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Bernard Whitman

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52 Reasons to Vote for Obama: #27, Mitt Romney

Posted: 08/30/2012 11:27 am

Whether you're PRObama, NObama, or still undecided, 52 Reasons to Vote for Obama gives you all the information you need to share with friends, debate with relatives and decide for yourself as we head toward one of the most important elections of our lifetime. I'll post a new reason in random order every Monday through Friday from now 'til the election.

There are so many reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney.

Here are my top seven:

1. His Economic Plan

Mitt Romney believes the best way to grow the economy is from the top down. Cut taxes for the wealthy and eliminate regulations on banks, polluters and insurance and oil companies. Romney wants to keep all of the Bush tax cuts, and then add another $5 trillion on top of that, with 70 percent of those tax cuts going to people making $200,000 or more a year, according to the White House. Folks making over a million dollars a year would get a 25 percent tax cut, on average. To pay for this, the White House says, Romney would need to cut nearly a trillion dollars from the part of the budget that includes everything from education and job training to medical research and clean energy, the deepest cuts in modern times.

2012-08-28-RomRom.jpgIf that cut was spread evenly across the budget, White House calculations show, ten million college students would lose about $1,000 each in financial aid and two hundred thousand children would get kicked out of Head Start programs. There would be sixteen hundred fewer medical research grants for things like Alzheimer's, cancer and AIDS, and forty-eight thousand researchers would lose their grants. Over fifty million Americans would lose their health insurance, including millions of nursing home patients, as well as families who have children with autism and other disabilities.

According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, Mitt Romney would give those in the top 20 percent an average tax cut of more than $16,000 while raising taxes on the bottom 20 percent of workers. The top 1 percent would get a cut of almost $150,000 per year, and the top 0.1 percent would receive a whopping $725,000 reduction, on average. The Tax Policy Center confirmed that Romney's plan would add at least $4 trillion to the deficit.

Moody's said the following about Mr. Romney's plan: "On net, all of these policies would do more harm in the short term. If we implemented all of his policies, it would push us deeper into recession and make the recovery slower."

Cut taxes for the rich and create a deficit that our grandchildren will have to pay for? No thanks, I think we tried that one before.

2. His Record at Bain Capital

Romney spent fifteen years at Bain Capital, where he succeeded at piling debt on companies, outsourcing jobs to China and India, firing American workers, and leaving many companies in bankruptcy. There's nothing wrong with private equity, whose goal is to maximize profit above all else, but it is hardly a training ground for job creation.

Trying to take credit for jobs created by entrepreneurs he advised or through deals he was tangentially involved in doesn't "pass the laugh test," says Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, who awards Romney three Pinocchios for his job creation claims. As governor of Massachusetts, he ranked forty-seventh out of fifty in job creation.

Even putting aside his record at Bain Capital, Romney places way too much stock in his business experience as preparation for the White House. Bill Clinton, who created the most jobs of any president, had no prior business experience. Ronald Reagan, an actor, presided over a very powerful economic expansion. The two presidents with the most business experience? Herbert Hoover and George W. Bush... hardly models for economic prosperity.

3. He's a Flip-Flopper

Where does this guy stand on the issues? He was for a woman's right to choose, now he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and block the government from funding Planned Parenthood. He supported equality for gays and lesbians and now wants to write discrimination into the Constitution and allow states to ban gays from adopting children or visiting their partners in the hospital. He's even against civil unions. He was against all forms of no tax pledges and now can't wait to sign them. He used to think humans caused global warming, but now he's not so sure. He used to be for gun control, now he's against it. How can you vote for someone when you don't even know what he really believes?

4. He Can't Relate to the 99 Percent

Poll after poll shows that when it comes to likability, Obama wins in a landslide. Likability, or favorability, another common political metric on which Romney trails miserably, is a gut-check measure of how people relate to an individual. Likability and favorability are critically important qualities that presidents use to attract voters, marshal support, and lead the nation. These qualities lead to trust and confidence, which help generate optimism in a nation and create a sense of strength. In a divided government -- and a divided nation facing tough choices -- the ability to persuade and bring people over to your side is an extraordinary asset to effective governance. Just look at the three past presidents who have been reelected -- Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush -- all extremely likable. Romney's favorability ratings have consistently been under water, with more Americans viewing him unfavorably than favorably. No candidate in the modern polling era with personal favorability ratings as low as his has ever won the presidency. Romney is on track to be the most unpopular presidential nominee on record.

Then there's the enthusiasm gap. People just aren't psyched about supporting Romney: 93 percent of those who support Obama are excited about supporting him, while only 75 percent of Romney supporters are enthusiastic about their candidate. To put that in perspective, in June 2008, Obama's enthusiasm rating was 91 percent and McCain's was 74 percent... and we all know how that election turned out.

People voting for Romney don't even like him, they just dislike Obama. Of those who would vote for Romney in an April 2012 poll, 63 percent were voting against Obama and only 35 percent were voting for Romney. Among Obama voters, 76 percent were voting for Obama, while only 23 percent were voting against Romney.

5. He's Committed to Inequality

  • "Not concerned about the very poor"

  • Thinks the middle class is "envious" of the 1 percent

  • Believes that income inequality should be discussed in "quiet rooms"

  • Silent on equal pay for women

  • Opposes the freedom to marry and civil unions for gay and lesbian couples

  • Opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, even those who came here as children and now want to go to college or serve in the military

6. He's Become Ultraconservative to Appeal to the Far Right

Compared to George W. Bush, Mitt Romney is an ultraconservative.

  • Bush passed a huge tax cut that America couldn't afford, mostly benefiting the wealthy. According to the Center for American Progress, Romney's tax cut plan is four times larger ($10.7 trillion in tax cuts over ten years), and almost three times more beneficial to the super rich (33 percent benefiting the top one tenth of 1 percent). Millionaires would save over $250,535, on average.

  • Bush signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. Romney wants to repeal virtually all campaign finance laws.

  • Bush supported comprehensive immigration reform, a path to citizenship for twelve million undocumented immigrants, and portions of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors). Romney opposes all of these measures.

  • Bush expanded Medicare by providing seniors with prescription drug benefits. Romney wants to end Medicare as we know it.

  • Bush raised the minimum wage. Romney opposes increasing the minimum wage.

  • Bush enacted higher fuel efficiency standards.

  • Romney says even current standards are too high.

  • Bush admitted global warming is caused by humans. Romney says, "We don't know what's causing climate change."

  • Bush approved one of the biggest land conservation programs in U.S. history. Romney thinks the federal government owns too much land.

  • Mitt Romney: The most conservative Republican nominee since Barry Goldwater.

  • Bush supported civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Romney opposes them.
  • 7. He Would Be a Foreign Policy and National Security Nightmare

    • Thinks Russia is "our number one geopolitical foe," worse than Iran, North Korea or China
    • Advisors are the same ultra-right-wing neocons who got us into the Iraq war
    • Engages in reckless warmongering talk on Iran
    • Opposed to a political settlement in Afghanistan
    • Doesn't understand that China's threat is primarily economic, not military
    • Wants to take a backseat in the Middle East
    • Wants to increase military spending by $2.1 trillion over the next decade...

    Wait, aren't we supposed to be cutting spending?

    I encourage you to join in the conversation and share your thoughts on Reason #27 or your own reasons by visiting 52 Reasons to Vote for Obama on Facebook... I'd love to hear from you!

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