Saturday, September 22, 2012

Romney Has His Own "Redistribution" Plan

With his campaign in such a bad mess that some are predicting a GOP civil war, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, a/k/a Mini Mitt, are grasping for anything that might breath life into the hopefully moribund campaign.   They think they found a message: the Obama is a "redistributionist" who supports European socialism on statements he made 14 years ago.  Yes, it's lame and has nothing to do with Obama's recent statements, but when one is out of touch, has alienated nearly half the population by calling them lazy moochers, one has to grab whatever twig one finds in the river as it flows towards the top of the approaching waterfall.  The irony, however, as the Washington Post points out is that Romney has his own redistribution plan: progressive taxes, maintaining social security, some form of Medicare, etc.   Of course, he has another goal too: make the poor and the middle class pay more so that he can allow the wealthy to have more - including the obscenely wealthy.  Here are some editorial highlights:

[T]he Romney campaign is accusing President Obama of being a — gasp! — redistributionist. In a rather pale replay of 2008’s Joe the Plumber spread-the-wealth debate, the GOP dredged up a 14-year-old video.

Mitt Romney and his campaign seized on the clip as ominous evidence of Mr. Obama’s European socialist tendencies. “I know there are some who believe that, if you simply take from some and give to others, then we’ll all be better off. It’s known as redistribution. It’s never been a characteristic of America,” Mr. Romney said.

The campaign apparently thinks that voters will find “redistribution” a scary word. But does Mr. Romney really disagree with the belief that part of government’s role is, in Mr. Obama’s words, to help “make sure that everybody’s got a shot”? To tax is to redistribute. To govern is to redistribute. Benefits from government spending flow in different amounts to different individuals and different states.

More to the point, Mr. Romney himself has endorsed redistributionism. He does not proposing abolishing Medicaid, Pell grants for college affordability or food stamps — all ways in which government redistributes benefits to those less well off. Indeed, Mr. Romney has proposed more redistribution. Social Security is a redistributionist program .  .  .  . 

Mr. Romney favors — brace yourselves — a progressive tax code. He has said that one of the principles of his details-to-follow tax plan is to maintain the current progressivity of the code so that the wealthiest continue to pay the same share of taxes — that is, a larger share of taxes than the less well-off pay.

It’s indisputable that Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama have diverging views about the danger posed by increasing income inequality and the degree of redistribution in which government should engage. But the Romney campaign’s desperate, clownish portrayal of Mr. Obama does this important debate a serious disservice.
 As I have noted before, I find it bizarre that a political party that wraps itself in religion and claims to worship Christ and the Bible continually maligns European governments where the Gospel message of caring for the sick and the poor is actually done through national health care systems, etc., while in America, Republicans want to callously throw the poor and sick in the gutter.  The hypocrisy is breath taking.

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