I was listening to James Carville commenting on the Romney candidacy and he provided a succinct and pithy summary of what you get with Romney. "...with Romney you get Bush's economics, Cheney's foreign policy and Santorum's social issues." His insight is excellent and it provides a shorthand way of talking about Romney for those of your friends considering possibly voting for him.
Romney is on record as promising to cut taxes again for the top 1% and he would make permanent the Bush tax cuts. Under Romney, the top 1% would receive a tax cut over $250,000. The last time this was tried, under Bush '43, the deficit exploded, national debt rocketed into the stratosphere and the gap between the uber-rich and the other 99% of Americans widened faster than Chris Christie's waistline. Romney's plan would cost the national treasury $10 trillion over 10 years. He says he would pay for it by closing tax loopholes. However, the Tax Institute issued a report recently laying out the case that even if Romney closed every loophole, it wouldn't make up for the lost revenue to the treasury. The only way Romney could balance his proposal would be to raise taxes on the middle class. Bush proposed privatizing Social Security and Medicare, as does Paul Ryan. Romney has embraced this approach. Your social security payout would be based on how well Wall Street manages your money. (really...can you imagine what your account would look like today if you had to retire?) Romney would give you a voucher for Medicare and you would have to make up the difference if the voucher didn't cover your insurance premium. Like Bush, Romney wants to cut corporate income taxes. He claims they are the second highest in the world. Strange, though, when you factor in all the loopholes and exceptions, most big U.S. corporations don't pay any taxes at all and the corporate tax, in reality, is the second lowest in the world. Once again, Romney offers no specifics for how he would pay for all the lost revenue to the treasury. (wink, wink, nod, nod, we know exactly what he would do)
Bush inherited a budget surplus and quickly cut taxes and increased military spending wiping it out. Romney promises the same plan. Cheney and the neo-cons advocated a foreign policy of using military force to democratize nations in the Middle East. Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bolton et.al. were chomping at the bit to attack Iraq the moment Bush took power. They desperately wanted to help eliminate an enemy of Israel. In 1992, the neo-cons, in conjunction with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, cooked up a plan to conquer Baghdad and take out Saddam Hussein. (Hussein had been an active supporter of the families of Palestinian suicide bombers) Bush '41 rejected the plan saying Saddam wasn't worth an additional American life, and also asking who would replace him once he was gone? Bill Clinton also rejected the same plan. Bush, at Cheney's urging, wholeheartedly jumped in. September 11, 2001 gave him the chance to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. He took it. He also refused to pay for it. We know now, (some of us knew then), this foreign policy was a failure and was based on lies built on lies. We know now, they borrowed the money to pay for these wars. (much of it from the nation Romney calls one of our biggest enemies...China) We know now, Afghanistan is a basket case and Iraq is now an ally of Iran. We know now, the Taliban and Al Qaida regrouped and grew stronger and more diverse during this time. Now, Romney wants to get militarily involved in Syria and says he is willing to go to war with Iran. (once again doing the bidding of Netanyahu and Israel) He even employs the same neo-cons on his foreign policy team.
President Obama got us out of Iraq and will have us out of Afghanistan by 2014. (I wish it were sooner) Obama says arming the Syrian resistance is problematic because of the Sunni influence and presence of Al Qaeda among the resistance. (shades of the mujahidin in Afghanistan) Obama's continually tightening the economic sanctions against Iran. He has almost worldwide support for his approach. (including Arab countries). He understands there can be no conventional war with Iran. Our military is broken and it would take over 500,000 soldiers to try to take on Iran with little guarantee of success. He understands an airstrike would have limited success and the law of unintended consequences could prove a disaster to oil prices and to Israel and its allies. However, Romney..channeling Cheney...ignores all of this and rattles his sword. Could the American people be stampeded again?
The Republican platform has a plank that outlaws abortion in all cases with no exceptions. It opposes gay marriage and even calls for an end to civil unions. Romney has endorsed immigration laws like the ones in Arizona and Alabama which require Americans to "carry their papers" to prove to cops they are here legally. He sides with the Catholic Church in refusing to make contraceptive coverage available through health insurance to employees in schools, hospitals and social service agencies. He supports the church's position any Catholic businessperson should be able to withhold contraceptive coverage from an employee for religious reasons. He opposes equal pay legislation. He would prohibit women from fighting in combat and gays from being in the military at all. If all of this sounds familiar, it should. It was the social issues center of Santorum's run for the Republican nomination.
No Republican mentions George Bush or Dick Cheney by name. At the recent Republican convention, they were like ghosts or Beetlejuice with party members afraid to invoke those names lest they might actually appear before the TV cameras for all to see. The Bush/Cheney years were an unmitigated disaster for this nation in terms of fiscal and foreign policy. Romney and Ryan never mention them on the stump. Santorum was relegated to a minor speech no one saw or heard. They tried to hide him as much as they could. Yet, the policies and programs which Romney champions are a mix-tape of the three and a sampling of their greatest hits. The problem is the American middle class, young American soldiers and American women are the ones who will be "hit" the worst if Romney proceeds to the White House.
No matter what you think of Obama, you will not get a replay of Bush, Cheney and Santorum if he is re-elected. You will not see policies to expand the wealth of the 1% at the expense of the 99% nor will women have to fear their government invading their bodies and their freedom. When someone asks you why Romney spells disaster for our future, just say Bush, Cheney and Santorum. It's easy to remember and even easier to see how their failed past policies would fail again only this time with worse results for this nation than the first time around. What was it Einstein said about insanity?