What if Mitt Romney was actually elected President, how might America be transformed?

Based on the statements he has made and his pandering allegiance to the right wing extremists in his party, one can reasonably extrapolate out what policies and laws Romney would support and approve.

To begin, it is conceivable that the GOP could retain the House and win over the Senate. It’s also conceivable that having seen how effective their use of the filibuster was against Obama, Senate Republicans could pass rules limiting the use of it by Democrats.

In such an admittedly hypothetical scenario, the damage to the American society and democracy we have come to know could be severe and long term, with numerous permanent aspects.

The End of Medicare as an Entitlement

The Ryan Plan, which Romney heartily supports, transforms Medicare from being an entitlement into a partial subsidy for buying health insurance. Thus, Americans would no longer be entitled to health insurance when they grew older. This would have a profound and devastating impact on tens of millions of seniors and society in general.

The amount a senior would received from Medicare, as a Ryan-type subsidy program, would be insufficient to fully pay for corporate insurance premiums. At current rates, seniors would have to pay an additional $6,000 a year to have basic medical insurance that would give them less coverage than they receive now between Medicare and Part B. As time goes by, that gap and the percentage of their premium they will have to pay will grow, requiring them to pay $10,000 annually, then $20,000 and on and on until more and more are priced out of being able to afford health insurance. The CBO estimates that by 2030, under the Ryan plan, 65 year olds would be required to pay 68% of the total cost of their coverage, which includes premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs.  That compares with the 25 percent they would pay under current law.

And if seniors can’t afford to pay that growing amount of their premium that their subsidy doesn’t cover? They don’t get partial insurance, they get none. No health insurance. End of story. There are around 40 million senior citizens, many of whom live on a very limited budget with Social Security as their primary income (more on this below) and simply can’t afford this additional expense. The numbers of  uninsured senior citizens will grow and one result will be that millions of Americans will die younger as part of this Romney/GOP plan to make the wealthy wealthier.

Ryan and the GOP have cynically played the selfish card on seniors to win their support, assuring them that their changes to Medicare wouldn’t affect them, just their children and grandchildren. In other words, we assume you’re greedy and selfish like us so as long as you get yours, screw the rest of your family. Fortunately, the push back by seniors after Ryan’s first proposed budget reflected that even elderly parents care about the welfare of their children and grandchildren. However, with Romney in the White House and Republican control of Congress, there may be no stopping such a drastic change.

So in addition to the shocking precedent of shrinking lifespans in a modern, industrialized nation, how else might our society be affected by having tens of millions of seniors unable to afford health insurance?

Emergency rooms would likely become increasingly congested with the millions of elderly who don’t have insurance. Since they would not have been treated regularly, many will have more severe conditions, requiring more time and resources at emergency rooms. This will severely tax the already burdened emergency room system, financially and staff-wise, eventually past the point of their capabilities. In such an environment, what kind of care, resources and attention will those without insurance, who only have the emergency room for treatment, receive? And what about people who are brought to an emergency room due to a car accident or severe illness? How quickly will they be able to receive care when many other patients are ahead of them with just as urgent life-threatening conditions?

What happens when the ranks of the uninsured swell towards one third of the nation’s population? When emergency rooms and hospitals have waiting times that double and triple? Or after hospitals close from being bankrupted by their unpaid emergency room costs that multiply? When the resulting domino effect is created that overloads and bankrupts other emergency rooms?

And add to that the cost to society of the potential for mass outbreaks of illnesses and diseases that result from so many Americans not having regular medical care.

This viable scenario would devastate our society.

The End of Social Security as an Entitlement

There was a time in our past when people who worked their whole lives would get too old and/or ill to keep a job and live out the remainder of their lives as desperate and indigent. Some might bring a financial burden on their children, others might be reduced to a horrible life of squalor. To most Americans, that would seem like a tragedy of the past but for Mitt Romney and the GOP, they welcome our returning to those times.

The reason for their wanting to privatize Social Security is obvious. They want to take the over $2.6 trillion in the Social Security trust fund out of government hands and pour it into Wall Street coffers where it can be sucked away by them in part or in whole.

