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Dickinson writes: "If you want to understand Romney's game plan, just look at what Republicans have been doing in Congress."

Mitt Romney. (photo: Getty Images)
Mitt Romney. (photo: Getty Images)

Mitt Romney's Real Agenda

By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone

29 September 12


If you want to understand Romney's game plan, just look at what Republicans have been doing in Congress

t was tempting to dismiss Mitt Romney's hard-right turn during the GOP primaries as calculated pandering. In the general election - as one of his top advisers famously suggested - Romney would simply shake the old Etch A Sketch and recast himself as the centrist who governed Massachusetts. But with the selection of vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, the shape-shifting Romney has locked into focus - cementing himself as the frontman for the far-right partisans responsible for Washington's gridlock.

There is no longer any ambiguity about the path that Romney would pursue as president, because it's the same trajectory charted by Ryan, the architect of the House GOP's reactionary agenda since the party's takeover in 2010. "Picking Ryan as vice president outlines the future of the next four or eight years of a Romney administration," GOP power broker Grover Norquist exulted in August. "Ryan has outlined a plan that has support in the Republican House and Senate. You have a real sense of where Romney's going." In fact, Norquist told party activists back in February, the true direction of the GOP is being mapped out by congressional hardliners. All the Republicans need to realize their vision, he said, is a president "with enough working digits to handle a pen."

The GOP legislation awaiting Romney's signature isn't simply a return to the era of George W. Bush. From abortion rights and gun laws to tax giveaways and energy policy, it's far worse. Measures that have already sailed through the Republican House would roll back clean-air protections, gut both Medicare and Medicaid, lavish trillions in tax cuts on billionaires while raising taxes on the poor, and slash everything from college aid to veteran benefits. In fact, the tenets of Ryan Republicanism are so extreme that they even offend the pioneers of trickle-down economics. "Ryan takes out the ax and goes after programs for the poor - which is the last thing you ought to cut," says David Stockman, who served as Ronald Reagan's budget director. "It's ideology run amok."

And Romney has now adopted every letter of the Ryan agenda. Take it from Ed Gillespie, senior adviser to the campaign: "If the Ryan budget had come to his desk as president," Gillespie said of Romney, "he would have signed it, of course."

A look at the bills that Republicans have passed since they took control of the House in 2010 offers a clear blueprint of the agenda that a Romney administration would be primed to establish:

Fewer Jobs

Republicans in Congress have repeatedly put ideology before creating jobs. For more than a year, they've refused to put President Obama's jobs bill up for a vote, even though projections show it would create nearly 2 million jobs without adding a penny to the deficit. The reason? The $447 billion bill would be entirely paid for through a surtax on millionaires.

In addition, the Republicans' signature initiative last year - the debt-ceiling standoff - was a jobs-killer, applying the brakes to the economic recovery. From February through April 2011, the economy had been adding 200,000 jobs a month. But during the uncertainty created by the congressional impasse, job creation was cut in half for every month the standoffcontinued. And according to the Economic Policy Institute, the immediate spending cuts required by the debt-ceiling compromise are likely to shrink the economy by $43 billion this year, killing nearly 323,000 jobs.

What Ryan markets as his "Path to Prosperity" would make things even worse: The draconian cuts in his latest budget, according to the EPI, would put an additional drag on the economy, destroying another 4.1 million jobs by 2014.

God, Guns and Gays

The retrograde social agenda laid out in recent GOP legislation represents a full-scale assault on fundamental American rights. Last year, the House passed a bill that would broadly prohibit women from purchasing insurance plans that cover abortion. The so-called Protect Life Act would also allow hospitals to refuse a dying woman an abortion that would save her life. Ryan himself co-sponsored legislation that would have made it impossible for impoverished victims of rape and incest to receive abortions unless their assault met a narrow definition of "forcible rape." Under the bill's language, for instance, federal abortion coverage would be denied to a 12-year-old girl impregnated by a 40-year-old man, unless she could prove she fought back.

When they weren't trying to force women to birth babies for rapists, the GOP House was voting to make it easier for would-be criminals to carry concealed firearms. In the first major gun legislation passed after their colleague Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head, the House sided with her attempted murderer, passing an NRA-backed measure that would have undercut state limits on concealed-carry permits. Under the legislation, authorities in a state that prohibits drunk people from carrying a hidden weapon, for instance, would be barred from arresting an armed inebriate if he had a permit from another state without such a restriction. The bill, said Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, would "make it easier for the Jared Loughners of the world to pack heat on our streets and in our communities."

The GOP's love of guns is rivaled only by its contempt for gay Americans - even those who take up arms in defense of their country. Unable to block the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Republicans in the House approved riders in the Defense appropriations bill to undermine the rights of gays in the armed forces. An amendment introduced by Rep. Todd Akin - Ryan's co-sponsor on "forcible rape" - sought to prohibit military facilities from being used to hold gay weddings, and to bar military chaplains from presiding over such ceremonies. Another House rider banned the military from offering medical, pension and death benefits to the spouses of gay soldiers.


