Sunday, October 07, 2012



By Jack Random

Most of us have heard about the time Willard Mitt Romney exercised his youthful exuberance by joining his prankster friends in holding down a gay student and cutting his hair. I imagine young Willard’s father was upset when he heard the story. I imagine he called his son into his office for a private scolding.

I imagine young Willard listening to his father’s admonitions before holding up his hand to say: You know me. I didn’t do it and I’ll give you three reasons why.

I imagine Willard’s father shaking his head as his son proceeded with his three-point presentation and at its conclusion replying: From now on we’re going to call you Mitt.

He understood that if his ambitious son went by the name of Willard, it was inevitable that he would someday be known as “Slick Willie.”

The scene of course is fictional but the moniker is absolutely appropriate. In the world of Slick Willie the distinction between truth and fiction is irrelevant.

I will make no excuses for the president’s performance in the first presidential debate but I will offer one explanation: Obama was bamboozled by a barrage of deceptions, contortions and outright falsehoods bordering on the absurd.

Slick Willie could deny that the earth is round, that the sun rises in the east and offer three reasons why the moon is only the shadow of our collective imagination.

Some criticized moderator Jim Lehrer for not pressing Romney for the details and specifics he promised in his introduction. He deserves some of that criticism but pressing Romney is like pressing jello; it takes any shape you desire and bounces back for more.

Governor Romney, you have proposed a 20% across the board income tax cut yet deny the estimated five trillion dollars it would cost over the next ten years. If you in fact reject that figure, what is your own estimate of the cost?

It wouldn’t cost a penny. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a dozen times before breakfast, my tax cuts are revenue neutral. I’ve promised the American people that I will enact no tax cuts that increase the deficit or the national debt. We owe that to our children and our grandchildren, who expect no less of our elected leaders.

So what you’re saying is: You will eliminate deductions equivalent to the 20% tax cuts?

That’s right.

But you won’t tell us what those deductions are…

I’m a businessman. You don’t put your cards on the table before you enter negotiations. We’ll sit down together on day one, Republicans and Democrats, and we’ll make the hard decisions that will secure America’s future without sacrificing the economic security of our hard working middle-income homeowners.

You don’t feel responsible to tell the American people what deductions will be on the table?

That would be irresponsible. What the hard-working American people need to know is that I will create jobs, protect Medicare by repealing Obamacare and his $716 billion cuts, and by securing a fiscally responsible future for our children. That’s what the people want and that’s what my administration will deliver.

Then the home mortgage deduction will not be on the table?

Certainly not. During these difficult economic times, the last thing we would want to do is impose additional burdens on hard-working middle income families.

But you would retain the pre-existing condition provision of the healthcare law and the provision that allows children to remain covered under their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26.

Yes. Of course, pre-existing conditions are covered under existing law without Obamacare. But I would repeal the irresponsible $716 billion cut to Medicare funding.

You know that those cuts are to insurance companies and healthcare providers, not to the benefits of Medicare recipients.

That’s a lot of money and if you think it won’t affect the quality of medical care in this country, all I can say is: You’re mistaken.

So…you would repeal the cost savings of the Affordable Care Act but retain those provisions that cost money and add to the deficit.

I’ll say it again. My plan will reduce the deficit and put the nation on a secure financial path toward a balanced budget. Any allusions to the contrary are quite simply misguided. I know how to balance budgets. Unlike our president, I’ve run a business. I’ve been responsible for the bottom line. In Massachusetts, I worked with Democrats to balance the budget and maintain a high standard of living for all our citizens.

Will corporate loopholes and tax havens, like accounts in the Cayman Islands and foreign countries, be on the table for negotiations?

Everything is on the table but you and I both know and economists will tell you that now is not the time to burden the job creators. My administration will unleash the power of free enterprise, create millions of jobs, which by the way will reduce the deficit because people will be able to pay more in taxes, as we move to a more vibrant and prosperous economy with well-paying jobs not only for our hard-working middle income folks but for their children and grandchildren going forward. That’s what the American people expect, that’s what every hard-working mother and father deserves, and that’s what my presidency will deliver. It all starts with leadership.

Let’s talk about Medicare and Social Security. You’ve said that current seniors and retirees along with those approaching retirement will not have to worry about cuts to their benefits. Is that a promise?

No one can promise the moon and the stars but what I can promise is: If I’m elected president and my policies are put in place, today’s senior citizens will not have to worry about their retirement checks or Medicare coverage. You can put it in the bank. I’m a man of my word.

What about their children and grandchildren? Isn’t that really like a reverse mortgage for the family home? If you agree to give us your home after your death, we’ll take care of you but your children will not enjoy the benefits of your hard-earned labor?

That’s a rather bizarre analogy. A lot of senior citizens will take issue with your characterization. A reverse mortgage can often be a very reasonable solution to the economic difficulties that this president has been unable to resolve. Let me say again, those hard-working seniors who have earned their social security and Medicare benefits will not have to worry about losing them under my presidency. And we will repeal the president’s $716 billion cuts to the Medicare program.

You also propose a two trillion dollar increase in military spending but you won’t tell us how you’ll offset that spending.

I believe in a strong military. The first duty of the president is to provide for national security. Cutting military spending in these troubled times would be irresponsible.

And you can do that without increasing the deficit?

Yes. By putting the people back to work. I have a plan that will create twelve million well-paying jobs. When people are working, they pay more in taxes. They buy more products. They live happier lives. That is what my administration is all about.

So on the one hand, you propose tax cuts of anywhere from four to five trillion dollars over the next ten years, two trillion in increased military spending, a repeal of $716 billion in Medicare savings, and the only savings you’ve specifically proposed are eighty billion dollars in incentives to green energy and eliminating federal funding to the arts, an insignificant amount. How do you balance the books?

It’s clear you haven’t read and don’t understand my plan. It’s on the website: You can go there, you can read the details. It’s all there. What I have proposed is a vision of an American future, a future that builds on the founding principles of the American republic, a future that supports and builds up our job creators, and by doing so lifts all the American people by providing well-paid jobs for our middle-income workers, and that enables all Americans to lift our heads high, proud and strong. That’s what America is all about and that’s the kind of leadership I will provide.

Congratulations, Governor, you’ve managed to talk for forty-five minutes without answering any questions and without saying anything of substance.

It’s been a pleasure. Now if I could just talk directly to the American people for a few minutes…

Slick Willie.