Romney Policy review continued
- The Deficit - This is a boogeyman the Republicans trot out every four years to scare Americans with threats of "your children's, children's, children will be paying your debts!" Unfortunately Romney's plan cannot...let's look at that again...CAN NOT be done in a way that reduces the deficit.
The plan is to cut revenue, while also cutting programs and somehow arrive at a balanced budget. This doesn't work without introducing crippling austerity measures that would crush the economy in its current fragile recovery state. In addition, the Romney plan is to dramatically increase the military budget. Lower revenue, increased military spending, while making the Bush Era tax cuts permanent...in what way does this not balloon the deficit?
- Women's issues - Romney has been all over this issue. He's pro-choice as a governor, then immediately shifts to the right when he starts running for president, then tries to appear moderate when he gets the nomination. He can't be trusted on this. period.
The Romney platform is simple 1.) Appoint justices who will roll back Roe v. Wade. 2.) End Title X Funding for family planning and preventative health services. This would seriously impact Planned Parenthood's ability to service low-income women and those without insurance.
Two personal notes here; first, before my wife and I were married, and for years after, we depended on Planned Parenthood for subsidized birth control. Neither of us could have afforded it on our own. Planned Parenthood really helped us to avoid getting pregnant before we were ready. Second, my mother in law speaks in no uncertain terms about how bad things were before Roe v. Wade, when every major hospital in every major city had a septic abortion ward to treat women who had used coat hangers and worse to end an unwanted pregnancy. Conservatives say that won't happen again, but it already is in states like Texas and Arizona where they've instituted draconian laws that restrict access to a safe medical abortion. Make no mistake, a Romney presidency would be a bad thing for women.
- Global Warming: Romney's position on this is just as mercurial as his position on Women's issues. In the last year he's been on the public record saying he believes global warming is caused by man, and he's been on the public record saying that no one (really? no one?) knows if man is really contributing to global warming. It's politically savvy of Romney to take this position as his campaign and Super PACs are getting huge sums of money from organizations such as Americans for Prosperity that are vehemently outspoken against climate change science.
- Healthcare: There has been a lot of discussion on this topic, and there is a lot of heated debate about the Affordable Healthcare Act. Much of the derision for "ObamaCare" comes from those who view it as socializing our healthcare system, or creating a system of "social medicine." In the end "social medicine" is a pejorative term with no real meaning that is typically used by conservatives to throw fire on progressives trying to make real change to our health care system.
In fact the United States has had a social health care system for decades. It's called the Veteran's Health Administration. This is a government body that operates government owned health care facilities and employs health care professionals. That's the closest thing to true "socialized medicine" practiced by any modern, industrialized nation.
The Affordable Care Act is actually a step toward a publicly funded health care system that is privately administered, what's known as a "single-payer" system. It's actually much closer to the the way the Canadian system operates than it is to, say, the British National Health Service.
In fact the United States is woefully behind in this regard. Ours is the only western industrialized country, the only real power in the world, that does not currently provide some kind of a public option as a step toward creating a universal healthcare system. I'm sure conservatives of all stripes will proudly puff out their chests and strut about while chanting the mantras of free market economies and competition leading innovation and the dignity of being self-reliant. To what end? In a ranking of life expectancy by country the United States was 38th in the world after such socialist hellscapes as England, France, and Canada.
For me it has never been stated more clearly or succinctly than it was by a doctor who was interviewed about volunteering for a free clinic in Los Angeles. She had done the same for free clinics all over the state, and also volunteered for Doctors Without Borders. What struck me was when she said that she and the other doctors see hundreds of patients at the free clinic events, and people still end up being turned away. She said the need in this country is as great as some third world countries where she's worked.
This is the United States. We can do better.