This is election day. We decide today whether to give President Obama another four years to complete the turnaround from the budgetary mayhem and Great Recession created in large part by the "Cut Taxes for the Wealthy and Spend on the Military" policies of George W. Bush.
Romney hopes that instead we will trust his know-it-all posture of noblesse oblige--the wealthy guy who claims, without specifics, that because he got rich (at a vulture capitalist enterprise where he enjoyed firing people), he simply "knows how" to take care of the economy. Taking care of the economy, of course, means that he will cut taxes even more (especially for the wealthy) (yet claim to balance the budget, without giving us specifics); spend even more (like by increasing military expenditures and perhaps even getting us into another war, this time with Iran); privatize (he calls it "reform") Social Security and Medicare so the big banks can make the profits and the vulnerable elderly can be left paying for more of their already outpriced medical care and having even less retirement income with which to do so. Romney bases it all on his vulture capitalism experience of making millions supported by government tax subsidies (the preferential rate for carried interest compensation income) and government risk-underwriting (the preferential treatment of financial institutions, and thereby the lower costs of funds for those engaging in the financialized economy's "enterprises" such as hedge and privatge equity funds), combined with the use of "other people's money" in the way private equity uses debt, not the fund managers' actual funds, to buy the businesses and pay themselves big profits whether the businesses succeed or go bankrupt (and no matter whether the workers are mostly fired and their jobs outsourced to other countries). Remember that Romney is the guy that enjoys firing people.
He wants us to trust him on all that, with no specifics that might allow people to understand that his program can't work, just like he thinks we should trust him on what we know about his taxes from the pitiful two returns that he provided. He knows he didn't provide enough for us to assess a good bit about his return: passive versus active income requires more years to assess; hobby losses versus business deductions require more years to assess; and of course use of shelters is made much clearer when you've got more years to look at. (And if he engaged in the voluntary disclosure program for his offshore account, he certainly wouldn't want anyone to know about that.) Trust him for his "I know how to do that" bragging, when he won't even release 10 years of tax returns like every other candidate? That says it all.
Well, maybe it doesn't say quite all. There's the little matter of how often his campaigning has slipped away from the facts. The truth, it seems, doesn't matter much to "etch-a-sketch" Romney. The campaign seems to think it can gloss over, or simply state the opposite of the facts frequently enough and pull the wool over enough voters' eyes to win the election. See Kevin M. Kruse, The Real Loser: Truth, New York Times (Nov. 6, 2012), at A25.
PolitiFact has chronicled 19 “pants on fire” lies by Mr. Romney and 7 by Mr. Obama since 2007, but Mr. Romney’s whoppers have been qualitatively far worse: the “apology tour,” the “government takeover of health care,” the “$4,000 tax hike on middle class families,” the gutting of welfare-to-work rules, the shipment by Chrysler of jobs from Ohio to China. Said one of his pollsters, Neil Newhouse, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”
... [N]othing in [the Obama campaign] — or in past campaigns, for that matter — has equaled the efforts of the Romney campaign in this realm. Its fundamental disdain for facts is something wholly new.