The entire world has concluded that President Obama lost the debate with Mitt Romney hands down. The initial polls judging viewer’s opinion of the “winner” were CBS: Romney 46, Obama 22, Tie 32 and CNN: Romney 67, Obama 25. Chris Matthews lost it on MSNBC talking about the debate HERE. Liberals wanted President Obama to bring up the 47% comment or Romney’s Bain experience with hurting real people; they wanted Obama to go for the jugular. He didn’t.
Win or lose … what we just saw from Mitt Romney was a complete etch a sketch of everything he said during the primary and up till this point. Perhaps President Obama could have called him a liar directly on the stage … maybe used the word pathological once or twice. :)
Let’s be clear about what we saw at the first debate … Mitt Romney has now become pro-regulation, pro-entitlement state, pro-maintaining the social safety net for the poor … and he promises that he’s going to pay for all of that without raising taxes on anyone and he’ll still reduce the deficit. Everybody gets a pony – yeah! Except – his claims don’t jive with reality. I realize his campaign isn’t going to be dictated to by fact-checkers but this doesn’t pass the laugh test.
Politifact fact checked the debate HERE.
Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on 2/23/12; he wrote HERE:
‘First, I will make an across-the-board, 20% reduction in marginal individual income tax rates.’
At the debate Romney said:
“I don’t have a five trillion dollar tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of the scale that you’re talking about … But I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high- income people.”
The $5 trillion tax cut amount comes from the Tax Policy Center HERE. And according to their study – anyone making more than $1 million would get an $87k tax break on the Romney plan.
“We agree; we ought to bring the tax rates down, and I do, both for corporations and for individuals. But in order for us not to lose revenue, have the government run out of money, I also lower deductions and credits and exemptions so that we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth.”
So which deductions Governor? He won’t say. What we do know is that his plan isn’t written out in specifics and that an independent Brookings Institute review of Romney’s tax plan says that it is mathematically impossible to reduce rates for the wealthiest Americans from 35% to 28% without raising taxes on the middle class. You can read more on that HERE.
It’s important to note that Romney would repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax which would allow the rich to avoid paying some minimum tax bill. It was put in place precisely because millionaires were able to pay almost no taxes whatsoever. He would also eliminate the estate tax which already is exempted up to 2.5 million; so it’s a handout to mostly millionaires and billionaires.
Here is what you need to know about the tax cut bait and switch. In the late 1980′s – Republicans and Democrats agreed to reduce marginal rates in return for removing of deductions thus there was no revenue loss. Grand bargain. What happened after that? Those tax deductions and loopholes found their way back into the tax code within a couple of years and wouldn’t ya know it – effective tax rates went down for the wealthiest Americans. That’s what history shows us.
“My — my number one principle is there’ll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit.”
But he has already said that his tax plan would allow “small businesses” to get a tax cut. So if it’s revenue neutral – who’s picking up the tab? He wants you to think the rich will. Because he spent the entire primary running for President defending the “job creators” and saying raising taxes on the wealthy was class warfare … but now – he wants to say that he’s going to make the rich pay more? Right.
“I won’t put in place a plan that adds to the deficit.”
Yeah – if you cut taxes and then you cut spending on major government programs like Medicaid and Medicare … that’s true. But his math is mathematically impossible. Romney has recently floated this idea that he may limit tax deductions for high income earners by $18k a year. He says maybe. He says this 1 day before the debate. Where’s the beef?
I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong.
Politifact calls that charge “mostly false” HERE.
Well, President, you’re — Mr. President, you’re absolutely right, which is that with regards to 97 percent of the businesses are not — not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, they’re taxed at a lower rate. But those businesses that are in the last 3 percent of businesses happen to employ half — half — of all of the people who work in small business. Those are the businesses that employ one quarter of all the workers in America. And your plan is take their tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent.
So – Romney admits that this plan only affects 3% of small businesses. The problem of course with Mitt Romney’s math is that the definition of small business that he uses is so broad based on tax definition that companies that make over $1 billion a year are “small business”. It ain’t your local mom and pop dry cleaner. Bottom line – Romney admits that only 3% of “small businesses” are affected by Obama’s tax plan. The report written by the nonpartisan joint committee for taxation determined that 3% figure acknowledges that “small business” isn’t that small after all. They write HERE:
“For example, in 2005, 12,862 S corporations and 6,658 partnerships had receipts of more than $50 million.”