In thrall to dirty-energy interests, House Republicans have held more than 300 votes to hamstring the EPA, roll back environmental protections and open up sensitive public land to drilling - offering polluters a virtual license to kill. "This is, without doubt, the most anti-environmental Congress in history," said Rep. Henry Waxman, the ranking Democrat on the House Energy Committee.

Under the Republicans, the House has voted to ban the EPA from placing limits on climate-warming pollution, to reverse new fuel standards projected to slash dependence on foreign oil and save Americans $1.7 trillion at the pump, and to end standards signed into law by President Bush that would phase out wasteful, high-wattage incandescent light bulbs. Even more reckless, the House voted to block limits on deadly mercury emissions - a move that federal scientists calculate would result in 20,000 premature deaths - and drop safeguards on cement manufacturing that would kill another 12,500 Americans and lead to thousands of avoidable heart attacks.

The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney

In February, over the objections of the State Department, the House voted to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport toxic tar sands from Canada across the Midwest's largest and most vulnerable supply of drinking water. In that same vote, the House returned to the great dream of the Bush era, voting to permit the oil industry to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In an even more sweeping move, the House passed a bill to block all new major regulations until the nation's unemployment rate falls to six percent - a measure that would choke off not only new environmental safeguards, but also the new limits on Wall Street recklessness required under Dodd-Frank.

Bash Immigrants

In June, the house approved a raft of amendments blocking Obama's executive directives on immigration reform. The legislation would prevent the administration from prioritizing the deportation of violent criminals over law-abiding immigrants, and put Homeland Security back in the business of deporting the undocumented spouses of American citizens. The House even found a way to merge its dirty-energy agenda with its anti-immigrant stance, passing a "border bill" that bars enforcement of 16 key environmental laws - including the Endangered Species Act - on federal land within 100 miles of the Mexican border. The bill is a sop to the Minuteman crowd, who don't want to contend with environmental rules as they erect electrified fences to keep out immigrants. But the measure is so broadly written that it also applies to the Canadian border, opening up places like Glacier National Park in Montana to bulldozers. Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican from Montana, calls the bill "absolutely necessary" to secure his state from "drug dealers, human traffickers and terrorists."

In perhaps its most absurd gesture, the House GOP managed to weave together its hatred of immigrants and abortions, passing a rider that bans the government from providing abortions to immigrants in detention. The move is a brave solution in search of an actual problem: Federal agencies have never paid for such a procedure.

Enrich Billionaires

House Republicans have voted three times to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts - a move that would blow a $3.8 trillion hole in the budget over the next decade. In fact, the Ryan budget - twice approved by the House - goes even further, doling out another $2.5 trillion to the wealthiest Americans by reducing the tax rate on top earners from 35 to just 25 percent, lowering the corporate rate to 25 percent, and ending the alternative minimum tax, a safeguard against tax cheats.

Romney, in fact, wants to give away even more to the rich than Republicans in the House by permanently eliminating the estate tax - a proposal that alarmsr veterans of the first Bush administration. "Given the vast amounts of wealth that have accumulated at the very, very, very top, it's an odd time to be eliminating this most progressive element of the tax system," says Michael Graetz, a former deputy assistant Treasury secretary under Bush. Over a decade, Romney's gift to the nation's most fortunate families would allow their heirs to pocket at least $1 trillion (including up to $50 million for Mitt's own heirs).

How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich Those without family fortunes, meanwhile, would see their taxes soar. Independent tax groups have concluded that the only way to replace the tax revenue lost by the proposed Ryan and Romney tax cuts would be to end tax breaks - like the one for home-mortgage interest - that directly benefit the middle class. And the poor would get the shaft: The Ryan budget slashes the Child Tax Credit, meaning that a single mother of two earning the minimum wage would watch her annual tax bill rise by more than $1,500.

Slash Government2012-09-29

Under the Ryan blueprint approved by the House and voted for by 40 GOP senators, government spending on everything that's not Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – NASA, highways, education, you name it – would be cut in half by 2022 and nearly in half again by 2050, until it stands at just 3.5 percent of the economy. As the Congressional Budget Service notes, such spending levels would be unprecedented in modern times: Since World War II, the government's discretionary spending has never fallen below eight percent of GDP.

If signed into law by President Romney, the Ryan budget would slash spending on college tuition grants by 42 percent next year and kick 1 million students out of the program. It would also gut funding for public schools, food and drug safety, basic science research, law enforcement and low-income housing. The cuts to food stamps alone would total $134 billion over the next decade. Ripping Ryan for trying to cloak his budget in Catholic doctrine, priests and faculty from Georgetown University wrote, "Your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ." There is one place, however, where Republicans want to increase spending: Under the most recent Ryan budget, the Pentagon would receive an extra $29 billion a year, reversing Obama's modest efforts to slow the growth of defense spending. Where would the extra cash come from? In May, the House approved a Ryan bill to replace automatic cuts to the Pentagon under the debt-ceiling agreement with $261 billion in cuts to the federal safety net. The measure would deny food stamps to 1.8 million Americans, leave 280,000 kids without school lunches and cut off health care to 300,000 poor children.