We all know what can happen to the majority’s money when Wall Street has their hands on it. As bad as it has been, imagine what would have happened in the midst of the 2008 economic crash if the 40 million senior citizens who rely primarily on Social Security to pay their monthly expenses and Medicare Part B insurance, had that money in the stock market instead of Social Security. What kind of hell would America be with the majority of seniors unable to pay for a roof over their head, food, health insurance and medicine (add the privatizing of Medicare into the mix and you multiply the disaster)?

This massive economic crash would have been made exponentially worse if seniors had all of their Social Security money in the market and in a crisis, they had to sell their stocks for whatever they could get. Add to that, the steep loss of seniors’ spending that would result and further deepen an economic disaster (which of course didn’t occur and helped the economy in this recent case, thanks to Social Security being as it is).

The depth of such a depression that would result from seniors losing everything because their Social Security was in the stock market could dwarf the original Depression and fully climbing out under such a rigged system might not even be possible.

How can we choose to have 99% of our elderly vulnerable to losing their home, food and health insurance when the market has its next crash?

That is of no concern to Mitt Romney and the GOP. Though many of them inherited their wealth and advantage in society as Romney did, they will give lip service to “the dignity of self determination” while actually working to take away the security and independence of the elderly because it interferes with the wealthy achieving greater wealth.

The Destruction of Democracy, the Middle Class and an Inclusive Economy

It is a cornerstone of the modern GOP to continue down the path of cutting taxes for the wealthy and gutting services for the poor and the rest of the 99% of Americans who aren’t wealthy. The overall scheme includes keeping downward pressure on salaries, limiting economic mobility and gaming the system to maximize the accumulation of wealth for the top 1% by taking it from the bottom 99%. Along with this is the perversion of our democracy into a plutocracy, where those with money control elections and use their advertising and marketing expertise to sell the public on voting for “products” that will, in the end, serve only the wealthy.

The ideal America for Romney and his Republican colleagues is one where the wealthy freely buy the White House and Congress that best serves them, reroute the tax revenues from social programs into their pockets, remove all regulations that prevent them from polluting, economic fraud and harming the public if preventing it interferes with greater profits.

Their America has only two classes, the wealthy and workers. The middle class is already shrinking and hastening this is part of the scheme. Attacking unions (which created the Middle Class), job protections, rights and through off shoring, depressing the salary value of American workers.

In 2000, corporate America was already off shoring jobs at a fast clip, sharply reducing the number of jobs it had in the US. When the economic crash of 2008 hit, it just accelerated the off shoring.

These are jobs that are lost forever and are never coming back…unless American wages drop down to being more competitive with third world wages. The whole Free Trade scam was presented as something that would bring up wages around the world and add more jobs in the US due to exports. In fact, it was designed to do just the opposite, to slash labor costs for corporations and put severe downward pressure on workers’ wages in the US. And it has worked well.

The Romney/GOP agenda is to seal the deal on America as a plutocracy, a country of the wealthy, for the wealthy and by the wealthy. They have drilled Orwellian terms into the minds of Americans, deeming the greedy as benevolent “Job Creators” even though all evidence proves that they are willfully not creating high paid jobs in America (the job growth in the public sector has been coming primarily from small businesses).

Romney is running on being wealthy, that is his central platform, “I made a lot of money so that means I’m a good businessman and would make a good President.” Donald Trump flirted with running for President for the same reason, because they define wealth as success. So the reverse would be true, those like Romney view those who aren’t wealthy as failures and lesser people. Thus, it is not so bewildering to see how Romney stumbles around regular Americans like a king trying to pander to those he sees more like odd human-like animals than people like him.

So the concept of the majority’s purpose being that of serving Romney and his ilk is a mentality they already possess. For them, empathy for most Americans just doesn’t compute. With such a President, the depth of exploitation and oppression of the majority would have no limit, there would not be a conscience to say, “That policy would hurt too many people’s lives,” so even if he does it merely to benefit his fellow elitists and isn’t motivated by harming others, he could be capable of subjecting the American people to damaging things and being as oblivious of its impact as he is of how his constant gaffes are perceived.

