Favorite

Lyons: Romney's bold-faced lie 

click to enlarge Mitt Romney image

People who lie a lot also tend to whine a lot, particularly when their prevarications are exposed. As a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney gives the impression of never having been in a fair fight. He's remarkably thin-skinned for somebody in public life.

Everybody expects politicians to embellish the truth, but Romney's epic misrepresentations continue to astonish. Yet he appears flabbergasted that anybody's allowed to talk back. Why, my dear fellow, it simply isn't done.

Maybe this works in the executive suites and country clubs where Romney's spent his life. But it's a dubious strategy in an American presidential campaign. Regarding his taxes, for example, Romney could easily quell suspicion that he's hiding something politically disqualifying. Release five years' worth of returns (half the number President Obama's put on the record), and move on.

Instead, he essentially demands that voters take his gentleman's word that he's never paid less than (a meager) 13% in taxes. However, his recent statement didn't specify "federal income taxes," a significant omission for somebody who made his fortune manipulating the tax code. If Romney's arrived at the 13% figure by combining state, local, sales, excise, as well as real estate taxes on his several mansions, voters deserve to know.

Reporters should also ask, straight up, if Romney took advantage of the IRS's 2009 one-time amnesty for money hidden in foreign bank accounts.

Yes or no?

But Romney's taxes are trivial compared to the ugly falsehoods his campaign's spreading about Medicare — sowing fear and division among seniors in a transparent attempt to divert attention from his and Paul Ryan's plan to "save" the program by turning it from a guaranteed insurance benefit to a privatized voucher system.

Here's the script of a new TV ad the Romney campaign's running:

"You paid in to Medicare for years. Every paycheck. Now, when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. Why? To pay for Obamacare. So now the money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that's not for you."

Got that? Your benefits, paid for by your Medicare taxes, are supposedly being taken away and given to others. In case that's too subtle, Romney himself has said "there's only one president that I know of in history that has robbed Medicare." He told an audience in Ohio that Obama "has taken $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund. He's raided that trust fund."

"And do you know what he did with it? He used it to pay for Obamacare, a risky, unproven, federal takeover of health care."

On "Meet the Press," Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus declared that "This president stole...$700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it's Barack Obama."

Robbed, stole, raided, blood on his hands.

Then who IS Obamacare for, if not for you and yours?

A recent letter to my local newspaper spelled out what Romney's too tasteful to say: "obese, lay-about, cigarette-smoking, drug-taking, welfare-sucking, emergency-room-visiting no-accounts...[who] expect the government to provide them everything for free."

That's right, THEM.

THEY are getting YOUR benefits.

Of course Romney's smart enough to understand what the letter writer clearly doesn't, which is that YOU'VE ALWAYS PAID for others' medical care in the most wasteful, inefficient way possible. No matter who's elected, you'll keep paying until Congress passes a law saying hospitals can refuse sick and injured patients who can't pay. Which would not only be immoral, but a public health menace.

That's why Massachusetts has "Romneycare," the only worthwhile accomplishment of Mitt's public career, which he now wants people to forget.

Romney's also smart enough to know that not a single dime has been robbed, stolen or otherwise removed from the Medicare trust fund. Indeed, its life has been extended. Nobody's benefits have been altered in any way.

That's a lie so craven and demagogic you'd think even Mitt Romney would be embarrassed.

What the Affordable Care Act does do is something conservatives have long clamored for: It cuts, not benefits, but Medicare's future costs by roughly 10% (or $700 billion) over a ten year period by A.) Reducing corporate subsidies to insurance companies administering Medicare Advantage plans, and B.) Slowing the rate of growth in payments to hospitals.

Furthermore, the health care industry agreed to these changes during negotiations over the new law: Insurance companies because they're gaining millions of new customers; hospitals because Obamacare virtually eliminates their huge problem of non-paying patients.

Got that? Because almost everybody will have health insurance under Obamacare, hospitals, private insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid alike can quit robbing Peter to pay Paul, effecting significant savings.

These economies are in your interest whether you're a Medicare beneficiary or not.

That is, if you're clear-eyed enough to see through the Republican candidate's shameless falsehoods.

Favorite

Speaking of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Gene Lyons

  • Narcissist supreme

    An ordinary sociopath would have known to pretend shock and sorrow after the terrible mass murder in Orlando.
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • Coddling

    It's been 20 years since I started hearing alarming tales from a friend who supervised a daycare center for hospital employees' children.
    • Jun 16, 2016
  • Bash Bernie

    Here's my basic problem with Bernie Sanders: To put it bluntly, once a Trotskyite always a fool.
    • Jun 2, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The cult of gun-toting

    That Idaho mother shot to death by her 2 year-old son in a Walmart store? Judging by Veronica Jean Rutledge's biography, you can be just about certain that she'd driven to the store wearing a seat belt, with her little boy buckled carefully into his car seat.
    • Jan 8, 2015
  • Choleric about love in our time

    For a guy who watches maybe 250 ballgames a year, I've always taken an interest in what was once called the women's page. After studying the sports section every morning, it's the next thing I turn to.
    • Jan 22, 2015
  • Send your daughters to A&M

    This just in: "Study Finds Fruitcake Right, Anti-gravity Left Share Similar Traits, Tactics."
    • Feb 5, 2015

Most Shared

  • Lawsuit filed over settlement in forum-shopping class action case

    The lawyers facing disciplinary action by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith over their settlement of a class action lawsuit against the USAA insurance company have a new legal headache.
  • Cherokee tribe backs the casino amendment

    NOW, I get it. The group circulating petitions for a constitutional amendment to establish casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties reveals that the deal anticipates operation of the casino in Washington County by the Cherokee tribe that now has casino operations in Oklahoma.
  • A modest proposal for charter schools

    It was just a little over a year ago when Baker Kurrus was hired as the superintendent of the Little Rock School District. With new Education Commissioner Johnny Key there was a strong concern that the Little Rock school system would be converted to all charter schools and the entire public education system would disappear.
  • Highway Department: Key parts of new Clarendon bridge installed upside down.

    The future of the old Highway 79 bridge at Clarendon is uncertain, but it's a good thing the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department didn't jump the gun on demolishing it.That's because the new bridge at Clarendon — or at least the western approach, which is elevated over U.S. Fish and Wildlife wetlands — is snakebit.
  • Mansion wars

    It has never been as consequential as Versailles, which helped trigger the French Revolution, but the royal palace of Arkansas's First Family has always been an object of political intrigue.

Latest in Gene Lyons

  • Narcissist supreme

    An ordinary sociopath would have known to pretend shock and sorrow after the terrible mass murder in Orlando.
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • Coddling

    It's been 20 years since I started hearing alarming tales from a friend who supervised a daycare center for hospital employees' children.
    • Jun 16, 2016
  • Democratic endgame

    • Jun 9, 2016
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

June

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30  

Most Viewed

  • A modest proposal for charter schools

    It was just a little over a year ago when Baker Kurrus was hired as the superintendent of the Little Rock School District. With new Education Commissioner Johnny Key there was a strong concern that the Little Rock school system would be converted to all charter schools and the entire public education system would disappear.
  • Narcissist supreme

    An ordinary sociopath would have known to pretend shock and sorrow after the terrible mass murder in Orlando.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Narcissist supreme

    • Any truth to the rumor that the republican party is changing its mascot from the…

    • on June 24, 2016
  • Re: A modest proposal for charter schools

    • 💯

    • on June 24, 2016
  • Re: Corrupted by money

    • I am more concerned with supposed people of faith attempting to force their agenda onto…

    • on June 22, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation