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The above comes from Barack Obama's website. Obama and friends claim "Mitt Romney and his special-interest allies are going to spend the next seven months trying to deny, downplay, or hide these facts from voters."
I thought that bit about Romney's "special-interest allies" was a cute and cynical touch, but, yes, I imagine the Romney camp will deny these Obamafacts, mainly because most of them are either distortions or outright lies. Obamafacts are like real facts, only less real. Let's take them one by one.
1. "He'd repeal Obamacare and take away health care from millions."
It's true that a President Romney would like to repeal ObamaCare, as would a large majority of the American people (wonder why Obama didn't mention that ?), but A PRESIDENT CANNOT REPEAL EXISTING LEGISLATION, therefore Romney cannot repeal ObamaCare. All he can do is grant waivers to the states to let them decide for themselves whether they want it or not, much like the 1000+ ObamaCare waivers President Obama has already granted. In any case, hopefully the Supreme Court will do it's job and find the ObamaCare mandate unconstitutional, rendering the point moot.
2. "He opposes the president's plan to end the war in Afghanistan and would leave troops there indefinitely."
This Obamafact goes into the bald-faced lie category. Romney does not want to leave troops in Afghanistan indefinitely. He wants to remove them as soon as it's feasible. What Romney opposed was Obama's withdrawal timeline. Here's what Romney said last year, "Osama bin Laden is dead. We've been in Afghanistan for 10 years. Isn't it time to bring our combat troops home from Afghanistan?" More recently, Romney said the following:
Romney said any U.S. withdrawal should be determined by military commanders. At the same time, he said, Afghans should be taking more responsibility for security because "we're not going to stay there forever."
Liar, liar, pants on fire, Pres. Obama.
3. "He'd cut taxes for millionaires, paid for by cutting the programs that middle class Americans rely on."
This one is the closest to being true of any of the Obamafacts. Romney has proposed an across the board 20% reduction in tax rates, combined with a reduction in federal spending to 2008 levels, getting federal spending back to it's historical norm of 20%. The truth is, Romney wants to cut taxes for ALL taxpayers, not just millionaires, and he wants to reduce federal spending because...we've had annual federal deficits well over a trillion dollars every single year of Obama's presidency. That cannot continue, and Romney wants to put pro-growth, pro-job policies in place. Personally, I think Romney has a bit of the wrong focus on taxation, but at least he's better than Obama on the subject.
4. "He'd end Medicare as we know it."
In fairness, Romney also accused Obama of ending Medicare as we know it, and it was as silly when Romney said it as it is when Obama says it. The bottom line here is, Medicare as we know it is unsustainable. Changes are needed. What Romney actually proposes on Medicare is the following:
Mitt’s plan honors commitments to current seniors while giving the next generation an improved program that offers the freedom to choose what their coverage under Medicare should look like. Instead of paying providers directly for medical services, the government’s role will be to help future seniors pay for an insurance option that provides coverage at least as good as today’s Medicare, and to offer traditional Medicare as one of the insurance options that seniors can choose. With insurers competing against each other to provide the best value to customers, efficiency and quality will improve and costs will decline. Seniors will be allowed to keep the savings from less expensive options or choose to pay more for costlier plans.
- Nothing changes for current seniors or those nearing retirement
- Medicare is reformed as a premium support system, meaning that existing spending is repackaged as a fixed-amount benefit to each senior that he or she can use to purchase an insurance plan
- All insurance plans must offer coverage at least comparable to what Medicare provides today
- If seniors choose more expensive plans, they will have to pay the difference between the support amount and the premium price; if they choose less expensive plans, they can use any leftover support to pay other medical expenses like co-pays and deductibles
- “Traditional” fee-for-service Medicare will be offered by the government as an insurance plan, meaning that seniors can purchase that form of coverage if they prefer it; however, if it costs the government more to provide that service than it costs private plans to offer their versions, then the premiums charged by the government will have to be higher and seniors will have to pay the difference to enroll in the traditional Medicare option
- Lower income seniors will receive more generous support to ensure that they can afford coverage; wealthier seniors will receive less support
- Competition among plans to provide high quality service while charging low premiums will hold costs down while also improving the quality of coverage enjoyed by seniors
What Obama terms "ending Medicare as we know it", is in reality offering seniors more choices and trying to make Medicare costs sustainable. Traditional Medicare remains one of those choices, though it may cost seniors more if it is not cost effective.
5. "He'd get rid of Planned Parenthood and outlaw abortion."
Planned Parenthood is a private organization, and Romney can't get rid of it, nor has he said he wants to get rid of it. What he can do is end federal funding for it, and he does propose to do that. From the statistics I read, about one-third of Planned Parenthood's funding comes from the government. By law, government funding to Planned Parenthood cannot go to abortions, though some say federal funding of Planned Parenthood in other areas allows it to free up money for abortions. Here's an interesting fact that some may not know:
Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, amending the Public Health Service Act. Title X of that law provides funding for family planning services, including contraception and family planning information. The law enjoyed bipartisan support from liberals who saw contraception access as increasing families' control over their lives, and conservatives who saw it as a way to keep people off welfare. Nixon described Title X funding as based on the premise that "no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition."
Yes, federal funding of Planned Parenthood was started by a Republican President.
Romney is pro-life and thinks Roe v. Wade should be overturned by the Supreme Court (not by Mitt Rommney, as the Obamafact contends). He wants abortion decisions handled at the state level. Here's what it says about abortion on Romney's website:
Mitt Romney is pro-life. He believes it speaks well of the country that almost all Americans recognize that abortion is a problem. And in the quiet of conscience, people of both political parties know that more than a million abortions a year cannot be squared with the good heart of America.
Mitt believes that life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view. But while the nation remains so divided, he believes that the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade – a case of blatant judicial activism that took a decision that should be left to the people and placed it in the hands of unelected judges. With Roe overturned, states will be empowered through the democratic process to determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.
Mitt supports the Hyde Amendment, which broadly bars the use of federal funds for abortions. As president, he will end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood. He will protect the right of health care workers to follow their conscience in their work. And he will nominate judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the law.
As for Obama's Five Things You Need To Know About Mitt Romney, I'll give Obama about a 1.5 out of 5 on the Truth-o-meter. While none of the Obamafacts were completely true (except for #3, which didn't tell the whole truth), some of them contained elements of truth. As I said, they are half truths and lies, brought to you by your President. How charming. I have the feeling the American people are going to hear more lies, distortions, and half truths in this election cycle than ever before.