Line by line: Deconstructing OFA’s Romney attack letter
Recently, the Obama campaign apparatus with the somewhat ironic name “Obama for America” sent out a letter to supporters attacking the candidate who is now the presumed winner of the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney. The letter is filled with misrepresentations and examples of projection that would be laughable were the stakes not so high.
Let’s take the letter, line by line, and have a look at its claims. (Letter in bold, purple text; responses in plain text.)
By now you’ve probably seen the news: The amazing — and amazingly negative — Republican race for president is all but over. Mitt Romney is almost certainly our opponent in this election.
The Republican contest was certainly spirited, but that is what freedom brings. Dictators get 100% of the vote. There were some negative ads, certainly. But Republicans and conservatives across the country—and in states usually made irrelevant earlier in the process—have had an opportunity to make their voices heard, at the ballot box and to each other.
By contrast, the 2008 Democratic primary was marred by fraud and strong-arm tactics on behalf of Barack Obama and to the detriment of Hillary Clinton. The only reason that Clinton did not pursue the matter is that she knew she would gain more by remaining silent and being rewarded with future political opportunities, which she was. The GOP campaign was lively, but at least Romney didn’t cheat.
That means America will have a very clear choice come November.
This may be the one element with which we agree in this entire letter.
The President believes that this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and that without a strong and thriving middle class, we’ll never have the growth we need.
Who is this middle class?
People making over 50K paid 93.3 of the taxes in 2010. Are they the middle class?
Job creators—people with small businesses that employ the vast majority of Americans—are struggling under the weight of uncertainty and excessive regulations. Are they the middle class?
Millions of people have lost their insurance coverage as Obamacare wreaks havoc in the private and employer-provided insurance markets. Are they the middle class?
That’s why he’s fighting for an economy rooted in our fundamental values
The day that anyone on the left—and OFA certainly qualifies for that—is actually in favor of “an economy rooted in our fundamental values” is the day that there is no left anymore.
Our fundamental values are these:
- That government’s role is to secure the natural rights of citizens.
- That people have an equal claim to these natural rights, and thus should not be treated differently from one another.
- That governance should be minimal, allowing people the maximum enjoyment of their liberties, and the maximum latitude to create a vibrant civil society.
- That governance should be done in as representative a fashion as possible, with decisions being devolved to lower divisions of government—or to private individuals or institutions—whenever possible.
This general concept produces prosperity, freedom, and social harmony wherever it is tried.
The left’s fundamental values—and Barack Obama’s—are opposite in every respect.
- That government bequeaths all rights, and that government’s role is to deliver positive rights (entitlements), even at the expense of natural rights.
- That it is outcomes that must be equalized, and that the unequal treatment of citizens is justified in this pursuit.
- That government should be as large as possible, and should replace the institutions of the civil society wherever possible.
- That governance should be centralized to the greatest degree possible.
— one in which Americans can not only find work
Obama has been a one-man jobs-wrecking crew.
The participation rate has dramatically plunged—meaning people have simply given up even trying to find work. Taking the people who are simply throwing their hands up in despair into account, the jobs situation has worsened under Obama. This is one of the worst jobs recoveries in all of American history. In terms of GDP growth, it is THE worst. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics is counting unemployment as if these people are no longer unemployed, which does violence to the grave truth of our unemployment situation.
but where folks who work hard can get ahead,
Mindless platitude . . . AND devious. Hard work is enough to get ahead in an economic system with moderate regulations. Obama’s America has more roadblocks to people getting ahead through simple hard work than ever before, and after his comments to Russian President Medvedev, one can hardly expect Obama to change gears in a second term.
responsibility is rewarded,
Bailing out irresponsible companies because they are “too big to fail” is not rewarding responsibility, it is rewarding irresponsibility . . . with taxpayer dollars, at the expense of responsible businesses.
Taking over Chrysler, pumping it full of taxpayer money, and then closing down dealerships not based on performance but rather on which ones were run by Obama allies or not . . . is not exactly rewarding responsibility.
and everyone, from Main Street to Wall Street, plays by the same rules.