Destroy Health Care

Republicans in the House have voted more than 30 times to repeal Obamacare – a move that would deplete the Medicare trust fund eight years early, kick 6.6 million young adults off their parents' health insurance, cost seniors $700 more on average for prescription drugs, and make it legal once again for insurance companies to charge women more than men and to rescind policies when people get sick. At the same time, repealing Obamacare would provide a massive giveback to the rich, handing over nearly $400 billion in tax revenues to those who earn above $250,000 a year.

To further boost the profits of insurance companies, the House passed a Ryan plan to voucherize Medicare, subjecting seniors to the whims of the private market. In the first year alone, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost to seniors would more than double, to $12,500 – and taxpayers would not save a dime, as private insurers pocketed the money. By 2050, as inflation took its toll, buying a policy as good as present-day Medicare would cost an 85-year-old more than $50,000. The Ryan plan would also eviscerate Medicaid by turning federal contributions to the program into lump-sum "block grants" that states can administer as they see fit. The trouble is that the grants, like Medicare vouchers, won't keep pace with soaring health care costs. In the first decade alone, the plan would bilk states out of $810 billion and deny health care to 30 million poor children, disabled Americans and seniors.

The last time a Republican presidential candidate touted an agenda to cut spending, lower taxes, boost defense and balance the budget was Ronald Reagan in 1980. Like Romney and Ryan, Reagan didn't have an actual plan for his spending cuts – they were an accounting fantasy, openly joked about as the "magic asterisk." In the end, as promised, Reagan's tax cuts went through, and the Pentagon's budget soared. But the spending cuts never materialized – so Reagan wound up tripling the debt.

If it didn't work for Reagan, says his former budget director, it would be foolish to assume Romney and Ryan can do better. "The Republican record on spending control is so abysmally bad," Stockman says, "that at this point they don't have a leg to stand on." Indeed, the last GOP administration turned $5 trillion in projected surplus into $5 trillion of new debt.

No one doubts Ryan's determination to slash the social safety net: Of the $5.3 trillion in cuts he has proposed, nearly two-thirds come from programs for the poor. But when it comes time to eviscerate the rest of the federal budget, Stockman says – funding for things like drug enforcement and public schools – Congress will "never cut those programs that deeply." In short, the rich will get their tax cuts. The poor will be left destitute. But America will be driven even deeper into debt.

That, at heart, is the twisted beauty of the plan being championed by Ryan and Romney: The higher Republicans manage to drive up the debt, the more ammunition they have in their fight to slash federal spending for the needy. And the more time they waste trumpeting their "fiscal discipline," the more the nation's infrastructure will continue to crumble around them. Squandering two full workweeks of the congressional calendar on votes to repeal Obamacare has cost taxpayers $48 million. That's nearly the same amount of money now needed to repair cracks in the Capitol itself – spending the House GOP has refused to authorize, out of anti-governmental spite. "If the House wants the dome to fall in," said Senate Appropriations chair Ben Nelson, "I hope it falls on their side." If the Republicans experience a crushing blow as a result of their hard-right agenda, of course, it won't be caused by the laws of physics – it will be delivered by the voters on Election Day. your social media marketing partner


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+139 # Maxwell 2012-09-29 22:09
Quotation from the article above:

"Republicans in Congress have repeatedly put ideology before creatizng jobs. For more than a year, they've refused to put President Obama's jobs bill up for a vote, even though projections show it would create nearly 2 million jobs without adding a penny to the deficit. The reason? The $447 billion bill would be entirely paid for through a surtax on millionaires."

I agree with Dickinson on all that, but there's more.

When Obama was elected, the Republicans stated in so many words that their top priority was to make him a one-term president. That means that the Republicans will foist poverty, unemployment, and the accompanying lack of health care coverage on the American public just to keep Obama's job numbers down.

The suffering of working Americans (or formerly working Americans, or Americans who want to work) means nothing to the Republican Party. They'll gladly throw you under the bus and leave you unemployed if it will make Obama look bad and increase Republicans' chances of winning elections.
+87 # CL38 2012-09-30 00:55
I do not understand anyone who would vote the same Republicans back into power whose failed policies left the country in such a mess. And then obstructed any legislation to fix it, after promising to past jobs bills and reduce the deficit.
+70 # Barbara K 2012-09-30 06:33
CL38: It is sheer madness to put the ones in charge that caused all our suffering and nearly brought down our entirely country in the first place. Romneyhood is even WORSE than Bush, and I didn't think it could get worse. He didn't present any plan because he has none, it will be run by his millionaires and we are blind if we don't see that.

