published Friday, October 5th, 2012

Romney's snake oil

President Obama hasth facts on his side and the best policies for advancing prosperity, tax equity, jobs and secure health care for the broad range of middle-class Americans, yet he let Mitt Romney out-punch him — often with below-the-belt hits and pure deceit — in their first presidential debate Wednesday night. Voters who don't keep tabs on the fact-checking analyses that separate distortions and falsehoods from the actual policy and budget proposals of the candidates likely would give Romney higher marks for his showy debate performance.

Romney turned out to be more aggressive and cogent in repeating his talking points, though many flipped the facts upside down. He repeatedly denied, for example, that his implausible tax cuts would add to federal debt, never mind the documented math. And he returned repeatedly to false claims, like the charge that Obama's 10-year projection for reining in Medicare spending would "cut" $716 billion from Medicare.

Both are patently false. Obama correctly emphasized that Romney's proposed tax plan, as scored by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, actually would cost $7 trillion in new debt over the next 10 years — $5 trillion for more lopsided tax cuts and $2 trillion in added defense spending — while Obama's proposed budget plan for the same period would trim federal debt by $4 trillion. Romney just kept intensely denying those findings, without once being required to make his claim add up.

Obama would largely reap his Medicare savings by eliminating the 2003 GOP-legislated Medicare subsidies for private insurers' profit margins on Medicare Part B Advantage and prescription drug policies. Obama would put those savings back into Medicare to broaden coverage, to close the prescription "doughnut hole, and to extend the life of the Medicare trust fund. Romney's plan, conversely, would dismantle Medicare for, as he said, younger Americans "under 60."

Obama failed to nail effective rebuttals, however, allowing Romney to keep pounding fallacious statements. He let Romney airbrush his aim to voucherize Medicare. He let him hammer the false claim that Obama was somehow responsible for the consequences — the revenue fall-off, deficits and fearsome 8.8 million lost jobs — of the historically deep recession that greeted Obama when he took office. He further failed to rebut Romney's fabrication that Obama wasted $90 billion on "green energy," though the energy efficiency component in the stimulus package was far smaller, and most of it went to energy conservation projects with a long return.

Most troubling, he let Romney keep sliding in the argument that his promise to lower taxes for all Americans was a way to promote broader economic growth. In fact, Romney uses that failed GOP trickle-down argument to camouflage his plan for cutting essential services while extending more big tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, who already got the lion's share of the Bush tax cuts.

Romney simply kept saying that his reckless tax cuts wouldn't reduce the top 1 percent's "share of taxes." Yet the real issue is the need to raise the disproportionately low "share" of taxes that rich corporations, billionaires and megamillionaires like Romney now pay — if they pay any taxes at all. The nation's super-rich get off with a 15 percent dividend tax rate on most of their income, while struggling middle-class families pay a higher rate. Obama didn't even ask Romney why he refuses to reveal his own tax records from 2000 to 2010, when he was sheltering most of his Bain Capital riches in off-shore tax havens in at least six foreign countries.

Even more surprisingly, he neglected to even raise Romney's deeply flawed description, taped at a Romney fundraiser, of 47 percent of Americans as nontaxpayers addicted to entitlements and leaches on government.

Romney took full advantage of Obama's reticence, plowing through debate rules and talking over moderator Jim Lehrer to assert his false framework on a range of other issues. He glibly panned Obamacare as a federal takeover of healthcare, for instance, even though it leaves private insurers and providers responsible for care, and was modeled after his own plan in Massachusetts. He praised the premise of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, yet said it, too, like Obamacare and environmental rules, needed to be repealed.

Romney's most well rehearsed talking points were largely overbearing misstatements and ficticious depictions of Obama's achievements, and of his own proposals for the past 18 months. But given his energy for the fray versus Obama's less assertive style and less pointed prescriptions, Romney might well have appeared sharper and more engaged to voters just tuning in to the race.

Obama's bent for accommodating tolerance of his adversaries overshadowed his own substance. That has caused the president problems with intransigent Republican congressmen before, and it will cause him problems again in the next two debates if he doesn't sharpen his delivery.

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Obama should have just let Romney debate an empty chair.

October 5, 2012 at 12:09 a.m.
timbo said...

Obama wouldn't know a fact if it bit him on the butt. Harry, if you would take your medication you might stop hallucinating and embarassing yourself. I thought we had gotten rid of the senile columnist. I guess there was two.

Here are the facts. Obama and his buddies are the biggest liars in political history. He is an average guy who gives a good speech but obviously is not intelligent enough to think on his feet. In other words he is not very bright and it showed.

What the country saw was just how severe the lying about Romney has been by the deamoncrats. What they saw in Romney was a bright, engaged, savvy, business man who understands the power of the presidency and how to use it. He was contrasted by a stumbling, bumbling, arrogant, disinterested Obama that has been protected and never tested by the in the tank (Harry is a great example) liberal press. What the country saw was just how much of a piss ant and a lightweight that Obama really is.

Obama is an insult to people who have worked hard to build businesses and create jobs. He isn't qualified to be a Walmart greeter much less president. His socialist policies make about as much sense as Joe Biden's stories.

You stupid democrats are scared. Your negative posts, articles, and commercials have been negated by the real Romney kicking little Obama's flat butt. Whaaa...whaaaa...whaaa..

