Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Mitt Romney, the one-term governor (at least he completed his term) of Massachusetts, he of the individual insurance mandate RomneyCare state health insurance plan from which the individual insurance mandate of the GOP-disparaged "ObamaCare" health insurance plan borrowed heavily (individual insurance mandates originated with the GOP health insurance reform plan of the 1990s – it was their idea), continues to demonstrate his ignorance on just about any topic. For his own good the man really ought to just shut the hell up.
So says Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly (emphasis added):
MAYBE ROMNEY SHOULD JUST STOP WRITING OP-EDS…. Former one-term Gov. Mitt Romney (R), in advance of his 2012 presidential campaign, has to identify ways to stay relevant. He doesn't have a job, and isn't on Fox News' payroll, so that tends to lead Romney to write op-eds to stay in the game.
This strategy would be more effective, though, if Romney's op-eds were any good.
Today it's USA Today's turn to publish a Romney piece. He argues against the tax policy agreement reached by the White House and congressional Republicans, insisting that we can't afford to help the unemployed with extended benefits, and jobless aid only encourages those lazy unemployed folks not to work anyway. Romney even suggests "individual unemployment savings accounts," so workers can pay for their own periods of unemployment.
Wait, it gets worse.
The piece goes on to complain about the deficit, while calling for tax cuts that would add to the deficit. Romney reconciles this contradiction the old fashioned way:
In many cases, lowering taxes can actually increase government revenues. If new businesses, new investments and new hiring are spurred by the prospects of better after-tax returns, the taxes paid by these new or growing businesses and employees can more than make up for the lower rates of taxation.
Oh, good, Mitt Romney believes in the tax fairy.
Remember this from the summer? It's the notion that the cost of tax cuts, without offsets, is irrelevant, because they necessarily pay for themselves. It's an idea so ridiculous that no credible economist takes it seriously. Even the Bush administration — the most fiscally irresponsible in American history — rejected it as nonsense.
And even if Romney didn't know any of this, he should at least recognize recent history — Bush's tax cuts, the ones Romney seeks to protect, didn't "increase government revenues"; they helped create massive deficits.
There have to be better ways than this for unemployed politicians to stay relevant.
Maybe Brazil could use his experience with the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in getting ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. FIFA World Cup 2014 Doubts Spread for Brazil?. Make yourself useful, Mitt. I'm sure they will pay you obscene amounts of money for your assistance — and really, isn't that all you care about?
Why are you wasting your time and trust fund running for president? Are you trying to prove that you can accomplish what your father could not? * Haven't we already seen this play with the Bush family dynasty? What is it with you rich kids trying to one-up your old man? Face it, your father was a much better politician.
* George W. Romney was the popular governor of the state of Michigan, a moderate Republican who ran an unsuccessful campaign to become the Republican Party nominee for president in 1968.
UPDATE: Greg Sargent at The Plum Line has the reaction from the right:
* Righty bloggers pound Mitt as a big phony. Allahpundit:
Thus did Mitt cover his *ss ahead of the 2011 primaries, where support for the new porkier tax cuts compromise will no doubt be a litmus test for grassroots righties.
Key takeaway: Mitt is incapable of doing anything without it fueling his image as ideologically malleable and opportunistic. As Jennifer Rubin notes, the question of "how to convince the conservative base he's one of them" is the "perpetual Romney dilemma."
* Special bonus Romney fun: It certainly doesn't help his presidential ambitions that the debate over the individual mandate is going to be dominating the news for months.
* Which is really amusing, because as Jonathan Cohn notes, RomneyCare actually proves that the individual mandate works pretty well.
* And that's confirmed by a new study, though evidence that it actually works in policy terms won't do much to blunt the right's crusade against it.