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Romney, doublespeak and Facebook comments

By Paul Choiniere

Publication: theday.com

Published 03/13/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 03/14/2012 02:50 PM

Note: Our experiment with using Facebook for comments has ended, at least on this blog. For whatever reason, those who like to comment and criticize this blog did not take to the Facebook format. Maybe the readers of this blog don't use Facebook. Perhaps you didn't want to see your face with your comments. Maybe no one would have commented anyway. In any event, the comments dropped way off. So it's back to the prior system.

(P.S. They tell me the Facebook format is working well for some feature blogs, where everyone makes nice.)

Now on to today's topic: Mitt Romney and his doublespeak.

Doublespeak: "Language used to deceive, usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth."

Mitt Romney, a candidate for the Republican nomination for president, has issued a press release that charges President Obama with "ending Medicare as we know it."

Actually, it is Romney who has endorsed a plan that would end Medicare was we know it. And it is Obama who has done very little to alter Medicare as we know it, allowing it to continue on a path that is fiscally unsustainable.

That's some serious Romney doublespeak.

Romney has said he would sign Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare by converting it into a voucher system. That's ending it as we have known it. The Wall Street Journal has editorially praised the Ryan plan as the only serious proposal that has come forward to assure the long-term viability of the program. So why can't Romney have the courage to admit he is willing to push for such fundamental change, rather than obscuring the issue with his doublespeak about Obama?

The explanation, of course, is that Romney knows the Ryan plan is not politically popular, particularly with seniors and soon-to-be seniors. And while he endorsed it to get conservative votes in Republican primaries, he is preparing to run away from it in the general election and try to make Obama the Medicare bogeyman. It is so Romney. Has anyone checked to see if he has a spine?

The health reform bill Obama pushed through Congress calls for a $500 billion reduction in the growth of Medicare over 10 years. That's not fixing the system and it is certainly not changing Medicare as we know it.

Agree or disagree with the president, at least he had the courage of his convictions on health care. He ran for president saying he would pass a universal health care law. He got it passed, at great political cost to himself and his party. Obama has not shown such courage on entitlement reforms.

It is impossible to know what the heck Romney would do or what he believes in. As governor of Massachusetts he signed a health care law that was the blueprint for the Obama plan, but now he says he will repeal the Obama plan. He backs a proposal to fundamentally change Medicare to save it, then scurries away from it and shouts that it's his opponent who wants fundamental change.

How would a President Romney lead the country? Who knows? I guess it would depend on what the polls and his advisers are telling him at any given time.

RESPONSE TO READER COMMENTS:

Great to have my "fans" back. Like old times. And I'm talking to you, DB.

@Dollar Bill: The reason it is taking so long to roll out the Affordable Care Act is that it is so incredibly complex, a product of conjuring up a plan for universal coverage that utilizes the private insurance industry. Simply expanding a Medicare type program for everyone would have been quicker and simpler, but not something you would likely endorse. Democratic leaders I have talked to wished it could have been implemented far more quickly and put behind them. Believe me, they don't like this dragging on over a couple of election cycles.

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