See above. Obama’s approach is to reward unions and political allies at every possible turn. With how brazen his cronyism has been in a first term in which he still had to face the voters once more, it’s not going to get any better a second time around.
He’s fighting for an economy that’s built to last, with a genuine and sustained commitment to education and training,
“Commitment” = “investment” = more borrowing and taxes. And for what? To build Barack Obama’s Department of Basic and Science and Research? That’s not what government is supposed to be doing, and when they try to do it, they don’t do it well.
One word: Solyndra.
and homegrown, American energy.
Like his hostility to shale oil, hydraulic fracturing, and a host of other procedures that are actually bringing America closer to energy independence?
Like the Keystone Pipeline, which Obama has inscrutably blocked, while promising to be a great customer of Brazilian oil? (Keystone would bring in Canadian Oil, but why block it?)
Like his all-out war on energy?
He’s fighting for a country in which every child has a chance,
Or is he talking about the children whose future is being mortgaged as we borrow 40¢ on every dollar to pay for programs we cannot possibly afford?
and every American, after a lifetime of work, can count on retiring with dignity and security.
Is that before or after the Social Security and Medicare systems collapse? Both are going to go under in the next couple of decades if nothing is done. Everyone who tries to do anything to stop this inevitable collapse is immediately portrayed by Obama and his surrogates as wanting to push grandmas off of cliffs.
And he’s fighting to ensure that the responsibility for delivering on that future is broadly shared, which means ending the budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy
From the days of the French Revolution, when aristocrats (and plenty of others) were dragged from their homes and beheaded, to the 100 million people slaughtered by totalitarian leftism in the 20th century, the tune is always the same. The singer changes, and the words are different, but it’s always the same song. The rich are evil. We must take some (or all) of their wealth from them, by force. They’re never paying their fair share.
Only they are. In fact, they’re paying far more than their share. We have the most progressive income tax in the world. People making over 50K are bearing almost all the burden. But it’s not enough. It’ll never be enough for the left. There are far more humans who are not rich than who are, so the left knows they can get more votes by inflaming envy, greed, and class hatred.
that add to our deficits
Yes, the Buffett Rule will save us all! Not.
and crowd out the very investments we need to grow.
There’s that term “investments” again. That is code for taking money from taxpayers, and borrowing more, to have the government spend it on things that it wants to spend it on. In the case of the largest such “investment” in American history—the $800 billion stimulus—much of the money went to Obama’s allies, which pumped up their union coffers, which are now being tapped for Obama’s reelection. Which means Obama took money by force from current taxpayers—and from our children through borrowing—and put it into a union bank account, and is now essentially withdrawing it for his own reelection campaign. At what point does the phrase “evil genius” come into play?
Oh, and by the way, Keynesian stimulus “investments” don’t work. It’s like trying to fill up the shallow end of the pool by taking water out of the deep end. It’s all the same water. And the multiplier effect that Keynesians claim will happen never really does . . . because it’s as likely to be spotted as bigfoot riding a unicorn.
Mitt Romney has a different, and frighteningly familiar, view.
He thinks you grow our economy from the top down.
There’s projection and then there’s clinical, pathological projection. This qualifies as the latter.
Mitt Romney is not exactly Milton Friedman or Adam Smith, but he’s a far greater supporter of free market economics than Barack Obama or anyone by whom he has surrounded himself. Barack Obama is a high-regulations, high taxation ideologue with a strong affinity for centralized control over as much of the economy as possible. In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that command economics was so thoroughly discreditied in the 20th century, he’d probably be for wage and price controls as well.
Obamacare isn’t top down? The stimulus saw the government take control over nearly a trillion dollars and centralize control of it. That is not top down? The government took over an entire American company, fired people and closed branches of it? That is next of kin to outright fascist corporatism, for goodness sake.
Mitt Romney may not be a laissez-faire ideologue, but he’s far closer than Barack Obama will ever be. One might have though that OFA would go the other way and try to paint Romney as some sort of radical libertarian “social Darwinist,” but apparently they prefer projection worthy of examination by mental health professionals.
