Archive for December, 2011

Romney responds to Obama’s Kansas speech

Readers might recall that one of my favorite writers is a man named Jonathan Chait,  who now writes for New York Magazine. Today he made an excellent post on Romney’s rebuttal to Obama’s economic speech in Kansas earlier this week. In that speech, Obama decried the growing wealth inequality in America and called for more of a “fair deal” for the nation’s middle class. Obama also tore down Republicans’ supply-side economics saying that plastering the rich with money only helps, well, the rich. Mitt Romney, Obama’s likely GOP opponent next year, responded with the typical Republican boilerplate of calling anything he doesn’t like “communism,” and “redistribution of wealth.” Chait says:

In a speech today (excerpts of which have already been released by his campaign), Mitt Romney accuses President Obama of trying to create complete economic equality:

“President Obama is replacing our merit-based, opportunity-based society with an entitlement society,” Romney is expected to say. “In an entitlement society, everyone is handed the same rewards, regardless of education, effort and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to others. And the only people to enjoy truly disproportionate rewards are the people who do the redistributing — the government.”

Really? Obama’s plan is for everybody in society to have the same rewards? So, under Obama’s plan, I get to have the same stuff that Mitt Romney has?

This accusation is approximately as accurate as claiming that the Republican party wants to pass laws forbidding poor people from making more money. Yet this absurd claim is so common nobody even thinks to challenge it anymore….

Obviously, not even the most left-wing Democrat proposes anything of the sort. The actual Democratic platform is to impose a slightly more progressive tax code, close to what prevailed under the Clinton administration, and to finance some basic public provisions while doing very little to stop rampant rise in income inequality. The right’s inability to argue against that actual program, continuing instead to pretend that they’re arguing against a world in which nobody can have more money than anybody else, is deeply revealing of its lack of confidence in its own argument.

That last sentence is what  I really liked about Chait’s article. If Obama’s and Democrats’ plans are so bad, then why don’t we ever hear any intelligent discussion about why the rich cannot possibly afford to pay more money in taxes than they do now? Instead we always get an earful about how Democrats want to make the US into a communist utopia. Give me a break.