| the TRUTH TEAM (VOTERS) Thanks Stephanie !
President Obama won the last debate and laid out the clear choice in this election. Americans saw a strong, steady and decisive president with a vision and plan to move this country forward. And when Mitt Romney tried to mislead voters — which was pretty often — the President exposed the real Romney.
Women’s issues weren’t the only area where Romney stumbled, though. Take a look:
Let Them Have Microwaves!
Romney Campaign: Out-of-Touch on the Economy
We already know that Mitt Romney thinks almost half of Americans are lazy moochers with a victim mentality and that he is “not concerned about the very poor.” And that his running mate Paul Ryan also dismissed an even larger swath of Americans as “takers.”
A pair of top economic advisers to Romney — two who are all but guaranteed top jobs if he wins — added to the out-of-touch aura surrounding Mitt Romney and his campaign. Let’s walk through their deeply flawed arguments.
Potential Romney Treasury Secretary: “the Rich Are Taxed Enough”
Glenn Hubbard, the former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush and now a top Romney adviser, argued against asking the wealthiest Americans — even the ultrawealthy like Mitt Romney — to pay their fair share:
“The rich are taxed enough.” [...]
“Raising tax rates on the rich is both counter-productive and unnecessary to fund the government we want,” said Hubbard.
While steering clear of specifics, Hubbard told the audience at the Intelligence Squared Debate that “higher tax rates won’t necessarily produce enhancements in revenue.”
Thanks to the aggressive tax cuts Hubbard oversaw during his time in the Bush administration, there was far from enough money to fund the government Bush wanted — saddling us with huge deficits and trillions in debt. And Mitt Romney’s plans to raise taxes on middle class families, implement draconian spending cuts to domestic programs, end Medicare as we know it, dramatically cut Medicaid and slash Social Security will also leave the government without the revenue its needs thanks to Romney’s plans for $5 TRILLION in tax cuts favoring the wealthiest Americans. We would have endless deficits even as tens of millions of Americans lose access to programs and benefits they depend on each day – all so the wealthy and corporations can get huge new tax cuts.
Lower taxes on the wealthy hasn’t created more economic growth. In fact, under the Bush administration’s economic policies, the country saw tepid job growth, 8.3 million people fell into poverty and child poverty rose by 3 percent. A recent analysis from the Center for American Progress found that “in the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now.” In fact, “if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher.”
Inequality Doesn’t Matter Because Poor People Have Appliances?
Not be outdone by Hubbard, Kevin Hassett, another top adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign denied the nation’s income inequality gap in a Wall Street Journal editorial on Thursday, brushing off the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of the very wealthy by arguing that lower-income Americans are buying more consumer goods.
Yes, you read that right: a top Romney adviser thinks it’s fine for the wealthiest to keep getting wealthier at the expense of everyone else so long as the poorest Americans have basic necessities like microwaves and fridges. And further, that you aren’t really that bad off if you have these necessities.
You can read a very detailed analysis from some of our colleagues about how wrong this is HERE. The long and short of it is that appliances and commonly used consumer gadgets like cell phones are necessities in the 21st century and are significantly cheaper today than they were just decades earlier. In fact, were families to sell their appliances in order to help pay for food and other basic necessities, many would still struggle — for while prices on microwaves and air conditioners have fallen, “the real everyday basics such as quality child care and out-of-pocket medical costs” are “squeezing the budgets of the poor and middle-class alike.”
You may have heard Hassett’s argument before — from Rush Limbaugh. It’s one of his favorites.
BOTTOM LINE: Mitt Romney and his advisers are unwilling or unable to understand the lives and struggles of most Americans, especially poor Americans. The poor and the middle class simply cannot afford the cost of a Romney presidency.
Sep 17, 2012 by wiseuppeopletv
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney is shown saying in a video posted online by the magazine. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”
“Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax,” Romney said.
Romney said his role “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund for a special presentation:
The True Cost of Romney
Special briefing and Q&A with CAP Action and Tom Perriello
Crash Course on the “facts behind the facts” of Romney’s attacks on the Middle Class, Medicare, and Women
|Friday, October 26, 2012 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. RSVP Here|
We are down to the finals days of the campaign. Right now, you cannot turn on your TV without seeing ads, more ads, false information and even more ads. With the election coming down to the wire, it could not be more important to take a closer look at the facts behind the ads and see where the real numbers stand.
Want to know where the $5 trillion dollar tax plan comes from or how the $2,000 tax hike would impact you? We will show – using undisputed numbers and inescapable math – how America’s middle class will pay more under Romney’s policies so the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations can pay less.
Getting the truth out could not be more important. I hope you can join us Friday for this special briefing on the true cost of Romney’s policies.
