The 2012 Presidential Election: Things You Should Know Before You Vote
The idea of “death panels” has seemed to fade somewhat from the political debate scene lately but what if I told you there was actually a real case of government control that came very close to what could actually be called a “death panel”?
In one U.S. state, a governor trying to balance the state budget made serious cuts to Medicaid expenditures that included limiting the payments of hospital stays to 20 days, no matter how sick the patients was and regardless of the need for further care. Hmm, that sounds like something very close to a government “death panel”. Denying care to the sick in order to balance a budget is not the kind of government intervention I want and I would hope that most people with a conscience would feel that way. Ok, you might have guessed that I am referring to Governor Mitt Romney. Yes, you can check it out, but he actually did that.
Medicaid Cuts: Along with this care restriction, he also proposed that low-income Medicaid patients be charged a monthly fee for participation and co-payments for doctor’s visits. If you don’t have the money for the co-payment you won’t go to the doctor and therefore Medicaid won’t have to pay for your visit thus saving money! Because Medicaid spending was more than one-fourth of the state spending, it was an easy target. One might wonder if cuts to Medicare and Social Security might not have the same easy target, budget balancing appeal for Romney as president. If you could make cuts to these two programs which makeup a large portion of the Federal budget, you could show a better bottom line. Is that really the way government should get to a better bottom line?
Raising Taxes: If you research just a little, you will see more of the real Romney. He runs on the premise of not raising taxes but then, as he did inMassachusetts, comes up with plans to raise fees and cut loop holes which are actually new taxes disguised as fees. Romney proposed 33 new fees along with increases in 57 existing fees resulting in higher costs for birth certificates, new car purchases, driver’s learning permits, firearms permits, professional licenses, and billboards advertising, as well as for many state services. He also increased a state gasoline fee originally intended for cleanup of contamination around underground fuel storage tanks. The two cents per gallon increase made for a total effective state gasoline tax of 23.5 cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional revenue. Even with all the cuts and “non-tax” increases, the government spending showed an increase under Romney.
Jobs: Oh, and then there is his statement about “ I know how to create jobs”. (Though he is fond of pointing out that government doesn’t create jobs.) Well, during his time as governor, Massachusetts job growth was 1.5 percent when the national average was 5.3 percent making them 47th of the 50 states in new job creation.
Bipartisanship: Romney has also been fond of pointing out how well he worked with the Massachusetts Congress but it is noted that he issued 844 vetoes and the largest share of them were overturned by one or the other of the state houses. He was quoted as saying, “I know how to veto. I like vetoes. I’ve vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations as governor.” Again, this sounds more like a CEO than a servant of the people.
With what I’ve read about Mitt Romney’s time as governor of Massachusetts, it seems that he governed very much like a CEO with the bottom line always driving his decisions – and not so much the good of the citizens of his state. The Federal budget might be in a poor state at present, but The United States of America is not a company. We do not need a CEO nor are the tactics of a business CEO the best way to govern. We need a President.
This is a guest post by Barbara Moore.
© 2012 Barbara Moore