A President Romney would be in a position to appoint perhaps two or more Supreme Court justices which could cement a right wing SCOTUS for generations. The lasting damage from the last dozen years of Gore v. Bush, Citizens United, etc. is already profound but another thirty to forty years of such pro-corporate, anti-democratic decisions could permanently cast the nation in the image of the wealthy and the majority of Americans as powerless, second class citizens.

War and Conflict That Destroys Our Future

America is pretty war weary. We’re getting out of Iraq, we’re slowly getting out of Afghanistan but trillions of dollars and precious lives have already been lost and continue to be. Americans want it to be over.

To that, Mitt Romney says, “My party’s core says, ‘Screw that! War rocks!’ so I do too!”

Romney has absolutely no foreign affairs experience or education so he merely adopts the stances of those in the Republican right wing he panders to and has hired as consultants. And they profit from the military industry. So, war with Iran sounds good to them. Hostility towards China and calling Russia our enemy, that’s good for business.

If not influenced by others, Romney doesn’t seem like the war mongering type but being greedy and self-serving, Romney would take any position if it benefited him. And threatening war with one country after another yields a gold mine of campaign donations.

What would happen if the US started a war with Iran? Even if it was just air strikes, it could create a hostile backlash against the US around the world while miring us in a very complicated war we could never win, using an already overused and depleted military that could deteriorate as a whole.

What would happen to gas prices and oil prices in this fragile economy, if the Straight of Hormuz became a war zone? How would it affect inflation and jobs in this country if the price of gas went up towards $10 per gallon?

Yes, Romney and the GOP exude hypocrisy when attacking Obama on gas prices while whipping up support for war with Iran but it would be naive to think they wouldn’t be just fine with energy costs skyrocketing…along with revenues for oil companies…who are the top GOP sponsors anyway.

Our remarkable volunteer army has been stretched thin in two simultaneous wars over the last ten years and another war could require more soldiers than we have able to serve. By creating a growing lower class of unemployed and economically excluded people, they have created a great ongoing supply of cannon fodder for their eternal wars-for-profit, draining our nation of blood and treasure.

The Ryan budget and Romney’s budget greatly increase military spending while insisting on reducing the deficit and balancing budgets so there is no alternative but for ongoing war to be financed by degrading America’s social and physical infrastructure even more than it has been and it is already past the point of sustainability.

At the same time, their insistence on cutting taxes paid by the wealthy will transfer that loss of revenue from social programs to the wealthy, adding a greater hacking away at social programs on top of what would already be occurring.

Conclusion

A Romney Presidency, especially when coupled with a Republican Congress could be a profound and devastating blow to the future of this nation. This is not because Romney is a worse person than other GOP candidates (GW Bush can’t be argued to be better) but because America is at a tipping point in so many ways that each Presidential term during this period is make or break.

Had President Obama made disastrous decisions after taking office, never passing a stimulus bill, agreeing to drastic slashing of Medicare and Social Security with no revenue increases, we could have tumbled down into an economic depression beyond what we could have imagined.

If Romney is enabled to tear apart Medicare and Social Security, lock in a pro-corporate SCOTUS for 30 years, cement plutocracy and economic injustice into place and be the vehicle for legally oppressing minorities and women in America, it would be hard to imagine ever fully reversing the damage to the nation.

These are the concrete kind of considerations that should be discussed on the MSM instead of  “scandals” like President Obama not literally saying that he supports gay marriage or puff pieces on how Ann Romney helps “humanize” Romney.

There are serious and powerful issues at stake right now, we can’t afford to be distracted by the trivia of the horse race and gotcha games in the media.

We need to have the public discussing what really matters and what country America is going to be in reality, not just in mindless nationalistic blather.

There might not be a more important election in our lifetimes than the one we will have in November. The value of keeping that in mind and impressing that on others can’t be understated.

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jjgravitas
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jjgravitas

Another nice thing we could look forward to in a Romney administration is the psychological effect that his “rich = successful = good” pitch would have on the rest of society. Do we want a president whose message to 99 per cent of the country is that because we are not rich, that we are what? Losers? Failures? Undeserving of government support? Of jobs? Of education that we can no longer afford, or even trust that it will help us in the long run?
I don’t.
Gives a whole new spin on the term “class warfare.”