RSVP for the True Cost of Romney Webinar Special briefing and Q&A with CAP Action and Tom Perriello Friday, October 26, 2012, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Thanks for all you do –
41 Minutes, 24 Myths
If you watched last night’s debate, you already know that Mitt Romney came down with a particularly serious case of Romnesia. He not only tried to hide his real positions and obfuscate his record, he even went so far as to pretend that he agreed with the president on several key issues.
We can’t let the real Mitt Romney get away with hiding his real positions during the last two weeks of the election, so ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky rounded up Romney’s fibs, whoppers, half-truths, tall tales and distortions from last night in order to help cure Mitt’s Romnesia:
1) “Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.” Romney has his geography wrong. Syria doesn’t share a border with Iran and Iran has 1,500 miles of coastline leading to the Arabian Sea. It is also able to reach the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.
2) “And what I’m afraid of is we’ve watched over the past year or so [in Syria], first the president saying, well we’ll let the U.N. deal with it…. Then it went to the Russians and said, let’s see if you can do something.” While Russia and China have vetoed multiple resolutions at the U.N. Security Council on Syria, the United States has also been working through the Friends of Syria group and other allies in the region. Obama’s approach “would essentially give U.S.nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters.”
3) “Former chief of the — Joint Chiefs of Staff said that — Admiral Mullen said that our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. This — we have weakened our economy. We need a strong economy. We need to have as well a strong military.” If Romney is worried about the national debt, why does he want to increase military spending from 3.5 percent of GDP to 4 percent? This amounts to a $2.1 trillion increase over a ten year period that the military says it does not need and Romney has no plan to pay for it.
4) “[W]hen — when the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred, for the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake.” Obama spoke out about the Revolution on June 15, 2009, just two days after post-election demonstrations began in Iran, condemning the Iranian government’s hard-handed crackdown on Iranian activists. He then reiterated his comments a day later in another press conference. Iranian activists have agreed with Obama’s approach.
5) “And when it comes to our economy here at home, I know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay.” The Washington Post’s in-house fact checker tore Romney’s claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the “‘new math’” in Romney’s plan “doesn’t add up.” In awarding the claim four Pinocchios — the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.
6) “[W]e are going to have North American energy independence. We’re going to do it by taking full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear and our renewables.” Romney would actuallyeliminate the fuel efficiency standards that are moving the United States towards energy independence, even though his campaign plan relies on these rules to meet his goals.
7) “[W]e’re going to have to have training programs that work for our workers.” Paul Ryan’s budget, which Romney has fully endorsed, calls for spending 33 percent less on “Education, training, employment, and social services” than Obama’s budget.
9) “Well, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education principles that focused on having great teachers in the classroom.” Education experts have faint praise for his proposals while he was governor. “His impact was inconsequential,” said Glen Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. “People viewed his proposals as political talking points, and no one took Romney seriously.”
10) “So I’d get rid of [Obamacare] from day one. To the extent humanly possible, we get that out.” Romney cannot unilaterally eliminate a bill passed by Congress and his plan to grant states waivers may also be a non-starter.
11) “Number two, we take some programs that we are doing to keep, like Medicaid, which is a program for the poor.” Medicaid isn’t just a program for the poor. While it provides health coverage for “millions of low-income children and families who lack access to the private health insurance system,” it also offers “insurance to millions of people with chronic illnesses or disabilities” and is “the nation’s largest source of coverage for long-term care, covering more than two-thirds of all nursing home residents.” Medicaid is also a key source of coverage for pregnant women.
12) “[W]e’ll take [Medicaid] for the poor and we give it to the states to run because states run these programs more efficiently.” A Congressional Budget Office analysis of Paul Ryan’s proposal to block grant Medicaid found that if federal spending for Medicaid decreased, “states would face significant challenges in achieving sufficient cost savings through efficiencies to mitigate the loss of federal funding.” As a result, enrollees could “face more limited access to care,” higher out-of-pocket costs, and “providers could face more uncompensated care as beneficiaries lost coverage for certain benefits or lost coverage altogether.”
13) “Our Navy is old — excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917…That, in my view, is making — is making our future less certain and less secure. The U.S. Navy is smaller than it was in 1917, but it is not making America less secure. The navy has actually grown in the sheer number of ships under Obama and Romney’s plans to increase shipbuilding is unrealistic. As one historian told PolitiFact, counting the number of ships or aircraft “is not a good measurement of defense strength because their capabilities have increased dramatically in recent decades.” Romney’s comparison “doesn’t pass ‘the giggle test,’” he said.
14) “And then the president began what I have called an apology tour, of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness.” Obama never embarked on an “apology tour.”
15) “And I think that when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel, that they noticed that as well.” They haven’t noticed because it’s not true. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak told CNN, “President Obama is doing . . . more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regard to our security].” “When I look at the record of President Obama concerning the major issues, security, I think it’s a highly satisfactory record, from an Israeli point of view,” said Israeli President Shimon Peres.
