By Robert Scheer
Let’s look at the bright side of this interminable and essentially superficial election process. I’m hoping that, even if Mitt Romney wins, the upside will be that I get to be taxed at the same rate he has enjoyed as one of the nation’s most skillful hedge fund hustlers.
I’m not asking for the super-low rate that he probably paid during the many years of tax returns he has refused to publicly disclose. Nothing that extreme—I can’t afford his ingenious accountants. But I am hoping that Romney will set the top rate at the 14 percent that he was willing to admit to having paid on his $13.7 million in income in 2011 when he knew his tax records would have to be revealed to the public because he was running for tax-collector-in-chief.
If Romney would just commit to granting all of us the same deal that he gets from his hedge fund and capital gains tax breaks and offshore accounts, I might be tempted to join the ranks of terminally shortsighted white males who seemed poised to vote him into office. Of course, he has to make good on his promise in Florida that none of us senior citizens will ever lose a penny of what the GOP denigrates as our retirement “entitlements,” and that all of his anti-socialist budget balancing cuts will be exclusively at the expense of younger folks. It’s only socialism when government benefits are extended to people other than us.
I am down with the tea party types who demand that the government keep its clammy hands off our Social Security and Medicare programs. Yes, as long as Medicare remains a for-profit, free-market program, we seniors won’t have to contend with death panels like under Obamacare. What we need instead of that socialist claptrap with which Obama has enslaved us is the insurance coverage that Romney required people in Massachusetts to purchase.
Oh yes, true Obamacare is exactly modeled on Romneycare, but just consider the source. When Romney mandated that citizens in his state be required to buy health insurance, it was an extension of the free market. But when Obama gets the same requirement passed for the rest of us, you just know how dark his motives are. At least we non-Kenyan white males do.
The same goes for this so-called education crisis that Obama keeps prattling on about. There’s no need for national standards or federal support for education because, as Gov. Romney demonstrated in Massachusetts, it’s a problem the states can solve on their own. What worked to make Massachusetts No. 1 in education will work in Mississippi without any outside meddling, like when the feds messed up Ole Miss with that integration stuff. They’re both low-tax states run by fiscally conservative Republicans who share a common ethic of social concern for the most well-off.
Speaking of fiscally conservative Republicans, won’t it be great to have someone in the mold of George W. Bush back in the White House who knows how to make America strong again by fighting two wars and building up the military to what it was in the Cold War glory years without raising taxes? He did it the same way he bailed out the big bankers after they wrecked the economy—by getting the Fed to print more money. Praise be to Romney for committing to preserving the tax cuts for the truly needy superrich, who should be rewarded for creating so many new high paying jobs. Yes, first for themselves, but eventually it will trickle down.
And when the good times roll again like they did in the Bush years, and we can all take out those liars’ loans that his deregulation of the financial markets made possible, we middle-class folks and even many of the freeloading 47 percent will have the money to pay down the national debt that the military buildup and financial crisis have caused. The trick is to return to the good old days of the Bush years, and unregulated derivative markets bundling subprime mortgages will thrive once again.
It’s just a matter of faith in God and the America that the Almighty obviously loves far more than he does any other country. I haven’t found that passage in Scripture verifying God’s backing of the American empire or renewing the ban on a woman’s right to choose, but I’m certain there are plenty of born-again religious scholars who can cite the divine source. It’s probably in that section that the prophet Ronald Reagan wrote, defining wealth as virtue. Didn’t God sacrifice his only son so the money-changers in the temple could go about their righteous work?
That’s why the Lord created the super-rich and gave them most of our money, because they are uniquely blessed with the entrepreneurial skills sufficient to pass through the eye of a needle on the way to their just eternal reward. And only an outrageous bigot would question a Mormon politician’s full acceptance of that Christian commandment.
Mitt may now be coming on as a secular moderate—how else can you win an election in a country dominated by a liberal media owned by Rupert Murdoch? As governor of Massachusetts, Romney proved that he has the ability to reach across the aisle to heathen Democrats and get them to ban homosexuality and abortions.
Have you been to post-Mitt Massachusetts lately? I wouldn’t say that it’s rounding up witches yet, but there’s only so much that a Republican governor in a solidly blue state can accomplish. Rest assured that the voters of Massachusetts share Mitt’s high opinion of his record as governor, or polls wouldn’t show Obama with about a 20 percent lead in Romney’s home state.
AP/Jae C. Hon