Let me — let me repeat — let me repeat what I said — (inaudible). I’m not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. That’s not my plan. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. That’s point one. So you may keep referring to it as a $5 trillion tax cut, but that’s not my plan.
From the Romney website HERE:
That’s a lot of tax cutting.
My plan is to bring down rates but also bring down deductions and exemptions and credits at the same time so the revenue stays in, but that we bring down rates to get more people working.
Which deductions? He won’t say. Will he remove the carried interest loophole that he made hundreds of millions from? No. He won’t. Would he eliminate tax preferences for capital gains? No – he thinks they should be lower than regular salary tax rates.
We’ve got 23 million people out of work or stop looking for work in this country.
That’s not true. There are 12 million unemployed (source). Of course he says “or stopped looking for work”. Well – that’s one hell of a way to gauge the economy because he never did on Bush’s watch.
when the president took office, 32 million people on food stamps; 47 million on food stamps today.
How many changes has President Obama made to the food stamp program? Zero. Romney wants people to starve in the streets and if they didn’t have food stamps to help get them through the Bush economic crisis … people would be literally unable to feed their kids. Not Romney’s problem.
What things would I cut from spending? Well, first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test — if they don’t pass it: Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I’ll get rid of it. “Obamacare” is on my list.
Ironically – Romney won’t list any program he would cut to reduce the deficit except Obamacare. The funny thing about that … is that to repeal Obamacare would INCREASE THE DEFICIT (source). What we do know is that Paul Ryan’s plan (which his is similar to according to Romney) wouldn’t balance the budget until 2038.
I have my own plan. It’s not the same as Simpson- Bowles. But in my view, the president should have grabbed it. If you wanted to make some adjustments to it, take it, go to Congress, fight for it.
So – according to Romney … Obama should have supported a plan that he himself doesn’t support. He thinks Obama should support a plan that his own running mate voted against because it had tax increases in it. Seems legit.
You raise taxes and you kill jobs. That’s why the National Federation of Independent Businesses said your plan will kill 700,000 jobs. I don’t want to kill jobs in this environment.
That’s interesting because the recent study by the Economic Policy Institute says Obama’s plan creates 2 million more jobs in the next two years than Romney’s (source).
Spain spends 42 percent of their total economy on government. We’re now spending 42 percent of our economy on government.
That sounds very scary. Except there are facts. The number Romney is citing includes state, local and federal government spending. By that definition – the U.S. spends 39% of it’s money vs. GDP (which is a bogus stat). More on that HERE. That’s 5% more than under Reagan by the way. Federal spending is 24% and that’s only because the economy isn’t to full employment yet. Totally bogus.
The second topic, which is you said you get a deduction for getting a plant overseas. Look, I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant.
Well – his accountant seems to be working just fine for him. But to the substance – Politifact rated Obama’s claim that businesses get a tax break for sending jobs overseas was TRUE (source).
And finally, Medicaid to states, I’m not quite sure where that came in, except this, which is, I would like to take the Medicaid dollars that go to states and say to a state, you’re going to get what you got last year plus inflation — inflation — plus 1 percent. And then you’re going to manage your care for your poor in the way you think best.
This is a total disaster. Romney wants to cut Medicaid spending and block grant it. In short – once the money is out … if you need help – you’re screwed. Sorry … too many people needed help this year. If you want to understand what states will do with Medicaid – read HERE.
I want to take that $716 billion you’ve cut and put it back into Medicare. By the way, we can include a prescription program if we need to improve it, but the idea of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of “Obamacare” is, in my opinion, a mistake. And with regards to young people coming along, I’ve got proposals to make sure Medicare and Social Security are there for them without any question.
First off – Romney says his plan for Medicare is exactly like Ryan plan (source) but the Ryan plan cuts out $716 billion directly from Medicare beneficiaries. As far as Romney’s proposal for Medicare for young people – buyer beware. He is going to turn Medicare into a voucher program which means that you will pay more out of pocket at the end of the day. When Paul Ryan gets booed at AARP – that says it all (source).