The alternative is disastrous.
+19 # mdhome 2012-09-30 14:53
Barbara K; That is sooo right! Romoney and his gang of vultures totally frighten me. I wonder if the plan is maybe to make us wish for W again! Hard to think just how bad they will make it for us if they get in, the welfare of the country is at stake and I know who is going to ruin everything we accomplished in 200 years, I fail to see how they can miss seeing that there will be many coming after them with pitchforks.
+26 # X Dane 2012-09-30 16:15
I have been as disbelieving as you. It is impossible for us to believe, For we inform ourselves. But the people who keep voting for cutting their own throats all watch FOX.

They are TOTALLY misinformed.... and the worst is THAT THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ANYBODY ELSE.

The rest of us MUST make sure that enough of us vote to make it CRYSTAL CLEAR who the winners are. We need to also vote for democratic GOVERNORS, for all the republican governors who came to power in 2010 have caused so much trouble,
And they are the ones enacting a lot of laws against women's issues. Imagine, Mississippi has ONLY ONE CLINIC THAT CAN PERFORM ABORTIONS. The rabid right wing governor is dead set on closing that one too.
+4 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-01 18:25
No, we don't understand, that even when Republican voters actually agree with us on individual points such as the ridiculous and OBSCENE corporate welfare (subsidies paid for by middle class TAXES) to agribusiness and the fracking gas/oil corporations and their lobbyests... they [sometimes literally] cover their ears if we attack the GOP their families have always voted for. OR their agendas are shaped more by so-called "moral" issues than commopn sense secular issues.
+49 # 2lilluc 2012-09-30 06:51
....good comment Maxwell, and what is so astounding is that despite all of the harm, with clear intentions and no apologies, Republicans have done and would continue to do on a far greater scale to the middle and working class, to low income, senior citizens, disabled...etc. in fact to all Americans but the wealthiest, there are still people who will vote Republican? The same people whose quality of life will slide down and deeper yet if the repubs take office. The repubs sure make being screwed look good to some people I guess?
+33 # Independentgal 2012-09-30 09:55
Agree. I still don't understand why the people who would be hurt the most by Republican policies still back Romney and the Republican candidates down ticket. The only thing that comes to mind is the propaganda put out by Rush, Fox, and the rest of their ilk. It seems as if they have done an excellent job of brainwashing lots and lots of people who are already filled with anger and resentment. The propaganda machine just feeds into that.
+9 # doneasley 2012-09-30 21:05
Quoting Independentgal:
Agree. I still don't understand why the people who would be hurt the most by Republican policies still back Romney and the Republican candidates down ticket. The only thing that comes to mind is the propaganda put out by Rush, Fox, and the rest of their ilk. It seems as if they have done an excellent job of brainwashing lots and lots of people who are already filled with anger and resentment. The propaganda machine just feeds into that.

For 2lilluc and Independentgal: You have to look at this thru the eyes of a racist so blinded with hatred for the BLACK MAN in the WHITE HOUSE that he would cut off an arm to get rid - in any way - of this "despised piece of garbage" and his family. No matter that the Regressive agenda will get rid of or severely cripple Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, student aid, veterans support, women's rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, education, etc. - all to redirect taxpayer money into the coffers of the rich. Who in his right mind would want to turn trillions in Social Security taxes over to WALL STREET THIEVES, the very vermin who've put the American economy on its ass?

These blind GOP-supporters have a DEATH WISH!!!
+4 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-01 18:34
Yes. and they are sure it is just those 'Democrat' LIBERAL (their favorite dirty word these days) spenders, CHEATING them of their god-given RIGHTS to a 401K they surely deserve more than the pitiful guaranteed pension a teacher (who is probably just a 'woman' anyway, supported by her husband in their antiquated 50's views) will get.
Didn't ANYONE notice that the '47% speech' Romney the Robot gave was at a $50,000 A PLATE dinner, while a mid-level experienced URBAN TEACHER gets $50,000 a YEAR! and rural ones gets ca. $30,000 A YEAR!
+89 # X Dane 2012-09-29 23:09
This is a horrendous nightmare scenario Tim Dickinson i conjuring up. The worst is that I believe him. I am sure, that if Romney/Ryan got hold of the rudder of the ship of state, they would most surely sink it, and those of us, who are not millionaires would DROWN

These republicans are one disgusting lot of monsters. We can not let them win/steal this election.

I do see a lot of movements in the democratic field. A lot of bigger donors, who have more or less been sitting this one out, is getting into high gear, and not a minute too soon.

In order to WIN, it has to be so OVERWHELMING, that the republicans can NOT get away with their DIRTY TRICKS.
+60 # CL38 2012-09-30 00:56
...we also have to vote them out from the bottom up.
+41 # Barbara K 2012-09-30 06:36
CL38: Absolutely! We have many states that need cleaning out too.

Vote DEMOCRATIC all the way. We must purge ourselves from the extremists whose only goal is to bring down our country and us along with it.
+13 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-30 11:13
Not just states bottom up means local level up, that is where the slime starts.

