sense" reforms he's referring to, specifically turning Medicare into a voucher program.

What is truly sad about this is that the Republicans successfully ran in 2010 by accusing the Democrats of cutting Medicare. Romney is trying the same trick again, but since he really does want to cut Medicare benefits, in fact that's a core plank in his platform, he ends up with this bizarre double talk.

It's difficult to believe the voters could fall for this but they already did once. Now they're running against contraception, the successful rescue of the auto industry (for which the treasury has already gotten its money back), higher taxes for the wealthy, and the withdrawal from Iraq, all of which are highly popular. And they're trying to walk this tightwire of being the defenders of Medicare and Social Security while simultaneously being against spending money on them. I don't how whether the Koch Brothers have enough money to make this work, but nothing can surprise me any more.


roger said...

if the lies don't work to win elections the diebold will.

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