Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More of Romney's entitlements

In my blog "A Defective Human Being" (Sept 24, 2012) I pointed out that Mitt Romney's past history shows him to be a bully and snob -- a person whose anti-social behavior stems from a strong sense of entitlement based on his wealth and social status. The family financial cushion that sent him to elite schools also helped him get started in business; he parlayed aggressive Mormon proselytizing overseas into a military deferment during the Vietnam War; he took every advantage of financial dodges and tax loopholes to amass a fortune, much of which is hidden overseas. Throughout all, his attitude has been one of entitlement and disdain for others less fortunate or less rapacious.

It is no surprise, then, to see his character so clearly on display at last night's Presidential Debate. Rules of decorum that were agreed upon by both sides apparently don't seem to apply to Mr. Romney: if he wanted to get the last word and it wasn't his turn, why he simply just started to speak -- even over the objections of the moderator.  While both he and Obama went over their allotted time on several occasions, he did so more often, more arrogantly, and with more obvious a sense of entitlement. On several occasions this included simply speaking over the moderator as if she didn't matter or even exist.  Play it over and you'll see.

When asked what would happen if somehow his "numbers don't add up" (which is what non-voodoo economists have shown numerically to be the case), here is what he said:

"Well, of course they add up. I was — I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced the budget. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget. I ran the — the state of Massachusetts as a governor, to the extent any governor does, and balanced the budget all four years" 

Well, it's not "of course." Romney is used to bullying other, weaker companies and not being second-guessed by anyone -- he had no stockholders at Bain to get in his way or question him. In Massachusetts, he had to balance the budget: it's required by law. As a one term governor, who was already prepping for national politics before his term expired, he was not responsible in any way for Massachusetts' excellent educational record. In fact, he cut state aid to cities and towns for their schools, police and fire departments, and raised fees for state community colleges and universities and other citizen services.

In point of fact: The numbers don't add up. Even if all tax deductions are eliminated, that would only pay for less than 10% of the deficits that his tax cuts -- on top of the Bush tax cuts he vows to retain -- and his proposed increase in military spending would rack up. So what's the "of course" all about? The "of course" means "I'm Mitt Romney, I'm entitled to your belief in me,  and that's all the proof you need." Actually, it's all the proof we've gotten or will get from him or his party.

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