In fact most of you should start running yourselves...pu t up or
+54 # CL38 2012-09-30 01:01
One more comment. It's hard to imagine the sense of entitlement of those who believe they're entitled to "take" whatever they want at the expense of millions living in poverty. It boggles the mind to think that's what America has become under the right.

If they steal the election, we have to go out in the streets in the millions. They can't put millions more in jail.
+9 # X Dane 2012-09-30 16:29

We have to be very very upfront NOW and really call out ALL the shenanigans the right wing is up to NOW. If they manage to STEAL the election..... IT WILL BE TOO LATE. After the 04 election..... it was absolutely stolen in Ohio,... it did not help to protest.

So we MUST PREVENT,.. not TRY to fix a THEFT
+5 # MindDoc 2012-09-30 19:44
Quoting CL38:

If they steal the election, we have to go out in the streets in the millions. They can't put millions more in jail.

Are you sure? I hear there's money to be made in the outsourced prison biz! Scary roadmap they've continued to push among themselves in the House, awaiting someone whose digits ache to sign on the dotted line.

("Riots? Send 'em to a jail owned by our 'people'." ) We need to prevent the stealing of our election - and government, and ensure a fair, accessible vote. Or we face these consequences.

They've got a plan, and got their man. We have a choice. And duty to be heard. We deserve real "representative s", we the People.
+18 # LLOYDEKP 2012-09-30 05:29
Monster i9s the right word.
+4 # Barbara K 2012-09-30 18:15
I wonder if the places doing the Voter Suppression have thought it thru as to what they are doing. There could be rioting in the streets by people whose right to vote is being blocked. Right there in the streets where it's being blocked. The Suppressers better re-think what they are doing to the people. We've had enough and I don't think many are willing to stand for any more election BS.
+55 # tahoevalleylines 2012-09-30 00:03
Willard Romney is a man perfectly content with shifting and converting wealth and substance from American manufacturing companies; in his case the redistribution goes from a large number of people to a tiny fraction of well situated persons & family members. He calls his plan "harvesting", a more downright unpatriotic practice is hard to imagine!

Trimming business plant to the bone and then grinding the pieces was a sad part of the railway mergers seen in the last quarter century, as mainline railways methodically cut marginally profitable feeders and secondary lines serving smaller communities. Legal but...

John Barriger wrote a book: "Super Railroads", in the late 1950's proposing a dozen or so mega railroads be formed by consolidation of many main line operations into a much smaller number. This was done to cut competition and avoid redundant rail connections between terminals.

Great idea, but when the major rail players decided all the branch feeder lines had to disappear as well as redundant trunks, we saw the sort of corporate cannabalism later refined at Bain & Co. Branch railway demolitions threw us to near full dependence on import oil.

