Romney’s Regressivism

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By Robert Reich

(This article originally appeared in Robert Reich’s blog on May 24, 2012)

Fine to nail Romney with Bain Capitalism. But let’s not forget Romney’s budget proposal, which mimics Paul Ryan’s. Take a moment to make yourself aware of both, because they’re eye-opening and scary.

Both would restore the military budget, slash Medicare (turning it into vouchers that shift costs to the elderly) and Medicaid (turning it over to the states but without enough money to keep it going), cut programs for the poor (food stamps, Pell grants, etc), and yet at the same time cut even more taxes on the super rich.

According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, Romney’s plan would give a $250K tax cut, on average, to everyone now earning over a million dollars a year.

Yet Romney’s plan would also — according to the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities — increase the federal budget deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next ten years. (Romney says he’ll close tax loopholes, but he assiduously avoids saying which ones — which means he won’t really close any.)

This is truly nuts, and it represents not conservativism but regressivism — a lurch backward toward the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

Robert B. Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future;” “The Work of Nations,” which has been translated into 22 languages; and his newest, an e-book, “Beyond Outrage.” His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. 

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