Romney’s healthcare plan

Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute has an absolutely wrong piece over at NRO about healthcare. I don’t disagree with the principle that he’s writing about. He urges a return to conservative and free market principles on healthcare. Certainly he’s right. The prescription drug plan has been an exposition in government expansion. He also argues that we should reject a government take-over of healthcare. Again, he’s right on point.

However, Tanner takes an egregious wrong turn by equating Romney’s healthcare plan with Hillary Care:

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has embraced the big-government approach. He has joined Democrats in calling for universal health coverage. The plan he supported in Massachusetts is a variation of HillaryCare.

Apparently, Tanner didn’t see this at the debate:

Or maybe he missed this from the MSNBC debate:

Or maybe even this:

Tanner goes on to praise Rudy Giuliani’s plan that expands healthcare savings accounts and reforms various tax provisions. Certainly there is much to be admired of Giuliani’s plan, especially when compared to any Democratic plan. However, it will result in only changes at the margins. Romney’s plan is a much bolder plan that would do more for more people. That does not make Romney’s plan a liberal idea in disguise. Bold does not translate to liberal.

Tanner mistakenly equates small government with small ideas. Romney sees that even small government can accomplish large things. The small government, conservative principles that Romney advocates are powerful tools that can accomplish something as audacious as insuring a nation.

Most Successful?

Rudy Giuliani’s main page currently features the following quote at the bottom of the page:
“His eight years as mayor of New York were the most successful episode of conservative governance in this country in the last 50 years.”- George Will
Does this claim seem a little outrageous to you? If so, my question for you is, can you think of any mayor, governor, or president whose service you would nominate over Giuliani as the “most successful episode of conservative governance in this country in the last 50 years?”
I can name a Governor.

Democratic debate II

More thoughts from the Democratic debate

  • Eliminating the distinction between crack and powder cocaine apparently is at the top of the docket for Democrats’ reforms of the criminal justice system. This is the height of misplaced priorities for the national executive.

  • The question asked if there should be a federal right to return to New Orleans. This debate is getting more and more silly by the minute. There is an absolute right under the constitution to travel and relocate. That there is any discussion of this issue shows the lack of depth of the democratic constituency.
  • Finally a semblance of sanity about outsourcing from Joe Biden. Sometimes he sounds so reasonable (especially compared to this crowd) and then I remember the judicial nominations of Roberts and Alito.
  • Kucinich just tried to outflank Gravel by advocating the abolishment of NAFTA. You’re going to have to do better than that Dennis. Once you start to advocate assassination of President Bush you’ll regain the title of nuttiest Presidential nominee.
  • I’m reaching for the earplugs again with Hillary.
  • A buzz word in Democratic circles has been “moral authority”. My question is: What does it matter if you have “moral authority” if you are unwilling to act? Kucinich’s department of Peace would have all the moral authority in the world, but it would do nothing. Certainly the UN has moral authority, but we all know what the UN has done with that moral authority. It seems more important for these candidates to portend morality than to act.

Democratic debate I

A few thoughts from the Democratic debate last night:

  • Bill Richardson summed it up for the Democrats when he said that we shouldn’t worry about how to pay for all the programs they propose. Really? This was the party promoting fiscal discipline this last election, right? That kind of fiscal irresponsibility is dangerous on the personal level and even more so on the national level.
  • John Edwards is the most dangerous top tier candidate for America. With all due respect to Clinton and Obama, Edwards would pit America against itself in a class and racial warfare. He is the antithesis of the successful welfare reform passed in the 1990’s.
  • Denis Kucinich has lost his turf to Mike Gravel, who when he ends his run for the presidency will return to the asylum he was let out of.
  • I’m not sure if Hillary realizes that she has a microphone in front of her. Apparently she’s trying to return to the old days where your message only carried as far as the sound of your voice. I feel like I just got out of a rock concert after listening to her.

The Surge and Religion

Two topics popped up in this U.S. News article after an interview with Romney. The surge in Iraq and Religion. The statements about the surge continue to show what type of leader Romney would be and offer something of a clear contrast between his management style and Bush 43’s.