Romney & others of his ilk have dealt a cumulative near fatal blow to much needed homeland manufacturing capacity. Replacing companies that make things, with low paying "service" companies is not what men with America's best interest at heart would EVEN IMAGINE doing...
+32 # Patch 2012-09-30 04:38
What a very real and scary proposition. The Republicans don't say it in so many words but the result of their policies is a form of genocide--unles s, of course, you don't happen to be a person yet.
-86 # dawnie41 2012-09-30 05:29
This kind of ascriptive, naive name-calling is why I so often LOL when I read some of the articles and comments in RSN. Hello! We're broke and simply shouldn't be spending our children's and grandchildren's money on government programs that don't really work. What will you do when you run out of other people's money? Oh I know . . . print more.
+48 # isafakir 2012-09-30 07:07
Hello! We're broke and simply shouldn't be spending our children's and grandchildren's money on government programs that don't really work. endquote 1. we aren't broke. American businesses are the most profitable in history. the USA is being paid, borrowing at negative interest. the USA is borrowing from itself so it cannot "go broke" unless it stops investing in itself. the USA deficit in infrastructure maintenance in health care in education and in environment protection are serious permanent draconian threats to the USA economy. Roads bridges ports railroads electric grids cable internet [parts of the USA even places like rural NY have less internet access than anywhere in the Middle East or Asia. Parts of USA cities have less internet access than the poorest slum kid in turkey] in every measure the USA is behind. the lowest scores on math and science. the worst infant mortality and maternal death. the only country where people go bankrupt for health care.
+53 # isafakir 2012-09-30 07:07
90% of US bankruptcies are due to health care. Because the USA is the only place in the world that finances health care through private monopolies. it's not other people's money. its our money.
+38 # isafakir 2012-09-30 07:08
Government programs that don't work? like satellite communications. like department of defense designed airplanes. like weather satellites. like modern medicine. like modern computers. like nuclear industry. like the USA Interstate Highway System. like modern ships. how about modern agribusiness? there is no part of the USA economy which has not been the result of direct government subsidy. All carbon energy is subsidized massively by the government. Penicillin and antibiotics all the result of government programs. the end of smallpox, the end of polio, the end of Legionaires Disease, the cure of AIDS research on alzheimers, on heart transplants, on all immunization, on autism, on diabetes: all government programs. national electric grid: government program. Tornado and hurricane prediction: government program. Tsunami and earthquake prediction government program.
-37 # MidwestTom 2012-09-30 10:41
Many government programs take years before they are recognized as failures. Let me explain, Up until the 1970's pregnancy in High School was look ed down on, child birth out of wedlock was less than 5% for blacks and less than 3% for whites. However,, the government introduced a new program to assist the children of poor single mothers. Approximately 20 years later the unexpected consequences of the program became apparent with the 70% of black births, and 40% of white births now to single mothers. Many single mothers do a fine job raising their children, but many do not, and more than 80% our current skyrocketing prison population came from single parent households. In most cities the poorest neighborhoods are mainly populated by single mom's trying to raise kids with little guidance. These kids then end up underperforming in school and the teachers are blamed. I do not know how we break te cycle,other than severely limiting the number of children the government will support, with the benefits coming twenty years later.
+9 # mdhome 2012-09-30 15:05
SO, force those little kids to have kids of their own to raise as single moms and if you are right, they will result in more prisons which you will be paying for. Midwest Tom:Your post looks like an ad for keeping abortions legal.
+4 # Eduardo3 2012-10-01 16:55
Tom, the social problems connected with single motherhood are real, but assisting the children of poor single mothers is not the problem... and penalizing the children would not only be cruel but stupid, as it will result in even more poverty and crime. The problem is not the children or their mothers, but the fathers who are abandoning their children.
+39 # isafakir 2012-09-30 07:12
what would individuals do when the government stops supplying clean water, and removing human feces, human urine, human garbage, and how would we live when the government stops killing rodents and other vermin. we would starve iof the government just stopped subsidizing farms, soils and water. we have stopped spending money already on necessary infrastructure education and health and when we stop supporting research and science we will be worse off than the worst third world country which are already leaping ahead of us.
+3 # mdhome 2012-09-30 15:06
They have all the money, so what do they care? They will be able to buy filters for their air and water.
-7 # X Dane 2012-09-30 16:34
Too many of our countrymen WANT all the advantages you mention, but they WILL NOT PAY FOR THEM.
+2 # X Dane 2012-10-01 18:05
Please tell me what you disagree with??
The wealthy want all the advantages. But they will hide their money abroad instead of paying their fair share.

Which part of that don't you get??
+8 # X Dane 2012-09-30 16:44
Also the right wing is trying to privatize EVERYTHING, so we, the middle class, will be unable to afford a lot, that we now take for granted.

Killing the middle class will effectively KILL THE COUNTRY. for it is the middle class that is the backbone of the country.

The poor CAN not pay federal tax, and the wealthy and big corporation WILL NOT
PAY. They hide their money in other countries. And I heard some big CEO of a multinational say, that he had NO obligation to OUR COUNTRY???
-6 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-30 11:21
I can think of many government Agencies that should go, SCOTUS for one.
The government esp Repb. have been spending your kids, my kids money for over thirty decades...Socia l Security is one proof, SNL was another scam a bit of a rant is okay.
Rethings are name calling daily showing the type of people they are look at Christy, Santorum, Ryan...even Mittly....none of them are nice people
You do not destroy lives if you are a nice person.
What do people do now when they run out of money, or forget to bring with...charge. Government has been teaching people to destroy their lives for half a century. The Mortgages were only one factor in foreclosures Having to have everything at once is the spoiled Yuppies way. Don't wonder why...parents, friends taught them to care about Stuff.
If you are in over your heads....then perhaps you should start protesting, start community organizations.. .but sniveling here Do something, change things or stick with the republicans Your Choice
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-01 18:36
+8 # bingers 2012-09-30 14:41
Quoting dawnie41:
This kind of ascriptive, naive name-calling is why I so often LOL when I read some of the articles and comments in RSN. Hello! We're broke and simply shouldn't be spending our children's and grandchildren's money on government programs that don't really work. What will you do when you run out of other people's money? Oh I know . . . print more.

You shouldn't be laughing as it's proof that you have no idea what the truth is. We aren't broke, and all our problems began when Reagan slashed the top marginal rate for the wealthy from 74% to 28% And when Bush inherited a budget surplus that was on track to totally eliminate the deficit he gave it away to the rich (primarily). We have the lowest spending as a % of GNP of any developed nation in the world except Taiwan and every one of our problems have been caused by the ignorance of conservative policies, so if you are laughing, you're just plain uninformed.
+7 # angelfish 2012-09-30 21:06
WQuoting dawnie41:
This kind of ascriptive, naive name-calling is why I so often LOL when I read some of the articles and comments in RSN. Hello! We're broke and simply shouldn't be spending our children's and grandchildren's money on government programs that don't really work. What will you do when you run out of other people's money? Oh I know . . . print more.