SueInCa
Member

Adlib

This sounds like a manifesto and why not? You have made some excellent points and we need to get back to basics. We need to relive the 60’s, the 1890s some of the other eras where the people rose up against the robber barons, the establishment etc. I think we are at our best when we are standing up to what is wrong but for sure it is not going to happen in our living rooms, in our bedrooms, in our cars on the way to work.

The people need to fight back and I know I talk a good game but I am frustrated as to how to wake them the fuck up as I am sure you are as well. I just wrote a piece here on the right and CNP and I know for one, Bourne had no idea how the right has been building their army. Personally I think if Mittens wins there is going to be a theocratic battle because while the right will tolerate Mormons as they all have the same hatred for Islam, the right in no way thinks Mormons should be in the driver’s seat. Look for the VP pick. I may be over reacting but the people who wanted to got rid of Kennedy and they did it all by blaming some poor sucker who was dazzled by Cuba and the Soviet Union. My husband and I are looking for a house that we pay cash for so no one can take it away. Better to have a home than to have my money where Wall Street can fuck it away. That is how unsure I feel about the future of our country. If my kids were willing, we would be making plans right now to move to Panama or South America.

goleafsgo
Member
goleafsgo

AdLib As a Canadian..and first time poster here…I say Bravo! You have presented what should be a frightening scenario for all Americans – indeed for the world. But, how are they to know the fate facing them when they go to the polls this November? The MSM is certainly doing all they can to confuse and mislead the public as to the consequences of a Republican controlled Washington. Watching Joe Scarboro this morning, for a few minutes, (couldn’t stand his arrogance and manipulation of the truth while talking to Pat Toomey) only solidified my belief that the battle President Obama is facing
will be unprecedented in American political history. How does the message get out…your message…the Democratic message? It seems the Republicans have a monopoly on messaging… of reaching the people much more effectively. That is my concern as I follow the machinations of American politics – that the Democratic message will
not get out.

I post on an online newspaper to express my concerns, and to defend
President Obama’s efforts to right the ship, so to speak. But, it means little in the overall scheme of things. I have been following your posts for only a short time, but I recognize the importance of your words and wish others could be made aware of them.

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramble. Keep up the good work.

SueInCa
Member

It was surprisingly easy to find. This speech did not give me a lot of faith in Harper as the PM now. He gave this speech when he was vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/SpecialEvent7/20051213/elxn_harper_speech_text_051214/

goleafsgo
Member
goleafsgo

SueInCa,
Thank you so much for the link. This man is arrogant, slimy, and someone for all Canadians to be fearful of, as evidenced in this speech and his actions since becoming Prime Minister. It is hoped that he, and those of his ilk, will be gone in the next election. Our political environment is in a bit of turmoil at the moment, but I think, from the reactions of many Canadians to Mr. Harper’s King-like attitude, and sneering disdain for those who do not agree with his policies (especially for the NDP who just lost their beloved leader, Jack Layton) we are ready to turf this guy out. He, like the extremists in the Republican Party,wants to take us down a path to destruction and we will resist. There is much talk of a merger between the NDP and the Liberal Party. Much to happen yet.
Have a great day Sue.

SueInCa
Member

go leafs go

I read a speech that Stephen Harper gave to the CNP here in the US, it sounds to me like he is manipulating your country in the same direction. Not sure what goes on up there but I was shocked at how little regard he showed for the Canadian people in his speech. If I can find it again, I will post it here for you.

kesmarn
Admin

May I add another “Welcome to the Planet,” goleafsgo? Hope to see much more of you here.

The Repubs do seem to have a near lock on the MSM, don’t they? I think we have to hope that more and more Americans are figuring out the fact that the MSM cannot be relied upon. Not solely, anyway. Social media and online newspapers, YouTube and blogging sites have to correct the corporate driven spin that cable and print put out daily. FOX is especially pernicious.

