John Hawkins has, unintentionally I’m sure, done Romney skeptics like me a world of good. By taking snippets from the three “debates” of Romney’s comments, Hawkins has put to rest any idea that Romney is a conservative, or even coherent.
Try this one:
If I become president, I’ll get America working again. I will get us on track to a balanced budget. The president hasn’t. I will.
I’ll make sure we can reform Medicare and Social Security to preserve them for coming generations. The president said he would. He didn’t.
Clever wordplay. I don’t believe a word of it.
First, the balanced budget. Let’s see: the government is currently spending $3.7 trillion a year, and running deficits of $1 trillion. A balanced budget, to me at least, means Romney intends to cut $1 trillion out of government spending. Military spending is about $750 billion, Social Security is more than that, and then there’s Medicare, and Medicaid, and government pensions, and $360 billion on interest payments on the national debt, and … So just where is he going to start?
Didn’t think so.
“Reform Medicare and Social Security.”? Just how does he plan to do that, exactly? With half of Americans (at least) receiving some form of government benefits from just these two welfare programs – I’m assuming that some of them vote – what are his plans to keep them happy while reforming (read: cutting) their favorite programs?
He didn’t say.
Or how about this:
(China) sells us about this much stuff every year (Big). And we sell them about this much stuff every year (Small). So it’s pretty clear who doesn’t want a trade war. And there’s one going on right now that we don’t know about. It’s a silent one and they’re winning.
I had to read this a couple of times before I began to think that maybe I was starting to understand his incoherency. He thinks China sells us lots of stuff, and that’s bad bad bad. But we don’t want a trade war over it, because we owe them lots of money and we don’t want to make them mad. But it’s bad bad bad that they’re selling lots of stuff to us but we’re not selling lots of stuff to them. Bad bad bad.
Maybe his incoherency is intended?
One last one, just for good measure (Hawkins extracted 20 from the debates):
I will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. I know that you and your running mate keep saying that, and I know it’s a popular thing to say with a lot of people, but it’s just not the case. Look, I got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it — (scattered laughter) — but that is not the case, all right? I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.
Yup. Vote for me, you rich guys, and I’ll guarantee you that I won’t reduce your taxes. How about that for a captivating campaign slogan?
Incoherent is probably the nicest word I can use to describe Romney’s comments. I could use other words but I’m told that young children read my blog.