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Ear to the Ground

Romney’s ‘Loony View About the Economy’

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Posted on Apr 17, 2012
davelawrence8 (CC-BY)

Frugality? Check. Family values? Check. Sound reasoning? Nope. Mitt Romney’s campaign managed to stay true to the concerns of his base while totally botching the logic behind an infographic claiming that President Obama’s management of the U.S. economy is akin to that of a family accountant gone mad.

In addition to getting the comparison wrong, the “deeply flawed way to look at budgeting,” as Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler puts it, mistakenly assumes that Obama owns the current deficit in its entirety and that the president should have made balancing the budget a first priority.

That first part is not true, as Obama inherited the bulk of it from the previous Republican administration and much of the rest was divided between plummeting tax revenues and the new administration’s response.

As for the second, Beutler quotes Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, as saying: “The budget moves toward deficit every time we have a downturn. That’s a good thing, because it sustains demand into the economy. ... So either [Romney is] making an issue out of something he knows not to be an issue, or he has a loony view about the economy.”

See the infographic below. —ARK

Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo:

Romney posits a hypothetical family, whose income and liabilities are derived by dividing federal revenue, spending, deficits and debt by $100 million. That leaves us with a very poor family of four — surviving on $24,686 a year — struggling with $163,509 in debt.

… Setting aside the specific figures, the idea here is that no household of modest means would ever come close to racking up the same income-to-debt ratio the federal government has right now.

According to Federal Reserve and Census data, that’s not really true — the average household, which houses about 2.5 people, has over $100,000 in outstanding debt, including mortgage debt.

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By berniem, April 19, 2012 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Frankly I believe that Mitt is secretly the fourth Witt brother. How else to explain his intellectual resemblence to Half, Dim, and Nitt?

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By mrfreeze, April 17, 2012 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

gerard - I’ve believed, for many years, that the United States would someday devolve itself into one big, giant state of Utah. After having grown up among the Mormons (the biggest bunch of narcissistic, know-it-all jerk-offs in the world) in UT, the whole “Romney” thing doesn’t surprise me at all.

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By christian96, April 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

I try not to spend a lot of time listening to politicians since they must lie and deceive to
secure votes.  However, one day I heard Romney
speak.  He was being questioned about his income
and taxes paid.  He said something along the lines
of, “If you don’t believe it is all right for a
person to make a profit then vote for someone else!”
He didn’t elaborate on variables such as how much
profits he had made for a specific amount of time,
the means he used to secure his profits, tax write-
offs he had used, or the amount of taxes he paid.
He just made the before mentioned comment. It’s
those kind of general comments we’ve come to expect
from deceptive politicians.  Of course no one is
opposed to anyone making a profit.  I don’t want
vague generalities.  I want specifics.  How did you
make your profits?  Investing in candy and colas which
ruins the health of people, especially children,
around the world? Did you invest in cigarettes and/or
alcohol?  Did you invest in the military/industrial
complex?  Please, Mr. Romney, be specific. If you don’t
I can assure you I will vote for someone else. You can
take that to the bank. Perhaps one which you helped
the government bail out.  Since my mother, father, and
only two sibblings died from smoking cigarettes, I’d
like to know if you voted to keep government subsidies
flowing to tobacco farmers.  Come on Mr. nice guy.
Quit smiling and get specific.

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By gerard, April 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

What both scares and infuriates me is that Romney may be pretty close to just what the “average” white under-educated, jittery R and D voters may actually want, whether they know it or not. Some of his qualifications (I use the word lightly.) draw Mr. and Mrs. Average in, in spite of the fact that they are a bit scared of his peculiar religion.
  He’s rich, which is what they would like to be.
  He’s in favor of killing off or bleeding “entitle-ments” like S.S., health care and public education.
  He thinks corporations are “entitled” to be billionnaires, and that they provide other people with jobs, which means they are public-spirited.
  He thinks people are poor because they are either lazy or looking for a free ride at taxpayers’ expense.
  He has no clear idea of the complexities of how to manage a “democracy” fairly and isn’t even sure he
values equal rights and laws that support it.
  He’s not hot on innovation; more like a “back to”
reactionary painted patriotic for convenience.
  He’s not particularly opposed to war especially if it is waged in honor of American supremacy.
  He’s “not exactly” racist—but his Mormon background is “not exactly” comfortable with non-whites either.
  He doesn’t give more than a slight hoot for the arts and cares little about foreign cultures.
  He’s sure he’s right.’
      At least that’s my “take”.

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By mrfreeze, April 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

diamond - What does that make the voters???????? A truly scary question….

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By diamond, April 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Clearly, if you want to be the Republican candidate for president you have to have a lobotomy. It also seems to be a requirement to be a member of Congress. Onward and upward zombie soldiers.

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By Jason, April 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Never mind the fact that Obama has spent more in four years than all previous Presidents COMBINED. How’s that for spurring the economy and reigning in all this debt? He’s largely expanded government that creates even more bureaucracy/waste and forced programs down the American peoples throat that the majority did not want in the first place. Democrats can spin it the way they want, but for most of the independent, no party of choice person out there (like myself) are going to ultimately look around at things come November and make the decision that their lives aren’t nowhere near what they were 4 years ago, that the blame America first foreign policy we’ve been running has been a shame, and that cheap, point your finger at the other guy, talking points like this article is tiring. Obama was elected to fix the economy, unite the country together, restore pride to this great nation, and govern to the middle with commomn sense. We have seen none of that the last four years and his complete hard left policies have ultimately failed one after another. I myself will not vote for Romney, but WILL vote against Obama. -Independent that voted FOR Obama in 2008.

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