It’s always heartening to hear from our Canadian friends — who generally seem to know much more about our politics than we do about theirs. Or even about our own!

goleafsgo
Member
goleafsgo

kesmarn, Thank you for the welcome! Your politics are much more lively,exciting, and more meaningful (at the moment) than ours. I think since the horrific event of 911 and the subsequent wars, Canadians, and indeed the entire world, has become more focused on the events in America. President Obama has caught our attention, and for the most part, we like what we see, and hope to see him re-elected. It is imperative for America as well as Canada because we have a Prime Minister who would love to partner with Mitt Romney and the Republican Party. As a Queen once said…”We are not amused!”

KQµårk 死神
Member

Welcome leafs fan. I’m a huge hockey fan myself but my team is the Devils since I’m from NJ.

You are spot on. Between the right wing media and corporate media Obama is up against it. There are just too many people in this country that can’t be critical thinkers because they don’t care to are too busy with their lives.

goleafsgo
Member
goleafsgo

Morning,KQuark,
Thank you for your welcome! And thank you for not making a dig at my beloved Leafs. (which happens all to often, I am afraid) LOL! Congratulations, on your win last night. Great hockey.

Hopefully people will begin to pay more attention to what is going on, KQ…SOON! Time waits for no man ( or woman).They need to make assessments of the issues and cannot do that at the last minute.

KQµårk 死神
Member

Cheers it was a great game. All tied up at 1-1 anything can happen now. I actually like the Leafs. It’s just not right that they are not at least a perennial playoff team because they have such avid fans. They just need a long term plan instead of trying to do one year fixes. Hmmmm… sounds allot like the reactionary GOP.

funksands
Member

There are trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars at stake. Its so quaint that people think that the democratic process, their grandmother’s SS check, and their job is going to be allowed to stand in the way of the GOP looting.

KQµårk 死神
Member

So true funk but the irony about that is businesses get more trillions with Democratic policies not GOP policies. Only a relatively few big industries do well with Republicans. Under bush a net 65,000 private sector jobs were lost and 1.7 guvment jobs were made while we see under Obama almost the opposite.

funksands
Member

KQ, absolutely! But looters don’t. Looters innovate through legislation and lobbying and cronyism.

Dem Presidents have presided over:

Better job growth
Lower deficits and debt
Better market performance
Lower poverty rates
Smaller government

They also tend to favor policies that favor the middle class, which are garlic to the looter kleptocrats.

funksands
Member

Ad, the worst part of a Romney presidency would involve my wife leaving the country. She will not, I repeat, will not live in a country where a bishop and priesthood holder is the President. I keep probing to see whether this is hyperbole, but she is grimly serious.

Romney may or may not agree to and be able to enact the above. However, in Romney, the GOP feeders finally have the guy they need that without remorse, conscience, or pause will gladly slip the shiv into whoever they order him to.

All the while he’ll pander to the Americans that have bought the argument that we can have everything our nation needs if we just grow our economy. It doesn’t matter what tax rates are, it doesn’t matter what regulations we have, it doesn’t matter what precedence the courts overturn, it won’t matter that there is no safety net anymore.

When we don’t pay taxes, our government no longer feels accountable to us. And when we don’t pay our taxes, the government borrows to pay the bills. And when that happens we don’t care, because it isn’t our money. That’s the perfect environment for a kleptocracy, with Captain Willard Klepto at the helm.

The GOP is done fucking around, and a Romney nomination is just another sign of that.

KQµårk 死神
Member

We can rant all we want AdLib but somethings working for Romney. Even though he pretty much disqualified himself to be POTUS with his lies and lack of integrity there are so many clueless and hateful Americans out there that we have a good chance of seeing president Romney. See he looks the part much better than the current POTUS.

SueInCa
Member

KQ

It’s the economy, stupid. And no I am not calling you stupid just repeating what Clinton figured out in 92 and used as a campaign slogan. People are still losing their homes, I know because I am househunting and the number of foreclosures are ridiculous. Even some of the homes you would think the people could maintain(foreclosure sale price is 40k), people are losing. Jobs have never come back with decent salaries and people think romney can change it apparently. You and I know he will do no such thing but we are only two people.

