Point of View Columns

Mitt Romney’s Three Legged Pig

Mitt Romney’s campaign is starting to resemble the three legged pig in that old joke – the pig that was too good to be eaten all at once. Clearly Mitt Romney and his advisors believe that he is serving up just enough of his porkload of a campaign to get elected. And that’s why it is high time to look at the other three legs of Romney’s pig.

Leg One: it is now twenty two days before the election and Mitt Romney continues to stonewall the American people and his own party when it comes to the issue of his tax returns. The fact that even his own father released his tax returns when he ran for president has not been enough to dissuade him from his adamant position on the subject.

We already know that Mitt Romney pays taxes at a lesser rate than a secretary or a gas station attendant. We already know that he has assets in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Ireland and Luxembourg. The full release of his tax returns should just be an anticlimactic verification that he is a very rich man who is taking advantage of every tax loophole in the Internal Revenue Code.

Mitt Romney prides himself as a businessman. His rich guy supporters like Jack Welch and Donald Trump and wannabe rich guys like Rudy Giuliani all point to his business experience as a key reason why he should replace Barack Obama as president.

Yet all the rich guys like Welch, Trump, Adelson and Giuliani would never hire a key executive for any company in which they had a financial interest without a thorough background check – and that would include finances. And if a candidate for employment had offshore accounts that would have to be fully vetted and explained.
Nevertheless Mitt Romney continues to stonewall on the issue of his tax returns.

Leg Two: The recent Teapublican primary campaign featured some of the most extreme and Neanderthal positions with respect to women’s issues in over one hundred years. Somewhere Susan B. Anthony and Carrie Nation are spinning in their graves.

And during this entire primary campaign Mitt Romney never let any of his opponents get to the right of him on these issues. He vowed to defund Planned Parenthood. He swore that he would eliminate federal funding for contraception. He promised that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would be committed to overturning Roe v. Wade. He virtually took an oath to limit women’s reproductive choices to instances involving rape or incest.
With the election a little over three weeks away Mr. Romney is now serving up his pig in with a different recipe. Mitt Romney does not speak about his promised crusade against Planned Parenthood, perhaps because someone told him that millions of (voting) women depend upon Planned Parenthood for basic healthcare services.

He doesn’t speak about his jihad against contraception since, as a good businessman, he knows it will not sell. So he puts this particular item on a back shelf but it is still in his inventory.

He has tried every possible contortion to get out of his anti-abortion oath. He has harked back to his days as a governor of Massachusetts when he was a moderate on such issues. But, as the late Ted Kennedy said of Mitt Romney, “he isn’t pro-choice, he’s multiple choice”. For Mitt Romney it just depends on what he is trying to sell and to whom.

Leg Three: By selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate Mitt Romney wedded the Ryan budget which has already been passed by the Teapublican wing of the House of Representatives two years in a row. Taken to its logical conclusion, the RomneyRyan budget will result in the decimation of almost every federal program that is not in the categories of defense, Medicare and Social Security.

The Romney team is smart enough to know that explaining that Pell Grant Programs, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and scores of other federal initiatives would be reduced to bureaucratic skeletons would be disastrous the campaign simply refuses to give details. Former President Bill Clinton suggested that American voters “do the math” to figure out how taxes will be decreased with an accompanying decrease in the deficit. There is only one way – cut spending on programs that matter to Americans.

Mitt Romney will spend the next three weeks leading his three legged pig of a campaign around the country firmly believing that Americans won’t ask what he is really serving. I would guess he would call it his “November Surprise”.