What I support is no change for current retirees and near-retirees to Medicare and the president supports taking $716 billion out of that program.
Politifact rated that claim “mostly false” HERE.
What I’d do to make sure that we can keep Medicare in place for them is to allow them either to choose the current Medicare program or a private plan — their choice. They get to — and they’ll have at least two plans that will be entirely at no cost to them. So they don’t have to pay additional money, no additional $6,000. That’s not going to happen.
Ok – so it is just because he says it is got that. And somehow – by breaking people out of Medicare – that somehow strengthens it. He says … no more money out of pocket. That’s not what the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says HERE.
And by the way, the idea came not even from Paul Ryan or — or Senator Wyden, who’s a co-author of the bill with — with Paul Ryan in the Senate, but also it came from Bill Clinton’s — Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. This is an idea that’s been around a long time, which is saying, hey, let’s see if we can’t get competition into the Medicare world so that people can get the choice of different plans at lower cost, better quality. I believe in competition.
Well – Ron Wyden said Romney was “making things up” and that he didn’t support their Medicare proposals HERE. And Romney’s reference to Bill Clinton’s chief of staff … Bill Clinton’s former OMB director Alice Rivlin said, “I don’t support the version of Medicare premium support in the Ryan plan” HERE.
Regulation is essential. You can’t have a free market work if you don’t have regulation. As a business person, I had to have — I needed to know the regulations. I needed them there. You couldn’t have people opening up banks in their — in their garage and making loans. I mean, you have to have regulations so that you can have an economy work. Every free economy has good regulation.
But in March of this year – Romney said this HERE:
“And day by day, job-killing regulation by regulation, bureaucrat by bureaucrat, he is crushing the dream and the dreamers. If we continue along this path, our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, and commissions and czars.”
Another time in March of this year he said this HERE:
“Now, the banks aren’t bad people. They’re just overwhelmed right now. They’re overwhelmed with a lot of things. One is a lot of homes coming in, that are in foreclosure or in trouble, and the other is with a massive new pile of regulations.”
Romney is on record that he would repeal Sarbanes-Oxley that was signed under President Bush after the Enron scandal HERE.
Dodd- Frank was passed, and it includes within it a number of provisions that I think have some unintended consequences that are harmful to the economy. One is it designates a number of banks as too big to fail, and they’re effectively guaranteed by the federal government.
This is the biggest kiss that’s been given to — to New York banks I’ve ever seen. This is an enormous boon for them.
So … now Romney is upset that Obama was too good to the banks? Sure. The reality is – Dodd-Frank says … the government now has the power to break them down into little bitty pieces and the CEO’s are responsible and the shareholders lose while the taxpayers are protected. That is what Romney wants to completely repeal and doesn’t say what he would replace it with.
That — that’s why I’d have regulation. But I wouldn’t designate five banks as too big to fail and give them a blank check.
Now Romney is PRO-regulation and anti-bank. Dodd-Frank does not give a blank check to the banks. That’s insane. I mean – pathological.
And unfortunately, when — when you look at “Obamacare,” the Congressional Budget Office has said it will cost $2,500 a year more than traditional insurance. So it’s adding to cost.
In fact – the CBO wrote a letter to John Boehner per his request saying that should they repeal Obamacare … insurance premiums would be HIGHER. Romney’s lying. The CBO writes HERE:
Nevertheless, many people would end up paying more for health insurance—because under current law, the majority of enrollees purchasing coverage in that market would receive subsidies via the insurance exchanges, and H.R. 6079 would eliminate those subsidies. That prior analysis of premiums also suggests that premiums for employment-based coverage obtained through large employers would be slightly higher under H.R. 6079 than under current law.
I just don’t know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the — at the kitchen table and spent his energy and passion for two years fighting for “Obamacare” instead of fighting for jobs for the American people.
I guess Romney forgets the stimulus that was passed to stop the 800k jobs that were being lost every month when Obama took over. That was priority #1. And #2 dealt with the largest driver of our deficits – healthcare costs which Obamacare addressed.
Right now, the CBO says up to 20 million people will lose their insurance as “Obamacare” goes into effect next year. And likewise, a study by McKinsey & Company of American businesses said 30 percent of them are anticipating dropping people from coverage.
