Mitt Romney — June 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

The Immorality of What Mitt Romney is Selling


We’re all in this together

When will we face the fact that no one will ever cost us more jobs than Wall Street did in 2008-2010 and that no one will ever kill more Americans than the 45,000 who die every year for lack of insurance? Our enemies are corporate greed and those pretend that such greed is patriotism.

It’s easy to become distracted by Mitt Romney’s mendacity and obvious lies. I’m beginning to think this is his plan because, when you look at what Mitt Romney is offering the American people, the immorality of it is staggering.

Forget that Mitt Romney thinks the lesson of the Bush crash was that Wall Street should be regulated less, that Medicare needs to be privatized and cost more and that public education needs to be replaced with a giant taxpayer giveaway to corporate interests that will create even bigger disparities between the super poor and the super rich. Forget all that.

Look at two key points of Mitt Romney’s economic plan:

  • Households that earn more than $1,000,000 a year will receive an average $250,000 tax cut, an even larger tax cut than the unconscionably large Bush tax cuts for the rich
  • Government spending on programs on things like Pell grants, health care for poor kids and food stamps will be cut by 30 percent as the defense budget, which is already near $1,000,000,000,000, grows.

It is vile immorality to suggest that in the middle of a depression for the working class we should take from the general welfare of 99 percent of all Americans to transfer billions to the richest one percent.

George Lakoff is the Socrates of political framing in America. He points out that, when Democrats engage the progressive frame, they win. What’s the progressive frame?

Progressive morality fits a nurturant family: parents are equal, the values are empathy, responsibility for oneself and others, and cooperation. That is taught to children. Parents protect and empower their children, and listen to them. Authority comes through an ethic of excellence and living by what you say, rather than by enforcing rules.Correspondingly in politics, democracy begins with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly both for oneself and others. The mechanism by which this is achieved is The Public, through which the government provides resources that make private life and private enterprise possible: roads, bridges and sewers, public education, a justice system, clean water and air, pure food, systems for information, energy and transportation, and protection both for and from the corporate world. No one makes it on his or her own. Private life and private enterprise are not possible without The Public. Freedom does not exist without The Public.

Simply: Progressives want everyone to succeed.

When we have a sense responsibility for our fellow citizens, the rich have compassion for the poor and the poor have respect for the rich. We have far too much of the latter and far to little of the former.

At least that’s how it seems, thanks to a few billionaires who seem bent on turning the middle class into an obedient workforce that takes what they’re offered and never expects to retire. In a culture of celebrity worship, we’re ever enamored of the constant carrot that you are truly just a temporarily embarrassed millionaire.

In America, we know where the balance of respect for success and concern for others exists. It’s when those who work hard can achieve and those who struggle are helped.

REMEMBER: This president did what no president in a century could. He did something about the thousands of Americans who die every year for lack of insurance. In addition, he’s made it his goal to forge a fairer society where the tide of war is receding. And he’s done this while inheriting a crisis and with no help from the folks that let the crisis happen.

The striking immorality of what Mitt Romney proposes and his lies about why we are in this crisis need to be issue in this election. The rich do not need tax breaks. Those struggling do need our help.

No one makes it on his or her own. The American Dream is not possible without without a thriving middle class. Freedom to become the best person you can possibly be should not be reserved for the few who won the lottery by being born. We all succeed when we all succeed together.

Mitt Romney’s vision of success just doesn’t include you. And that’s wrong.

[CC image by DonkeyHotey | Flickr]