After getting a look at the proposed spending cuts by a potential Romney administration, I asked myself the following: why would any rational person vote for this? No doubt some of this is simply rhetoric to win over some voters in the hard-right base but how is this appealing to the alleged swing or independent vote? I don’t understand it and the details are rather shocking.
The first two sentences of the article say a lot:
Reducing government deficits Mitt Romney’s way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education. Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more.
Romney is obviously wanting to look tough on defense but the important element to note here is that will always come at the cost of other programs. But this increase in defense spending begs a question regarding recent reality. Didn’t we just finish one war in Iraq and aren’t we winding down another in Afghanistan? How and why are we needing to increase defense spending as we finish two wars? Shouldn’t the only conversations about defense spending at the moment be regarding what cuts will be made now that the wars are over or coming to an end? Shouldn’t we be discussing how to divert some of that defense spending to shore up some of the domestic programs that need it for the long term like Medicare?
My fault. I forgot Romney wants to end Medicare. As stated in the article he supports the Ryan plan “to gradually transform Medicare from a program that directly pays hospital and doctor bills into vouchers for subsidizing future beneficiaries in buying health insurance.” Make no mistake about this being a plan to end Medicare and actually make things worse for everyone in the long run. One of the reasons Medicare is expensive is because the elderly are typically needing to use medical care more than the young for obvious reasons. If Medicare is ended and those folks are put into the private insurance pool through vouchers, premiums will go up for everyone as insurance companies will have to cover the higher expenses of the elderly. Not to mention, if the Supreme Court throws out all of the Affordable Care Act in June, insurance companies will have no obligation to carry the elderly with preexisting conditions and will be able to drop them when they get sick. The potential disaster should be clear.
Then there is Medicaid. Romney wants to turn it over to the states in the same way welfare was turned over in the mid-’90s and became a disaster once the economy hit a downturn. (I’ve addressed this failure here so I won’t be redundant.) The ability to divert that money into other programs by the states in the same way welfare money is diverted will just lead to more poor people not getting health care. “An Urban Institute study last year estimated that Ryan’s cuts would force between 14 million and 27 million people off of Medicaid by 2021. Romney’s budget would make deeper cuts.” Note the word “force” in that quote. Not help people find a way off. Force. Just as Jesus taught us, right conservatives?
One last piece of the article to address:
At issue are these programs, just to name a few: health research; NASA; transportation; homeland security; education; food inspection; housing and heating subsidies for the poor; food aid for pregnant women; the FBI; grants to local governments; national parks; and veterans’ health care. Romney promises to immediately cut them by 5 percent. But they would have to be cut more than 20 percent to meet his overall budget goals, assuming veterans’ health care is exempted.
Some of these speak for themselves and speak volumes about conservative priorities. A lot of attacks on the poor since they don’t contribute their $peech to campaign coffers and do not vote in high numbers so these attacks always go on without much of a fight from the people they affect. And just to drive that point home, Romney (and Ryan) would also cut “food stamps, school lunches, crop subsidies, Supplemental Security Income for very poor seniors and disabled people, unemployment insurance, veterans’ pensions and refundable tax credits to the working poor.” Who says Romney is out of touch with the working class and the poor? Clearly he notices them when it comes to his budget proposals. And remember, this isn’t cutting spending alongside defense cuts. It’s cutting this spending because of defense increases.
But hey, let’s look at the bright side of all these cuts. We will have plenty more bombs to blow stuff up with if Romney gets his way. And those will help tremendously in improving our schools, health care, and economy for the future by comparison to the rest of the world. Think about it. Any country that hasn’t already passed us in health care and education and that starts to come close to us and make us look bad, we can blow up their hospitals and schools and maintain our mediocrity in comparison to the rest of the industrialized world. Yay, bombs!