Where were you when the "shrub" was selling us ALL down the river with his Pre-Emptive UNPAID for Wars against the Wrong enemy, at the Wrong time for ALL the Wrong reasons? Where were you when he sent Pallets of Cash Money, UNSUPERVISED or in any kind of SECURE form that just melted into the hot Mid-eastern desert? WHERE the Hell were you THEN? Our children's FUTURES are at stake here! Sad that their Heritage has ALREADY been sold for a mess of pottage by the ReTHUGlicans and the rest of us are left holding the bag for the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and their ilk!
+36 # overanddone 2012-09-30 05:44
The GOP has jumped the ship, without a doubt. Their knee jerk reaction to anything even perceived to be a Democratic or Obama truth as false has painted them into the proverbial corner.
Their credibility has been squandered and they have become so comfortable with lying, they seem to actually believe their ludacris assertions themselves. Just as Romney is the caricature of the; of the rich, by the rich, for the rich, candidate, the entire party has drifted toward can you top this stupid like Bachman, Cain,and Akin.
Run through all the republican politicians, pundits, spokespeople, you can think of in today's political arena, are there any that your not embarrassed by as Americans let alone people of influence in our country?
+6 # cordleycoit 2012-09-30 06:49
We have a couple of right wingers running for the same office one bunch would kill me because I am old and a useless feeder to the aging Koch Bros. The other bunch would kill me for expressing myself in an attempt to find honesty in government, an impossible task. Mittens is the representative of the very rich bankers and embezzlers who own the earth and Obama belongs to the Chicago Machine looking to help out their banker allies.A choiceless choice for the stupidest constituency in Christendom.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-30 11:23
What Christendom
+29 # walt 2012-09-30 07:28
The deliberate obstruction to the Obama administration with the sole purpose of discrediting the president to try to win the election is treachery that should not go unpunished.

Republicans have stooped so low that the party ought to be disbanded. Let's start by voting them all out on November 6.
+9 # mjc 2012-09-30 14:39
Could not agree more. When Republicans, alias the Teapublicans, declared that their one goal for next four years of Obama's first term was to make sure he was a one term president, they declared that their party was THE only important "government" in the US.
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-01 18:37
And Grover Norquist, the aspiring neo-Nazi dictator is there, waiting in the wings to hand the pen to the robot who wins, while he winds the key in his back.
+17 # SouthBrun 2012-09-30 07:47
Trying to get Rob-Me to spell out his plan is akin to nailing Jello to the ceiling. You just know it will be a mess.
+24 # fredboy 2012-09-30 08:32
His real agenda is to take us back to the Bush years and lead us into another fake war. And complete the process of celebrating sustained, repeated lies until they are accepted as gospel. Vote Romney if you want to push this nation over the cliff.
+10 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-30 11:25
Nothing Fake about is real People Die.
I want to see Romney kids serving as well as all Rethugs I want the Draft reinstated with NO $ EXCEPTIONS. Want to see the snivelers on this one but it would again be the only way to get you all to actually do something besides text
+9 # mdhome 2012-09-30 15:16
Cheny, Rove, Rumsfeld, Bush all got out of seeing Vietnam, somehow I just know the "golden boys" will never see bullets coming their way. draft or no draft.
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-01 18:41
Anyone notice that Romney managed to get out of Vietnam by being a 'missionary' to FRANCE? (Since when are missionaries exempt from the draft?)
Also, not ONE of his five strapping 6' sons enrolled anywhere in the military, not even West Point, or the USNA or AirForce Academy!!
But he is ready to send YOUR children to Iran or ...
+23 # cherylpetro 2012-09-30 09:04
I think Romney is not the real candidate! I think he is a shill for Paul Ryan. Ann Romney already alluded to his emotional problem connected with the presidency, and I think that is our clue to what is meant to happen should Romney prevail, and win. The problem is that Romney is a loser (as is Ryan), and no amount of rubbing will polish that turd! Also, Romney acts so very desperate; I wonder what the consequences will be, should he not win? He is obviously beholden to many people; they may want repayment!
+18 # Independentgal 2012-09-30 10:01
They WILL want repayment. That's what's so horrible about the possibility of his winning. He will merely be a puppet of the billionaires and evil people like Karl Rove and Grover Norquist.
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-01 18:42
NO, Grover Norquist is the puppet master. Ryan is not smart enough to rum anything.
-30 # Acupuncher 2012-09-30 10:09
You People Are Bitching and Moaning For NOTHING... Romney Will Probably win....
But So What...The Earth is To Populated and polluted as it is and after Humans Disappear the earth will heal itself and all will be well...
Humans are nothing but an infection the earth needs to spit out...
+11 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-30 11:28
You are Proof of That. Go back to your video games or perhaps you will be among those drafted...would be great to see all the wanna bes gone. Perhaps a good tenure on the lines would be a lesson in Reality you all need.
Your buddy will see to it, and his kids won't be going
By the Way we are the Reason you can even come on Blogs like this, we fought for freedoms...Punc h that
+7 # David Starr 2012-09-30 13:00
Quoting: "There is no longer any ambiguity about the path that Romney would pursue as president, because it's the same trajectory charted by Ryan, the architect of the House GOP's reactionary agenda since the party's takeover in 2010."