October 5, 2012 at 10:11 a.m.
timbo said...

By the way, Harry Austin calling someone else a liar is like Adolf Hitler calling someone a murderer.

The statement of "Romney took full advantage of Obama's reticence, plowing through debate rules and talking over moderator Jim Lehrer to assert his false framework on a range of other issues."

For the record, Leher was protecting and "leading" Obama. Also, Obama tried to dominate the conversation by talking almost 5 minutes more total time than Romney. Romney had to assert himself several times because Obama kept talking and Leher was going to let Obama have the last word when it was Romney's turn. This is just another Harry Austin lie.

October 5, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.

Thanks again Timbo, your deceptive postings show once again you'd rather completely ignore the genuine factual falsehoods in Romney's statements and prefer to complain about irrelevant details.

You're only making them in order to try to distract the rest of us for Romney's falsehoods.

October 5, 2012 at 11:20 a.m.
jesse said...

There is so much SNAKE OIL goin around in this race that you need scuba gear to survive it! How a THINKING EDITOR could INDORSE either one of these morons is beyond me! How about one of you so called "High level thinkers" get on here and tell us what you REALLY THINK!!(be the first time that EVER went down!!!)

October 5, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.
timbo said...

JonRoss.....the latest is that most of the reduction was due to people dropping out of the workforce. It isn't the unemployment rate per se, it is also the amount of people working and the amount available for the workforce.

October 5, 2012 at 1:55 p.m.
timbo said...

Happywithnewbutts......How many times are you going to say "the facts." Your "facts" and "fact-checkers" come from liberal sources like the New York Times, Huffington Post and the main stream media. They mean nothing.

The one that old Pinnochio Austin cited (He could pole vault with that nose of his), The Tax Policy Center, is so liberal it hurts. It is associated with Brookings Institute and the Urban Policy Center. These are all propaganda arms of the deamoncrat party. Anything they say is hogwash.

By the way, don't criticize me for "facts" when you didn't give any to dispute mine. Quit drinking the socialist kool-aid.

October 5, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.

Poor Timbo so desperate over the factual failings of Mitt Romney that you seek to attack the criticsnand claim what they have to say means nothing.

That way you don't need to defend the inaccuracies.

How convenient for you.

Just keep on supporting your liar for President.

October 5, 2012 at 8:33 p.m.
librul said...

I guess the Koch brothers told Mittens to go out there and lie 'til they could see the veins in his teeth - well, he came through admirably.

Republicans - that's what America needs. A bunch of lying, misogynistic, greedhead, war-mongering, Scrooges. They say they love America, but will sign your civil rights away in a New York minute; they say they love peace but think they can kill their way to nirvana; they say they care about the poor but support policy that will send millions of our people into despair and poverty; they never say ANYTHING about the environment that makes their miserably wasteful lives possible; having offshored the heart of America's ability to manufacture and provide jobs to do it, they claim that just by electing them, millions of good-paying jobs will magically appear -- poppycock! They DO NOT CARE that the hundreds of thousands of American troops they gleefully send around the world to kill people of color and make us the most hated population on Earth are included among the 47% that Rmoney derided in his little pep talk to the country club crowd; they think a national surveillance and police state dedicated to protecting them from an angry population is equivalent to a "shining city on a hill"; and they think the creation of a democratic republic proclaiming "all men are created equal" and "deriving its just powers from the people" was just a clever ruse, just a sham to confuse the poor rabble who have no right to self respect, no right to a comfortable life, no right to a safe, meaningful job -- let them work in the mines, let them crawl through crumbling sewers, let them clean toilets, let them screw cars together for foreign manufacturers while General Motors dies, let them let sleep on grates next to the towers of finance; let them lose their legs or die around the globe protecting corporate hegemony which feeds their offshore bank accounts. Just like the aliens in Independence Day, when the poor look at them and say "What do you want us to do?" Their response is DIE! They should remember what happened to those aliens.

And above all, they should quit talking about Jesus like he was some sort of revered golfing partner. They would have him sent to Gitmo in a heartbeat.

October 6, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.
charivara said...

Timbo, JonRoss, jesse, I bet you guys look really cute in your little tin cone hats. Do keep us informed about the signals you get through them. Your flights of fantasy are most amusing, except for the unpatriotic disrespect for the President you spew.

October 6, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
charivara said...

I see the little tin cone hat is functioning perfectly. Do you also have a "Useful Idiot" T shirt?

October 6, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.
CathyB3 said...

All that blather and I still don't know what Romney is about. He is for and against everything. He won't tell how he will handle things --"I'll tell you after I'm elected".


October 6, 2012 at 4:11 p.m.
charivara said...

That's what little tin hats do for you. They make one confuse bullying, lying and disrespecting with debating.

October 6, 2012 at 5:42 p.m.
CathyB3 said...

Wait,wait, something which has not been known has surfaced. Mormon boys don't have to go to war?????

How is this possible in this country? How do we all who had family sign up for the draft for Nam feel about this. Mere words cannot discribe it.

There are programs for conscientious objectors -- ambulance, medical, et al. Of course, those who serve in this capacity are to be respected. They save lives and risk danger to to do so.

Lolling around on the beach in France and attempting to convert Paris is NO substitute.

The Mormons are no different from every other citizen in this country. They should be treated like it!

October 13, 2012 at 7:40 a.m.
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