16) “And — and — we should not have wasted these four years to the extent they — they continue to be able to spin these centrifuges and get that much closer.” Obama hasn’t wasted time on Iran. In July 2012, Obama signed into law the most effective sanctions ever put into place against Iran, targeting the country’s oil and financial sectors. These sanctions were imposed unilaterally by the U.S. and come in addition to the four rounds of sanctions the UN has enacted since 2006. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the sanctions “very effective,” and Romney has said he would continue them if elected.
17) “I would tighten those sanctions. I would say that ships that carry Iranian oil, can’t come into our ports. I imagine the E.U. would agree with us as well.” Almost no Iranian oil has come into the United States since Ronald Reagan signed an executive order in 1987 banning all U.S. imports from Iran. The nation received a small amount of oil from Iran after the first Gulf War, in 1991.
18) “I see jihadists continuing to spread, whether they’re rising or just about the same level, hard to precisely measure, but it’s clear they’re there. They’re very strong.” Obama’s policies appear to have gravely weakened al Qaeda Central, the lead arm of the organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan principally responsible for 9/11.
19) “It’s not government investments that makes businesses grow and hire people.” The Romney campaign routinely touts government military spending as a way to create jobs and boost businesses.
20) “My plan to get the [auto] industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagree with that. I said they need — these [auto] companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy.” Romney’s plan for the auto bailout would have ensured the collapse of the auto industry. In his editorial titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Romney advocated for letting the private sector finance the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler. Auto insiders, however, have said that plan was “reckless” and “pure fantasy.”
21) “Research is great. Providing funding to universities and think tanks is great. But investing in companies? Absolutely not.” Ryan’s plan, which Romney has endorsed, “could cut spending on non-defence-related research and development by 5%, or $3.2 billion, below the fiscal-year 2012 budget, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Over the long term, Ryan’s small-government approach would shrink funding for research and development to historically small sizes.”
22) “One is a path represented by the president, which at the end of four years would mean we’d have $20 trillion in debt heading towards Greece.” The U.S. is not headed down a path like that of Greece. Greece, contrary to popular belief, had a revenue problem rather than a spending problem. While its spending was high compared to US standards — 50.4 percent of GDP compared to 38 percent of GDP in the US — its spending was average among European nations. As CAP’s Michael Linden and Sabina Dewan note, “Over the past 10 years, Greece has consistently spent less, as a share of GDP, than the European Union as a whole.” However, it generated less that 40 percent of GDP from revenue — one of the lowest rates in the EU.
23) “I was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat. I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle.” Given Romney’s 844 vetoes as governor, Massachusetts legislators dispute this claim. As the New York Times has noted, “The big-ticket items that Mr. Romney proposed when he entered office in January 2003 went largely unrealized, and some that were achieved turned out to have a comparatively minor impact.”
24) “We should key our foreign aid, our direct foreign investment, and that of our friends, we should coordinate it to make sure that we — we push back and give them more economic development.” Romney’s website promises to “Reduce Foreign Aid — Savings: $100 Million.” “Stop borrowing money from countries that oppose America’s interests in order to give it back to them in the form of foreign aid,” it says. In November of 2011, Romney said he would start foreign aid for every country “at zero” and call on them to make their case for U.S. financial assistance.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
More people are being told the wrong place and time to vote by election officials.
Another big victory for Planned Parenthood.
The latest “you didn’t build that” hypocrisy from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Three charts prove why calling Obama anti-business is ridiculous.
Mitt Romney is very confused about the world court.
A closer look at the Iraq War cheerleader who is now a top Romney adviser.
Log Cabin Republicans abandon their principles to endorse Mitt Romney.
How pollsters are missing the Latino vote and why it matters.
Four big issues ignored in last night’s debate.
Igor Volsky Deputy Editor, ThinkProgress
During last night’s debate, Mitt Romney sure had a lot of opinions about women in the workplace. He seemed to think he was connecting with women voters. Do you agree?
Here’s the transcript of Romney from last night:
I had the — the chance to pull together a Cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men. And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, how come all the people for these jobs are — are all men?
They said, well, these are the people that have the qualifications. And I said, well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?
And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And I brought us whole binders full of — of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my cabinet and my senior staff that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.
Now, one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort, but number two, because I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce, that sometimes they need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. She said, I can’t be here until 7:00 or 8:00 at night. I need to be able to get home at 5:00 so I can be there for — making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said, fine, let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.
I don’t know about you, but I’m insulted.
Taking Women Backwards in Every Way
The internet is abuzz with send ups of a comment about “binders full of women” that Mitt Romney made at last night’s presidential debate. Behind all the jokes, however, lies something serious: Mitt Romney’s dangerous agenda for women and their families. Romney’s agenda would drag women back to the 1950s on everything from women’s health to workplace issues to basic economic security.
