Mitt Romney discovered Greece. The GOP presidential candidate mentioned the cash strapped nation twice during the third-and-final debate last week, saying that's where the U.S. is heading with Obama at the wheel.
Gov. Romney is right in suggesting that the U.S., like Greece, is suffering now because of what the New York Times calls a "debt binge," but what he doesn't say is that this binge started a decade ago when the Bush administration decided to run up the credit cards on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the tune of $2 trillion by some estimates.
What Romney doesn't say is that he wants to run up the national deficit by another $2 trillion not to buy more ships for the Navy, but instead to exercise his military inexperience abroad.
But, Gov. Romney demonstrates as much knowledge of Greece as he does of Russia. Greece, for the governor, is code for economic collapse just as Russia is code for what he calls "terrorists of some kind." What's really behind code word "Greece" is the need for egregious austerity measures, the same kind of austerity measures that have spurred protests in Athens, Rome, and London. These fear tactics are intended to set the stage for a host of "entitlement program" cutbacks that Romney and Ryan will make if they occupy the executive branch.
Yes, Martha, "Greece" is code for closing loopholes, and "loophole" is code for education, school lunch programs, food stamps, turning Medicaid over to the states, so the states can use the money to save themselves from bankruptcy rather than deliver health care to the needy.
Yes, during the debate last night Mitt Romney kept saying the U.S. is heading towards Greece. The U.S. is heading towards Greece the same way Christopher Columbus was heading for India. In fairness to Columbus, he never pretended to be anything other than a mercenary. Ask Queen Isabella of Spain who financed his journey. Nowadays, in Romneyspeak, Columbus might call himself not a mercenary, but an "entrepreneur."
Does Romney now claim he can see Athens from his backyard, too?
How can a candidate expect to have credibility when he makes such an outrageous claim? Over the past three and a half years, all the economic indicators are up. Unemployment is trending down, slowly, but it's not merely about the numbers, it's about the trend. New housing construction has now reached its highest point in four years. Retail sales are up. Consumer confidence is up. The only one talking doom and gloom about the economy is Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and this is just an excuse to reach into your pocket, and put your savings into theirs.
The U.S. is heading for Greece like Christopher Columbus was heading for India. It looks like it's time for Gov. Romney to splurge, and buy himself a new compass.