Regarding the 20 million – Politifact says that’s false HERE.
Sarah Kliff at the Washington Post says this HERE:
Romney cited a McKinsey study finding that about 30 percent of companies would drop coverage because of Obamacare. That study is a bit of an outlier: Another recent survey, of 512 large companies, none of them said they would stop offering coverage.
And the Republicans had a — had a plan. They put a plan out. They put out a plan, a bipartisan plan. It was swept aside. I think something this big, this important has to be done in a bipartisan basis. And we have to have a president who can reach across the aisle and fashion important legislation with the input from both parties.
They didn’t have a plan. Their plan was repeal and replace. It has simply turned into repeal. Period. Obamacare was modeled after Romneycare. It’s the same plan. It came from the Heritage foundation. It’s unbelievable. And we know that Romney’s plan would actually lead to 72 million people being uninsured … and premiums would go up (source).
“Number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.”
That’s a lie. It doesn’t. If you lose your job and you’re not covered continuously … under Romney’s plan – insurance companies don’t have to cover you. That’s exactly what the law was like before. More on that HERE.
Romney says about healthcare:
“The private market and individual responsibility always work best.”
So – why wasn’t it working before Governor? Or do you think it has always been working … best?
Well, first, I love great schools. Massachusetts, our schools are ranked number one of all 50 states. And the key to great schools: great teachers. So I reject the idea that I don’t believe in great teachers or more teachers. Every school district, every state should make that decision on their own.
That’s true – they were #1. And they were #1 before he was Governor and after he was Governor. And so what – he didn’t break it.
I interpret that as, one, making sure that those people who are less fortunate and can’t care for themselves are cared by — by one another.
Then why are his budget cuts all targeting the poor? Why does he speak so poorly about 47% of Americans behind closed doors when he thinks noone is listening?
And the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. The proof of that is one out of six people in poverty. The proof of that is we’ve gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can’t find work.
No – it’s 12 million. And your solution to poverty and food stamps is to cut MORE on social services? Your solution for college graduates is to make them shoulder even MORE on their college tuition? Words vs. deeds.
My own view, by the way, is I’ve added to that. I happen to believe — I want the kids that are getting federal dollars from IDEA or — or Title I — these are disabled kids or — or poor kids or — or lower-income kids, rather. I want them to be able to go to the school of their choice. So all federal funds, instead of going to the — to the state or to the school district, I’d have go — if you will, follow the child and let the parent and the child decide where to send their — their — their student.
He supports voucher programs for schools. So – those rich kids who already go to private schools or those parents who want to send their kids to church based schools will get a tax break … meanwhile – we bankrupt public schools. That’s what he is implicitly saying. Believe me – he isn’t talking about poor kids … this is bait and switch. Just don’t look at what his right hand is doing while he shows you the shiny object in his left hand.
I’m — I’m not going to cut education funding. I don’t have any plan to cut education funding and grants that go to people going to college. I’m planning on continuing to grow, so I’m not planning on making changes there.
So Romney isn’t raising taxes, he is spending more on the military, he isn’t cutting help for the poor and he isn’t tearing into education …. but he’s going to balance the budget by major spending cuts on OTHER items that will go unnamed. Just trust him. It is just not reality what he is saying.
You put $90 billion into — into green jobs. And — and I — look, I’m all in favor of green energy. Ninety billion (dollars) — that — that would have — that would have hired 2 million teachers. Ninety billion dollars. And these businesses — many of them have gone out of business. I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in, they’ve gone out of business. A number of them happened to be owned by — by people who were contributors to your campaigns.
In fact – the department of energy program that he is referring to relative to businesses the government supports have been VERY successful. More on that HERE. Romney’s claims of 50% are false; the failure rate is very low actually. And then he wants to make it seem like Obama is funneling money to projects based on his donors. Newsflash on Solyndra … that started under Bush. Nice job Romney. Fact checkers have already debunked this HERE.
And there really are two very different paths that we began speaking about this evening. And over the course of this month we’re going to have two more presidential debates and vice presidential debate. We’ll talk about those two paths. But they lead in very different directions. And it’s not just looking to our words that you have to take in evidence of where they go; you can look at the record.
Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts – 47th in the country in job creation (source)
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