Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has the lead in some Presidential election polls. Who remembers Romney when he was running in the 2008 Republican primaries, only to lose to McCain? Many things have changed in the last four years.
The topic of the economy seems to be Romney’s favorite since he believes the record favors him. We will also be scrutinizing President Barack Obama and his economic record just to be fair.
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will have a large impact on our economy according to many organizations like the Heritage Foundation. Nowadays it is well known that Obamacare is largely based upon a plan that Romney crafted with a state congress that had a Democratic super-majority. The linchpin for making Obamacare work was the individual mandate, which requires everyone to purchase private health insurance. Although Obama promised this would not be a tax, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare as a tax. But back to Romney…
“I’m proud of what we’ve done. If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing [Romneycare], then that will be a model for the nation,” Romney said in a 2007 speech. He was attacked for this in the 2008 Presidential primary debates, but he defended his ideas, saying, “I like mandates. Mandates work.”
After discovering just how unpopular Obamacare is with Republicans, Romney decided that merely differentiating Romneycare from Obamacare was not enough. “At the time I crafted the plan in the last campaign I was asked is [Romneycare] something that you would have the whole nation do, and I said no. This is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation,” Romney said in the 2011 Presidential primary debates. Even Bret Baier of Fox News went after this obvious lapse. “Governor, you did say on camera and in other places, at times you thought [Romneycare] would be a model for the nation.” Romney insisted, “You’re wrong, Bret.”
The Bush tax cuts are contentious right now but supposedly way back in 2003 Romney actually opposed them. According to the Boston Herald “Romney stunned a roomful of Bay State congressmen by telling them that he would not publicly support Bush’s tax cuts, which at the time formed the centerpiece of the president;s domestic agenda. He even said he was open to a federal gas tax hike.” But now the Romney budget plan calls for making the Bush tax cuts permanent. In addition, he wants to cut all income tax rates by an additional 20 percent across the board, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax and permanently repeal the estate tax.
For the most part Romney’s budget plans only affect the middle class and the rich. But in the past he is quoted as saying, “I think the minimum wage ought to keep pace with inflation” and “I believe it will help us to retain jobs.”
More recently, though, he’s changed his tune. “‘There’s no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs.”
The Presidential office can directly affect the economy through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In June, 2011 Romney said in a Town Hall meeting, “I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that…. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”
Just a few months later he was found saying the opposite: “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”
Most recently Romney has been promoting a “no regrets” policy. The Romney plan endorses using government regulations “to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants from older power plants.” Isn’t this what the EPA doing now? It proposes a cross-state cap-and-trade program to “create an emissions trading and banking program,” and to “participate in and support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” a multistate carbon-trading scheme. Sounds familiar… His plan discusses partnering a renewable energy trust with the Office of Commonwealth Development “to fund climate change initiatives,” which is a policy like the one that funded Solyndra and resulted in billions of losses and cronyism. The plan, finally, recommends enforcing “stronger vehicle emissions standards,” while Romney has criticized Obama for implementing the CAFE standards which do the same thing.
I’ve seen some people accuse Romney of being Obama lite. They do seem to agree on many issues…maybe, in the past…or maybe that is the future? If you want to hear more flip flops from both Presidential candidates then go over to lessgovisthebestgov.com. What do you think of Romney’s plan, then and now?