, Newburyport, MA

October 5, 2012

Romney would take the country backward

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney increased fees and was frequently out of Massachusetts making disparaging comments about our state. If he couldn’t do the job to lead as our governor, then why would his presidency be any better?

President Obama has improved our image in the world by being circumspect in his communications with other countries. Mitt Romney reacted to the murders of Americans in Libya with inaccurate information. His negative statement about our president, at such a difficult time, was inappropriate. Earlier in his campaign, he had already insulted several countries, including Great Britain and China, and he said that Russia is our No. 1 enemy. How do we think that Mitt Romney will function effectively as our leader with this shoot-from-the-hip, uninformed attitude?

Mitt Romney states that he will reverse the health care policies that protect individuals from being financially destroyed by losing health insurance due to illness. As a human being, how could anyone of good conscience consider supporting this position?

Romney states that he is against abortion and a woman’s right to make decisions about her health. He would allow employers to deny a woman access to cancer screening, Planned Parenthood and birth control. How can we consider going back to a time when women’s lives were controlled by the decisions of others?

Romney should have had more information before he called the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal taxes government dependent “victims.” Steve Rattner, a well-respected economic analyst, has explained that 28.3 percent of the group who don’t pay federal taxes include many Americans who work and pay payroll taxes and who earned an income tax credit for expenses such as child care. Both Presidents Reagan and Clinton expanded the size of this group. In addition, 10.3 percent of the 47 percent are elderly and on Social Security and 6.9 percent are not elderly but have incomes under $20,000. Less than 1 percent are classified as “other.” What should we believe about Mitt Romney who has revealed what he thinks about nearly half of Americans?

President Obama doubled the amount of Pell Grants that make college possible. Paul Ryan would reduce the Pell Grant program, and Mitt Romney suggests that students should borrow money from their parents. How many ways can Mitt Romney prove that he is out of touch with the average American?

Reducing our debt is critical. The Simpson-Bowles bill was a well-respected bi-partisan plan that adopted seven reforms recommended by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility. It would have reduced the deficit from 9 percent to 2.2 percent of GDP by making $3 in cuts for every dollar in tax increases. Why did Paul Ryan prevent change by voting against Simpson-Bowles?

George W. Bush’s presidency brought us an unnecessary war, and his economic policies led us to the brink of fiscal disaster. Mitt Romney’s plan is similar to one we have already experienced. Why do some Americans think the result will be any different?

Claire Melville