MITT ROMNEY’S AMERICA!
It’s October 2016 and President Romney is campaigning furiously in an attempt to gain a second term in office. Hilary Clinton is leading in the polls except for Rasmussen by double-digits and appears to need only to avoid a huge gaffe in order to breeze into office. He is trying to no avail to convince Americans that they’re indeed better off than they were 4 years ago.
The debt is now at $24 trillion and rising. Democrats were able to point out that “the math” on Romney’s tax plan didn’t work. The 20% across the board tax cut along with a 30% reduction in the corporate tax rate actually reduced revenues by $5.3 trillion dollars and Republicans and Democrats failed to implement many of the tax changes that would have been required to offset the revenue reduction. Every proposed cut was met with a negative reaction from some interest group and eventually the only changes were to eliminate funding for PBS and Planned Parenthood allowing Romney to keep at least those campaign promises.
There was an upswing in bootleg Sesame Street memorabilia including Big Bird being run over by a bus and Elmo in a white Suburban following a sign to Mexico.
In his first two years in office, Romney governed with a Republican House which lost a few seats in the 2012 election maintaining a 19 seat margin and the Democratic Senate picked up a couple seats and was now 56-44. The House valiantly tried to live up to Romney’s promise to “get rid of Obamacare” passing 33 separate bills trying to do away with it but were unable to get past the Senate. The Senate was bolstered with support from senior citizens who objected to the increases they would immediately incur in prescription medicine and accurately noted the true beneficiaries to eliminating Obamacare would be the third party providers who would have $716 billion restored to their profits that had been eliminated by Obama. The 1/3 of the Senate facing re-election in 2014 was now disproportionately Republican and their constituents had let them know how opposed they were to repealing Obamacare.
The House had been just as active as they had been the four previous years under Obama in seemingly making abortion one of their main agenda items based on activity. HR-1 was an abortion bill and 26 others were passed by the House, all of which died in the Senate. The Republicans were able to remove funding for Planned Parenthood, by taking us over the fiscal cliff in early 2013 and refusing to budge without that concession by Democrats who drew the line at Obamacare. Study after study showed the reduced access women had to providers, especially in rural areas but Republicans stood fast to their agenda. Pundits suggested it was indeed Women’s Health Issues that led to the Democrats regaining control of the House in 2014 in the mid-term elections.
The Congressional Black Caucus was unable to secure a meeting with the President until early 2015 but the meeting didn’t go well. Romney had been overheard in a fundraiser afterwards indicating that he had no obligation to “those people” because all they wanted was “free stuff” and didn’t vote for him anyway. Forced to respond, Romney indicated he was “taken out of context” and what he meant was he fervently hoped they could work within the confines of the House and Senate structure to help America reach its goals.
Hispanics fared no better as the “papers please” laws had now passed in some variation in 6 other states and the “Dream Act” had failed 4 separate times to get enough votes to pass in the House. Enthusiasm among Hispanics was greatly increased and the percentage that indicated they would vote for Democrats had now passed 85%.
Unemployment was slightly down from before he took office. Most of the new jobs came immediately after the election although Romney immediately took credit. Gains amazingly were in the public sector as 50 States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands set up their own bureaucracies to administer Medicare which Romney was able to push to the states. The District of Columbia was handled directly by the Congress which tried to outsource that program to Maryland but ultimately failed. In Medicare, now dubbed Romneycare II, administrative costs were up, third party providers were more profitable, patient services were down and in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona, and Texas there had been demonstrations turned violent which began as protests about the inequitable distribution of health care in those states. In each case, the National Guard was called out to put down the demonstrations and the comparison was made that the Guard was not called out when similar protests took place in Wisconsin, Oregon and the state of Washington.
The Middle East was in a new turmoil. The United States had struck Iran with a nuclear weapon as a final resort to keep Iran from reaching the same capability. Romney’s national security team framed the conflict as long overdue payback for the hostage situation in the 70’s and as a demonstration of American power in the region that will cause the rest of the world to respect us more and respond to our influence. Israel found itself not safer but under attack from literally all sides as those opposed to the attack took it out on the country they had access to instead of the one that was responsible. The announcement that the conflict had begun was made from the Annapolis at the Naval Academy. Some cadets cheered but overall the mood among the cadets seemed somber as they realized it was they that would be cashing the check the President had written.
Speeches had been given about shared sacrifice in order to trim the debt. Education was suffering and class sizes had increased by 1/3 as funds originally scheduled had been diverted to support the new war in Iran as well as the continued conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya. Democrats had attempted to reintroduce the Transportation bill which had languished in the House during the previous administration. A version eventually passed although the infrastructure related portions and the jobs it would have produced were eliminated. The country didn’t have the money.
As the 2016 election neared, Romney had become increasingly secluded almost never conducting press conferences and his press secretary seemed under attack each morning as they were pressed as to how Mitt was going to turn it around? He longed to get back out to California again where the Secret Service whispered he loved to ride up and down in the car elevator when he wanted to be left alone. Soon now, Romney would be able to return to private life, needing now to only be concerned about his Library and his Legacy. He consoled himself that his blind trust had tripled in value over 4 years and although he might be hated… he would still be rich and in the end, the one with the most toys still wins!
Note: I originally wrote this 4 years ago. I severely underestimated the ability of the Republican House to vote to destroy Obamacare as they actually tried over 50 times.
Featured Photo: Draftmitt.org