“Romney wants the administration to publicize the “metrics” it will be using to evaluate progress in Iraq this fall, when several reports on the Iraq involvement are due. Among the factors that Romney says must be considered are how much the Iraqi military has improved in providing security and how many neighborhoods the Iraqis have been able to clear and hold in their struggle against the insurgents. He expressed concern that, if the administration doesn’t explain the metrics it will be using to assess the effort, President Bush will open himself up to criticism that he is basing his case for further involvement only on the positive factors, not on a fair and comprehensive review of conditions in Iraq.”

This is consistent with everything we have heard about Romney as a leader. He wants to provide the information to the voters. He wants to know the details of what is going on and to have specific aspects of the effort to use as measurements of progress. He wants to analyze that information and try and make better decisions based upon it. Clearly defined goals, clearly defined measurements, and lots of disclosure.

On religion:

“Romney also said he has become more willing to address ‘the Mormon issue’ head-on perhaps in a high-profile speech later this year. He said he hadn’t thought such a speech would be necessary until very recently, as his critics have raised anew the issue of his faith, describing it as little more than a cult. Romney told U.S. News that the series of attacks have been very unfair and “may well change my thinking” about a clear-the-air speech.”

“He noted that in 1960, John F. Kennedy gave a major speech about his Roman Catholicism, declaring that on matters of public policy, he would always put the country first. While Romney expressed doubt that he could match Kennedy’s eloquence, he said delivering such a speech might be wise later this year.”

This seems consistent with earlier impressions that I had. The campaign seems to want to introduce Romney to the country before taking the step of proactively answering the critics of having a Mormon for President. What actually surprised me is that the thought of never answering that question seemed to be a possible approach. I believe he will need to go on record and declare that as an elected representative he is responsible to place the interests of the American people above his own personal preferences and to do what is in America’s interest. I believe this will allay doubts in some people’s minds who simply know very little about how religion might influence Mitt as President.

Farm Subsidies

The opposition is at it in Iowa seeking to attack Romney through use of some 1994 statements about farm subsidies. Romney said back then “I also believe we’re going to have agriculture subsidies reduced”. Unfortunately, the context of that statement is a little lost on me. Either way, it is totally insignificant to our current situation as a country. In 1994, little was known about the potential for America’s farmland to play a significant role in freeing our country from reliance on foreign oil. Because of that potential, our national security requires a different approach now. Romney has promised to lead an energy revolution in our country. As the article explains:

“Romney’s Iowa campaign spokesman Tim Albrecht insisted an archival video does not diminish the former governor’s strong support for agriculture.”

“‘Gov. Romney believes that investing in agriculture is key to our economy and families,’ Albrecht said. ‘America’s farmers not only provide food for the dinner table, but they will play a critical role in lessening our reliance on foreign sources of oil.'”

Iowa’s farmland is clearly a part of Romney’s goals:

“We must become independent from foreign sources of oil. This will mean a combination of efforts related to conservation and efficiency measures, developing alternative sources of energy like biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear, and coal gasification, and finding more domestic sources of oil such as in ANWR or the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).”

Don’t get me wrong, there are probably many inefficiencies in the way subsidies are managed and there are probably other programs that will be needed to encourage the type of farming required for our national needs. But I think it is clear that the situation has changed such from 1994 that maintaining and expanding America’s ability to produce crop that will lead to efficient production of the highest quality biofuels is a high priority and we can expect subsidies to play an important role in any strategy to continue to encourage production.

Gov. Romney on the Immigration Bill Defeat

Today, Governor Mitt Romney issued the following statement on the United States Senate’s vote on the immigration reform bill:

“The immigration bill failed because the politicians in Washington are out of touch with the American people. The voice of the people is loud and clear – secure the border, enforce the law and no special deal for permanent residency or citizenship for illegals. America will always welcome legal immigration, but as a nation we also insist on the rule of law.”

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