Never start with an apology. OK, no apology, but I must explain that my opinions come from a naive perspective, but feel so right and logical to me that sometimes I think I’ll burst if I don’t tell someone.
I’d like to see Mitt Romney’s tax returns not just to see how much he paid in taxes, but I’d also like to know how much he paid in medical expenses. His wife has a serious medical condition and because of his great wealth, I’m assuming no expense has been spared in providing her with superb medical care. I hope his medical health care plan can guarantee all Americans that level of care.
I’m curious also about how much he donated to the Mormon Church. As I understand it, Mormons tithe – give 10% of their income to the church. Of course, if Romney didn’t pay taxes in some years, I guess that meant he had no income and wasn’t obliged to tithe. Not sure how that tithing thing works with the Mormons, is it 10% of the pre-tax income? How much he donated to the church is of course, none of my business, but I’m curious if he is as (dis)honest with the church as he is with the rest of us. I’d also like to know what other causes he lends financial support to; I’d like the opportunity to get to know the man by the company he keeps or at least by the company he supports.
I’m concerned about racial issues as well. The Mormons have only recently accepted blacks into their fold. Romney has 0% of the black vote according to polls. Not surprisingly, blacks will vote for Obama. I’m very concerned about the overall effect a Romney Presidency would have on race relations.
Then of course, there’s the whole Roe v Wade issue and the definition of rape. Romney needs to make a clear unequivocal statement about his position.
The Supreme Court: Three justices are in their ‘70’s: two Reagan appointees – Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy; one Clinton appointee – Ruth Ginsberg. A Republican president could pack the court, leaving only three justices appointed by Democrats: Sonia Sotomayer and Elena Kagan (Obama appointees) and Stephen Breyer (appointed by Clinton).
Taxes: Trickle-down economics are a failure. We need taxation at a level that funds defense, infrastructure improvements, and a social welfare floor (universal health care and tax credits), beneath which no one should have to live.
Prison Reform: Prisons are now a major industry. We have the largest per capita incarceration rate on the planet. I don’t think it’s because we have better laws and are more effective at enforcing them. We have a society that breeds criminals and we criminalize illness. We must sort through the prison population to find out what could have been prevented (outlaw assault weapons) and what could more effectively be served through health care initiatives (mental health and substance abuse).
The bailout: A big mistake, in my opinion. The same funds should have been used to establish public works programs a la Roosevelt in the ‘30’s – programs to rebuild the highway system, promote alternative energy solutions, promote techno-literacy, subsidize public education, etc.
More to come on military spending and taxation, public education, the infrastructure, health care reform, and whatever seizes my mind.
Please feel free to rant right back at me. I won’t “unfriend” you; I will consider your opinion, try to understand why we don’t agree, and let you know if I change my mind. I'll try to come up with more fully developed, but succinct discussions in the future. For today, it's a shotgun approach to several topics that are bugging me.