Friday, February 03, 2012

In context is worse

As with the "I like to fire people" comment, Romney's "I'm not worried about the very poor" is, if possible, worse if you take it in its full context.

Just as he doesn't grasp that non-millionaires simply can't shop for insurance companies, especially after they've discovered they aren't covered for something, so too does this comment prove that when it comes to safety-net programs, he has no idea - and lies about what he does know.

First, as Krugman pointed out yesterday, Romney has in the past - the extremely recent past - gone on record as asserting that those programs don't even work:
On Jan. 22, he asserted that safety-net programs — yes, he specifically used that term — have “massive overhead,” and that because of the cost of a huge bureaucracy “very little of the money that’s actually needed by those that really need help, those that can’t care for themselves, actually reaches them.”
Which, as Krugman documents, is a lie. Over 90%, possibly well over 90%, of the money reaches them. (Is there enough money? That's a different question... 1 in 4 Americans making less than $25,000 has no Medicaid, and 1 in 6 living below the poverty line experience what we now call "low food security" instead of "hunger". You tell me.)

Second, Romney's party, and his own platform, would not "fix" those programs (and they do need fixing, though not because of mismanagement or "overhead": they're not comprehensive enough.). They would gut them. More than 60% of the budget cuts in the Romney-endorsed Ryan plan would be made in safety-net programs. When it comes to Medicaid, Romney would go even farther than Ryan. As Krugman sums it up:
So Mr. Romney’s position seems to be that we need not worry about the poor thanks to programs that he insists, falsely, don’t actually help the needy, and which he intends, in any case, to destroy.
Yeah. Let's put Romney's quotes in context. So far, that doesn't really help him much.

Oh, the other part of the quote? How he doesn't worry about the rich? If that's true, the fact that his proposed tax cuts would massively reduce their "burden" isn't because he worries about them. It's because they deserve it, or something...

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