by Linda Beale
Sore-Losing Doesn’t Bode Well for Well-Considered Policy Choices on Taxes…
Romney and Ryan have apparently joined the GOP sore-losers ranks most ably demonstrated by John McCain’s bitter post-presidential candidate spin. Romney betrayed the GOP’s disregard for ordinary Americans in a post-election talk with some of his major donors.
Like his “47% comment” in which he disparaged those who don’t have to pay income tax (but generally pay payroll and other taxes) by asserting that they aren’t personally responsible and enjoying being dependents, Romney’s comment about the reasons he lost essentially blames the voters for taking bribes from the sitting president. He suggested that Obama appealed to specific interest groups “the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people” with generous “gifts” like health-care reform, amnesty for children of illegal immigrants. See Maeve Reston, Romney attributes loss to ‘gifts’ Obama gave minorities, LATimes.com (Nov. 15, 2012).
Young voters, Romney said, were motivated by the administration’s plan for partial forgiveness of college loan interest, the extension of health coverage for students up to age 26 on their parents’ insurance plans and free contraception coverage under Obama’s healthcare plan, which he credited with ushering greater numbers of college-age women into Obama’s coalition.
The extended insurance coverage, in particular, was “a big gift to young people,” he said, noting that they turned out as a “larger share in this election even than in 2008.” Id.
Similar language was used to describe the reasons African Americans and Latinos voted in large numbers for Obama.
Such willingness to attribute defeat to political bribery goes a long way in demonstrating how out of touch the GOP is with what government should be doing. There is some obligation for politicians to serve the people–thinking in the long term and not just for the short term, but considering what kinds of programs merit consideration because of the good they do for individuals and in turn for society. Romney’s deafness to this issue–and his view that taking care of the wealthy few is the only goal of tax policy (and probably spending policy as well)–justly helped in his defeat. It is terribly important that federal officials recognize the staggering inequality now existing and growing in this country and its impact on all of our lives and the sustainability of the economy as well as the future of our democratic institutions. Romney didn’t get it. Obama got it imperfectly. Given a choice, a majority recognized the difference.
It is now time for the GOP to take off its blinders and get a better sense of how their economic policies and in particular their tax policies have been harmful to ordinary Americans and hence to the economy.
cross posted with ataxingmatter