Of course the polls only really matter in the latter part of October. alot can happen between now and then. We saw it in 2008.

KQµårk 死神
Member

Absolutely I guess except if you have a bunch of money like Scott Walker does in WI. His state has added less jobs than almost any and he is winning.

The GOP just knows how to muck it up better in tough times. They have a huge denial machine that is making Americans forget how the country got here. This is not your typical recession. The fact is Obama prevented a great depression two because we were headed there after the housing crisis. I mean 30-40% of the nations wealth just evaporated over night. You don’t fix that in 4 years and while Obama could have done some things better he did light years better than Republicans would have done like letting Detroit go bankrupt.

kesmarn
Admin

As scary as that thought is, KQ, there’s something to be said for taking it very seriously.

Because that’s just how closely entertainment, superficiality and politics are intertwined in 21st century American politics.

Besides his central-casting appearance, Romney — and I know how weird this is going to sound — also has his soothing announcer-voice going for him. Soporific. And we ‘Murricans do love our soothing drugs.

choicelady
Member

Excellent and accurate analysis. When W said he wanted the GOP to return us to the days “before Roosevelt” we did not understand he meant Teddy.

We have lived this life as a nation. Especially after the Civil War, we watched the uber rich claw all the nation’s wealth into their own hands and pockets. In NY City, a miniscule percent were outstandingly rich, about 7% were middle class, and everyone else was desperately poor. The filth, disease, death from everything from industrial accidents to what even then were preventable disease was appalling.

We tend to idealize the non-urban nature of 19th century America. Yes, independent farmers and the small town businesses supporting them were pretty stable – unless you were on the Great Plains where the railroads owned you, controlled your business, and set your prices. It’s why the Grange Movement started – absolute desperation by farmers at the mercy of the railroad barons. Yes, those owning small industrial firms were also pretty stable. My great-grandfather had a cracker making process and store and flourished for a time until he was driven out of business by Nabisco as were thousands of others. My family by no means descended into absolute poverty, but the stability of small owners and thus the wealth of the nation faltered for the majority as it swelled for the few. If such an unfettered market system occurred again do we think we have the resources to weather hard times? Farms are corporate now, not family owned. One is a tenant or manager, not someone who can fall back on the “butter and cream” economics of self sufficiency and small town life. It’s gone.

No one remembers, thanks to New Deal regulation, that this nation suffered depressions – not recessions, but DEPRESSIONS – once every 3-8 years between the Civil War and New Deal. The poverty of immigrants was beyond horrible, and all the “up by the bootstraps” stories of those rising from the tenements were mostly post-1900 when many Progressive Era programs were in place.

Do we think this noble? Desirable? Even possible? WHY?

What is the lure of the rich getting richer when it’s off our backs? Who thinks this lack of security is an improvement? When, as one wag wrote after 2008, your “401K is now a 201K”. What is GOOD about that when you’re 70 years old? What is good about unfettered insurance costs? No private plan can amortize costs the way a government regulated one will – you will pay full freight, if you can pay at all.

What is the attraction of the US becoming a banana republic, a Third World nation with a massive division between a miniscule class of filthy rich and a massive swell of the very poor? Do we want to be like Russia with wealth concentrating in the hands of gangsters?

The predicates for this scenario are all out there. None of them is pretty or good for the majority of Americans, and what is NOT good for the majority means an inexorable rise in death, disease, poverty, criminality, and gang activity.

There is NO survival mode that is functional when the extremes of wealth and poverty are as great as they will be if Romney has his way. Demand WHY any of this would be “good” for us – and remember that the snake oil salesman was the ONLY guy without huge capital who got rich in the 19th century – and that’s because Americans were total suckers for the schmooze. I hope we have learned from that past. We can’t afford to repeat it again.

Nirek
Member

Good post Adlib!
The GOP only wants to redistribute wealth upwards. They don’t like regulations that impair their path to cheat the middle class and working poor out of their fair share of the American dream.

I for one do not understand how some of the 1%ers can live with themselves. Greed seems to pervert people and cause a lack of conscience.