I would say the GOP agenda has been reactionary for a long time; only that the political lunatics within it have now been able to come to the surface and try to take it over.

Quoting: "...Norquist told party activists back in February, the true direction of the GOP is being mapped out by congressional hardliners. All the Republicans need to realize their vision, he said, is a president "with enough working digits to handle a pen."

I'm sensing a great irony here for the future, perhaps: If these lunatics further try to impose thier version of the Dark Age, they, unwitting idiots that they are, will not only endanger thier own party to an implosion, but potentially set the stage for the fall of the U.S. as an empire. But I hope they don't succeed for the necessessity of not having any more peoples get hurt; still, the problem is the ideology these "parties" share.
+7 # angelfish 2012-09-30 13:30
After their pitiable performance of NOT passing the Jobs bill, either for Former Military personnel or Civilian Americans, the ReTHUGlicans, in MY mind, haven't a snowball's chance in Hell of getting into the White House or getting a Majority in either the House or the Senate. I'm looking forward to the Debates and hope that the President finishes the job of cleaning the Twit's clock once and for all. Never, EVER vote ReTHUGlican!
+2 # MindDoc 2012-09-30 19:23
A truly gruesome horror story, more so as it is real, it is now.
Detail upon detail, theme upon theme. This should be required reading among every American voter. Congress needs cleansing.
+5 # Tigre1 2012-09-30 20:10
So it's the usual reep/romney program: find an entity that has "excess value" and sell of chunks of it, pocket the profit, and leave the shell with more debt...!

That's what he did with companies, that's what the intent is with the entire country...the richies want to bid on the national parks, the highways, the bridges, the bays, the rivers...serfdo m isn't far from do you get permission to pass over another's property? you are bound to a narrow area, because you can't get permission to cross an owned river, or stretch of Koch-owned desert, for it? the slavers are back in the saddle, and white folks aren't special anymore.

They've already invested the earnest money, ie, that's why Adelson and the other billionaires have 'anted up'
on the big game...they have bought their candidate, the CEO they are backing in HOSTILE TAKEOVER...just like in so many companies! that's ONE big reason the money guys don't want it known who they are...because they will be the owners, once they have the land...of YOU. ALL of YOU.
+5 # Tigre1 2012-09-30 20:14
Anyway, THAT'S MY thought on it. Seems to follow, if you follow the money. Remember that the FBI in July reported that there was between 23 and 32 TRILLION in the accounts of fewer than 3,000 Americans. 'So called' Americans. So the country isn't broke, that money came from somewhere...fee ling pinched the last few years? FOLLOW the money. And build guillotines...o r become impoverished serfs...or slaves very soon.
-2 # James Smith 2012-10-01 04:29
I doubt that it will matter in the end. WHat has Obama really changed? For that matter, what has he even tried to change? The country is still engaged in two counter-product ive wars, the gulag at Guantanamo Bay is still operating, the "Patriot" Act has been extended and reinforced, and the civil rights of Americans are quickly becoming history.

For all that BHO has really done, he could be the chosen successor to George W. Bush. The country is lost, better to move somewhere else, a place that's headed toward what the USA used to be.
+1 # Eduardo3 2012-10-01 17:01
And where would that be exactly?
0 # Corvette-Bob 2012-10-02 15:22
This is the critical election if the Democrats win this one we will be home free. Why you ask? It is due to the demographics which are rapidly changing. The Republicans cannot maintain a party where the main membership is old, white and angry males. Since 2008 there has been added 6 million minorities who tend to vote in high percentages for the democrats. Also, with the election Obama to be followed by Hillary we may remake the Supreme Court for decades. Gooooo liberals!!!!
0 # thefireweedproject 2012-10-03 04:16
seriously- I'm Canadian and we are forced at times to deal with the US of A politicos through our own lack luster leadership. But America has absolutely allowed itself to go down the rabbit hole starting with the Bushes and gained only ridicule and repulsion on the global scale. I travel a lot and hear what average, not media folks are saying - the premise that USA still thinks it is some sort of 'power' is a joke to Europeans. The very real fact that American 'culture' is a thrown away donut stuffing, pepsi guzzling, trailer park Jerry Springer show, fundamentalist vote stealing, dishonorable ego maniacs, is very real out here. Canadians do not buy it anymore. Neither does the world stage. And THAT profile is entirely due to the catastrophic divorce from reality of the Bush administration and any prior Republican conspiracy. Do whatever you can Americans, to keep the scoundrels OUT of the white house - their gig is up - everyone knows the truth about them. Obama needs the support of this nation - he is important to the future of America.

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