During a speech to a group of conservative activists on Friday in Washington, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said exactly what right wing extremists want to hear. Romney laid out his vision of government which includes privatizing Medicare, raising the retirement age, wiping out government agencies and jobs, making balanced budgets mandatory via constitutional amendment, and slashing funding for the arts, public broadcasting, family planning and passenger rail services. He also wants to give states more budget power.
The biggest and most critical portion of Romney’s plan is, of course, Medicare. Romney intends to privatize Medicare and turn it into a voucher system like Paul Ryan wanted to do in his budget plan.
“Medicare should not change for anyone who is in the program or who is about to be in it, we should honor the commitments we have made to our seniors. Tomorrow’s seniors should have the freedom to choose what their health coverage looks like. Younger Americans today, when they turn 65 should have a choice between traditional Medicare and other private health care plans. Competition will lower costs and increase the quality of health care.”
“Tomorrow’s seniors” will also have to wait much longer for Medicare since Romney also intends to raise the retirement age which is already 65 and 67 for people born after 1959.
“I’m committed to making government simpler, smaller and smarter, it is not only good for the economy it is a moral imperative. For the next generation of retirees we should slowly raise the retirement age.”
Romney also wants to destroy even more jobs by eliminating thousands of government workers, saying that “we have got to cut the size of the federal workforce.”
In his quest to please the extreme conservatives, Romney is willing to do just about anything. His plan to privatize Medicare, a very popular program, is nothing more than an effort to destroy it and put senior citizens into the greedy and uncaring hands of private health insurance companies who really have no interest in insuring them. That’s why Medicare was created in the first place. Furthermore, privatizing Medicare will not create competition at all. Without Medicare, private insurance companies will raise their prices because seniors have health problems that private insurance would rather not cover and if they have to, their bottom line would suffer, thus forcing them to raise their prices on everyone to protect their bottom lines.
Raising the retirement age is also a sham. Republicans are only interested in making people work until they die. Most Republicans want to raise the retirement age to 70. The average life expectancy for American men is 75 while for women the average is 80. This means way less time to enjoy the benefits of retirement that we work so hard for, not to mention the fact that a higher retirement age will also hurt the hiring of younger workers, giving them a bad start. Younger people will start life poorer than they have in the last 70 years. But the Republicans only see dollar signs. They know that the quicker retirees die, the more money Republicans can steal from Medicare and Social Security when they give it to Wall Street.
And Romney still isn’t finished. He wants to end whole government departments and slash thousands of jobs, making a the job market more crowded than it already is. His actions would also raise the unemployment rate and render many people unable to care properly for their families.
And let’s briefly examine the balanced budget amendment Romney wants. This amendment would force conservative ideology on the American people. Even if Americans wanted or needed to spend more money on something, they wouldn’t be able to do so without repealing the amendment first. Even if Americans unanimously elected a government of liberals, spending would be limited to what conservatives want it to be. In other words, the people would no longer have a say in how much the government spends and what they spend on. Elections wouldn’t matter.
Overall, Romney’s plan is heartless, gutless, unimaginative, and caters to the extreme right wing, the wealthy, and to corporations. It’s a blueprint for making America fail and wiping out the middle class and should automatically disqualify him from holding any office. It kills the voice of the American people and destroys the programs we hold most dear. If a Republican wins the election next year, it will be perilous for the United States and the American people. Their policies have been destructive for thirty years, and now they want apocalypse.