He’d take us back to an economy based on outsourcing,
Nearly everything the president stands for, economically, has the effect of driving jobs and businesses overseas. Again, it’s one thing to criticize for disagreements, it’s another to project one’s sins directly onto one’s opponent.
risky financial schemes, and massive tax cuts for the wealthy. He’d return to the policy of allowing Wall Street, Big Oil, and other special interests to write their own rules.
The problem of crony capitalism is not limited to one particular party. Business has been using government regulations to its own advantage—and to the detriment of their competitors—since the New Deal. Whether Mitt Romney does less of that remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Obama has done plenty.
Indeed, crony capitalism cannot survive true conservative (a.k.a. libertarian or classical liberal) economics. Crony capitalism requires cronies, and those can only exist if government is taking an active role in the economy. Virtually no Democrat will ever take a less active role in the economy than any Republican. The Republicans have been bad on the subject of crony capitalism, but they’re pikers in comparison to the Democrats.
But that’s not all. Below are five other things that should give Americans pause.
1. Romney’s positions are the most radically anti-women of any candidate in a generation: He supports banning all abortions, backed a so-called “personhood” amendment,
Oh goodness, here we go. So much of the left’s edifice is built around abortion.
The abortion question is one of those situations where there are two natural rights that are completely mutually exclusive: the fetus’ natural right to life and the pregnant woman’s natural right to control her own body. These two rights cannot coexist; if one is respected, the other is violated. One group sides with the fetus’s right to life, and the other with the woman’s right to control her body. (One might argue that the former right trumps the latter right, since it involves the ultimate violation. One might also argue that the fetus is voiceless and defenseless. One might further argue that the fetus is not, technically, the woman’s body, though it certainly has a profound impact upon it. But all of those are arguments for another time.)
But this isn’t about that argument. Whatever Mitt Romney’s position is or will be, he will not have any great impact on the legality of abortion, just like Obama has not. But saying he will is good for scaring women, and the Democrats are all about that.
that could make certain forms of birth control illegal,
Yeah right, that’s gonna happen. Birth control is not going to be made illegal in this country. Perhaps some new abortifacient might not come to market, but that’s about it. More scare tactics.
and says he would “get rid of” federal funding for Planned Parenthood that provides preventive services like cancer screenings for millions of women.
In fact, Mitt Romney wants you to get breast cancer. He’ll even laugh at you if that happens, while drinking a snifter of brandy and lighting a cigar with a $1000 bill.
This federal funding argument never ceases to amaze me. The left constantly speaks as if without federal money or federal programs, nothing could possibly get done. They speak as if there is no private sector, no civil society. They speak as if they cannot even conceive of a civilization constituted in any way other than one where a central government does all things.
How do you argue against that? Society could be constituted in myriad other ways, but the left owns the ground now, and if you dare to suggest that the federal government NOT do something, you are automatically accused of opposing the thing itself.
People should be able to keep their own money and invest it for their own retirement.
You want old people to eat cat food.
Planned Parenthood should perform its services without using taxpayer money.
You oppose women’s health. You oppose cancer screenings.
This lunacy . . . a mad distemper that strikes down both beggar and king.
2. Romney would repeal Obamacare.
And that’s a bad thing because . . . ?
Insurance companies would once again be allowed to run up premiums, unjustifiably deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, drop patients when they get sick, discriminate against women by charging them more for coverage than men, and spend more of your premium dollars on CEO profits and bonuses instead of your actual health care.
Right now, government is already so far up in the insurance industry’s business that things are distorted beyond belief. People cannot buy across state lines. Insurance companies are mandated to provide all sorts of things that people may not want or need, raising premiums. And medical providers who want to provide fee-for-service care under a free-market model are all but prevented from doing so.
Change those conditions—force insurance companies to compete not only with each other, but with a liberated provider system—and watch how fast premiums and rates for medical care go down. Right now, no one knows how much anything costs. The distorted market makes procedures cost 10 times as much as they need to. Obamacare will make all of this worse, not better.