Here’s the rundown.
Dangerous for Women’s Health
- Overturn Roe v. Wade: Romney says he supports overturning Roe v. Wade, which he has called “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history.” He has also stated that he will appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe, something he could have as many as three opportunities to do in just a single term.
- Total Ban on Abortion: Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan both support radical “personhood” amendments and other Constitutional amendments that would ban abortion in all circumstances, including rape, incest, and the life or health of the woman.
- Restrictions on Birth Control: Romney and Ryan both support a proposal that would allow employers to deny coverage for birth control (or any other service) for basically any reason, effectively putting your boss in your bedroom. The personhood amendments that Romney and Ryan both support could also outlaw common forms of birth control and in vitro fertility treatments.
- “Get Rid of” Planned Parenthood, Title X Funding: Romney has pledged and Ryan has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. In addition, Romney has pledged and Ryan has voted to eliminate the entire Title X family planning program. This could deprive millions of women, many of whom have little or no other access to health care, of family planning and life-saving screenings for breast and cervical cancer.
- Treat Women as a Pre-Existing Condition: Romney supports repealing Obamacare and Ryan has voted to do so dozens of times. This means going back to the days when insurance companies could charge women more simply because they are women. It also means that insurance companies would once again be able to deny women coverage based on pre-existing conditions like breast cancer, domestic abuse, and sexual assault.
- Redefining Rape: Before Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) uttered his infamous comments about “legitimate rape,” Ryan worked with him to try and redefine rape.
It’s also worth noting that access to contraception and health care are also serious economic issues for women and their families.
Dangerous for Women’s Economic Security
- Won’t Stand Up for Equal Pay: For months, Mitt Romney has consistently refused to say whether or not he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first law signed by President Obama. A top Romney adviser said last night that Romney was “opposed at the time” to the bill, but wouldn’t repeal it. Today, the Romney campaign is again retreating to its positionof having no position. Romney has also refused to say if he supports the Paycheck Fairness Act. Both bills have been opposed almost unanimously by Republicans and it’s clear that Mitt Romney is unwilling or unable to stand up for anything that will actually help women achieve equal pay for equal work.
- Outdated View of Women in the Workplace: At last night’s debate, Lilly Ledbetter says Romney “talked down to the women of this country.” He explained that “if you’re going to have women in the workforce,” as if having women in the workplace remains an open question. He added that they’d sometimes need special “flexibility” so they can go home and make dinner for their kids. Here in the 21st century we know that women make up nearly half of the workforce and that three-quarters of women who work do so full time. Also, fathers now report more work-life conflictsthan mothers do. As Ledbetter said today, she worked at a Goodyear tire plant for decades and “never asked for flexibility or special treatment because I was a woman.”
- Destroy Women’s Jobs: Mitt Romney’s economic policies would be bad for all Americans except the very wealthy and would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs in just the next year alone. Women, however, would be disproportionately harmed by Romney’s plans to cut government spending and eliminate hundreds of thousands of public sector workers. 70 percent of the public sector jobs lost thanks to the recession and GOP austerity were lost by womenand Romney’s cuts would hurt women even more.
- Raise Taxes on Women — Including the Poor and Their Children: Romney wants everyone else to pay more so he can slash taxes on the wealthy and huge corporations. Romney would raise taxes on middle class families with children by $2,000, but he would also reduce or eliminate tax credits for the poorest Americans. These credits are often the only thing holding many families out of poverty.
- Harming Elderly Women: Women live longer than men and are less likely to have a pension than men, leaving them more reliant on government programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Romney’s draconian cuts to all of these programs, which are necessitated by his desire to slash taxes on the wealthy and cap federal spending, would hurt almost all seniors but would hurt the most vulnerable elderly women most.
Other elements of Romney’s record and views should be troubling for women (and men). When Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute,” Romney first refused to comment for days and then would only say, “It’s not the language I would have used.” Considering Romney might have the chance to appoint as many as three Supreme Court justices, it should be concerning that his top judicial adviser has said that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause doesn’t apply to women.
For even more on how Mitt Romney is bad for women’s health and economic security, check out this recent report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
BOTTOM LINE: Mitt Romney’s agenda is a binder full of policies that would be dangerous for women and their families.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed
Mitt Romney lied about requesting “binders full of women.”
Romney told 31 myths in 41 minutes at last night’s debate.
Obama called Libya attack terrorism long before Romney.
32 seconds after the debate ended, Fox News started attacking the questions.
Why no one should believe the claims in Romney’s new ad reaching out to women.
What we learned at a Romney debate watching party (hint: a lot of crazy conspiracy theories).
Study: Obama’s ads are working; Romney’s ads are not.
Top Romney surrogate calls access to contraception a “peripheral” issue.
RNC chairman slams media for daring to ask for the details of Romney’s tax plan.