Following Wednesday’s debate, President Barack Obama seemed to have lost some steam in the race for re-election, with daily tracking polls from Reuters and Gallup showing former Gov. Mitt Romney gaining ground after the GOP candidate’s strong performance. The president was immediately criticized for weak rebuttals and a soft demeanor.
No doubt, Romney’s debate performance was better, but, more importantly, his policies and vision for the direction of the country were not. He talked the talk, but common sense and math are telling us his plan for economic recovery cannot walk the walk. He claims that his tax policy proposal does not call for a $5 trillion dollar tax cut, that it lowers taxes for middle class families and that it does not reduce taxes of high-income Americans are simply false. Romney’s plan demands a 20 percent tax cut in all federal income tax rates, shrinking federal revenue to $480 billion in 2015. If you total the loss of revenue for the decade it bring us to $5 trillion. To patch up the gaping hole that would be left in our annual deficit, Romney has devised a secret plan to eliminate loopholes and tax deductions on the wealthy, explaining during the debate he could just “make up a number” where “anybody can have deductions up to that amount” and poof, “the number disappears for high-income people.” That’s specific.
As a presidential candidate, Romney has behaved like a stubborn child. He just crosses his arms and closes his eyes while shaking his head staunchly repeating, “Nuh-uh, not my plan,” and when questioned, sticks his nose in the air and says, “I’m not gonna tell you what it is.” The fact is we do not come close to knowing how Romney will make up the extensive revenue loss he wants to impose because he has not come close to telling us. He also seems to think this information does not matter.
His policy has become a vague plan rather than an actual course of action. In his recent interview on “60 Minutes,” Romney responded to Scott Pelley’s request for specifics by saying, “The devil’s in the details, but the angel’s in the policy,” claiming that to be a leader in government you just have to lay out your principles.
Obama failed on Wednesday night by letting Romney get away with these claims. Instead of passionately persuading Americans that progressive economic policies are the right steps toward economic growth, affordable healthcare and sustainable social programs, the president just hung his head while Romney spewed facts and arguments that are dead wrong.
However, with Obama’s recent battle victories — unemployment dropping to its lowest rate since he took office and his campaign’s record-breaking $181 million in fundraising for the election cycle — the president may not need to worry. I suppose Obama’s performance, just like the specifics in Romney’s economic policy, should be deemed irrelevant to this election.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday Oct. 8 print edition. Raquel Woodruff is a staff columnist. Email her at email@example.com.
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