The left has been systematically destroying the medical system for decades. Now, they have weakened it to the point where people want change, and—lo-and-behold!—they’re here to offer it. Set it free and all will work out. Give the left more control, and they will destroy it completely.
3. Romney is a risk when it comes to foreign policy and national security. On many of these questions, he has shifted his position for political reasons, even within the same campaign. His only clear commitment is to endless wars: He has no plan to end the war in Afghanistan and would leave our troops there indefinitely. He called the President’s decision to bring our troops home from Iraq by last Christmas “tragic.”
Actually being the president has a way of altering certain foreign policy promises the president made as a candidate. Who knew that Obama would keep Gitmo open? Who knew that he would burn through American blood and treasure in a dubious endeavor in Libya? Who knew that he would cozy up to dictators, make promises to strategic per competitors to weaken our defense, and utterly disrespect our allies? Who knew that he would side with a leftist dictator against the duly elected legislature of a foreign country?
Whatever Romney is, he is not more of a risk than Obama.
4. Despite the lessons of recent history, Romney would double down on the disastrous tax policies that handed windfalls to the wealthy, but stacked the deck against the middle class. Under Romney, millionaires and billionaires would get a $250,000 tax cut,
You mean the small business owners who create most of the jobs in America? Or are all “rich” people just like Thurston Howell III?
while families with kids making less than $40,000 a year would, on average, actually see their taxes go up.
If that happens—and right now, it is just a talking point on the left—it would not necessarily be a bad thing. The burden has shifted so far onto the wealthy already that people in lower brackets are either paying nothing or getting money back. It is not healthy for a society for one half of the people to be working to pay benefits to the other half. Everyone should have a little skin in the game. Otherwise, they can just continually vote to take more and more and more from the other half, and to award themselves more and more and more in benefits.
But it’s not even clear that under Romney’s plan, that will happen, to wit, this analysis from the CBPP.
To the surprise of no one, Romney also opposes the Buffett Rule.
Well good. Because the Buffett Rule is venal election year pandering . . . and it will probably actually COST money in the end.
He would allow millionaires to continue to take advantage of loopholes and special deals that often allow them to pay a lower tax rate than the middle class. And he supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
Not if he supports the Ryan Budget, he doesn’t. And since the left is actively trying to tie Romney to Ryan . . . . .
5. Romney would end Medicare as we know it — replacing it with a voucher scheme that would drive profits for insurance companies by forcing seniors to purchase private insurance, paying whatever costs a voucher wouldn’t cover out of their own limited budgets.
Medicare as we know is going down. Down down down. The left’s plan is to do nothing and buy votes through fear and pandering. Then, no doubt, their new plan when it collapses will be to blame the whole thing on capitalism.
Other politicians are trying to reform these programs, in order to save them. To the extent that Romney has expressed a desire to do so, good for him. Without some reform plan, the programs will go under, the bond markets will tell us to pound sand, and the economy will collapse. That sounds like less fun than Romney’s plan, or Ryan’s plan, or any plan that the Democrats have put forward, which is no plan at all.
Romney and his special-interest allies are going to spend the next seven months trying to deny, downplay, or hide these facts from voters. It’s on us to speak the truth.
Yes, please—speak the truth. Truth to power!
So print these out, post them on your fridge, and share them on Facebook. Send this list around to friends who are on the fence.
But I LIKE my friends. Why would I subject them to what I just had to go through?
When and if your mother-in-law, or cousin, or best friend claims that Romney is “moderate,” you need to know what to say.
How about I say, “Obama is the worst president since Franklin Pierce; how much worse could someone new really be?”
You are the President’s voice out there,
Actually, I usually speak without a teleprompter.
Okay, I’m just about done here . . .
If people know the truth about Mitt Romney and President Obama, who they are, and their very different plans for this country, there’s no way we can lose this thing.
This race is on.
Yes, it most certainly is. Bring it.
Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including AnyStreet.org (now a part of Western Free Press) and Liberatchik.com. He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to WesternFreePress.com.