Romney’s candidacy is a joke

by Russ Roberts on May 16, 2011

in Health

Michael Cannon explains why.

Be Sociable, Share!



54 comments    Share Share    Print    Email


John Papola May 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Agreed. He is a scam artist. I’ll vote for Obama before I vote for this guy.

Justin P May 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I’m not sure the better of two evil argument could even justify voting for Obama.

yet another Dave May 17, 2011 at 10:48 am

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Mikenshmirtz May 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Uhhh… You know that line down on the bottom is for write-ins, right?

Slappy McFee May 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Ten straight elections, voted for myself. Hoping for double digits in 2012.

Mesa Econoguy May 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm


Romney at least has some business experience, which cannot be said of the current anti-business joke holding that office.

Methinks1776 May 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Doesn’t seem to have benefitted him, though.

Mesa Econoguy May 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I think the amount of damage being done by the tool currently on the throne merely by sitting there is hard to underestimate.

His mere existence is generating massive, onerous negative expectations, and literally causing organizations and economic entities to have to plan for the worst, and overweight that possibility in all of their planning.

There is no way Romney could be worse.

muirgeo May 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm
Peter McIlhon May 17, 2011 at 4:22 am

These graphs I see you post look like they were made on a 97 Dell’s Microsoft Word software.

John Papola May 17, 2011 at 7:59 am

Hmm… are bank profits included in that graph? Amazing that printing and borrowing trillions and handing them to the banks generates massive profits. What a system!

tms May 17, 2011 at 9:25 am

Romney has business experience, but in my judgment, he doesn’t know anything about economics.

tms May 17, 2011 at 9:26 am

If Romney wins the Republican nomination, it will be as if the tea party never happened. And it will be the end of the Republican party. Done, finished.

Michael Orlowski May 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I think you’re making a mistake. Not voting is a better idea.

John V May 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I made a pledge in 2008 to no longer make “calculated votes” for the Presidency for either Democrats or Republicans. No more. In 2008 I voted Libertarian in the Presidential slot and it was the best I’d ever felt leaving a voting booth. A nice grin and a clear conscience. :)

Ken May 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm

We’ve already had one lesson this century in what happens when a nation elects an entitled Tory drone to high office. Do we really need another so soon?

Tom May 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Need? No. Will we get another? Yes. It’s sad but you can’t get rid of government once it gets enacted. Too many people make too much money off of regulation and the costs to the rest of us are spread too thin to really make people care. :-(

BonnieBlueFlag May 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Mitt RomneyCare has no real principles to steer his course, and so has run adrift in the shallows of politics.

Ken May 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm

This. I forgot to add “unprincipled” to the above, to wit: “unprincipled, entitled Tory drone.”

I shall now return to being anaesthetized by gin and the dole…okay, I’m not on the dole at the moment, and my gin is 500 miles away, so I guess I’ll settle for a Dogfish Head 60 minutes and my paycheck. :)

purplefox May 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Neither party wants to be in charge when/if the bottom drops out. They’ll get blamed for the whole mess (even though both parties have contributed over the years), and the next set of laws will probably be a dramatic reversal from what is perceived as the status quo.

I read this somewhere else, paraphrasing: If it’s a Democrat in power, we’ll get 100 years of capitalism. If it’s a Republican, we’ll get 100 years of socialism. (I don’t think we’d last 100 years as a Socialist country).

Daniel Kuehn May 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I have better options than Romney, but I am disconcerted by how many people on the right and the left dismiss Romney’s point about federalism as a smokescreen or as irrelevant.

Ike May 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Bingo, DK. See my comment below.

Marcus May 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I agree with you.

I thought the article was rather weak. Some of the arguments contained non-sequiturs. For example, just because Romney may have thought that Romneycare was the right solution for Massachusetts, it does not follow that he therefore must think it’s the right solution for all states. That’s a very superficial and small minded analysis.

In fact, he states as much, “I’m a federalist. I don’t believe in applying what works in one state to all states if different states have different circumstances.”

One of the advantages of Federalism is that we can essentially run 50 different experiments.

State governments do have the power to impose an individual mandate. The 10th amendment explicitly makes that clear. Unlike the federal government, their power is kept in check by the fact that you can move out of their jurisdiction.

1fortheroad May 17, 2011 at 5:41 am

Intersting that the link took us to Kaiser Permanente’s website.

BonnieBlueFlag May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Many are ignorant of the true extent and power of federalism – for example, that the states ratified the Constitution as sovereign nations – but that is not why Americans are rejecting Romney. First, state governments are also limited by state constitutions, and although I am only really familiar with Florida’s constitution, suspect that Massachusetts government does not have the power which RomneyCare exercises. Second, RomneyCare – the model for ObamaCare, according to MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who consulted Clinton, Romney, and Barack in their healthcare schemes – shows that Romney has no real ideological commitment to the liberty of limited government, but is comfortable with the kind of top-down central planning we all know to be futile. Massachusetts is unique, like every other state, but it is not exempt from the laws or economics or the endowment of its people with natural rights to freedom.

kyle8 May 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm

So he favors Federalism, that is all fine and good, but there are other candidates who also are commited to Federalism, and do not have his baggage.

Daniel Kuehn May 17, 2011 at 11:03 am

Baggage is in the eye of the beholder.

Kurlos May 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm

“Romney’s latest trick is to make his stunning reversal on government-run health care look like a non-reversal.”

Romney is a used-car salesman, don’t get me wrong. However, the notion that a person would have various notions of what is appropriate for himself, his family, his city, his state, and his government does not mean they are hypocritical or flip-flopping. Precisely because he is a sleaze-bag, it will never occur to him to point out how State’s Rights will legitimately make a politician oppose policies he previously supported, if he moves from a State to a Federal position. What someone will do/impose as the head of his own household, a governor of a State, or President, should not be the same in most cases.

I am very socialist and communal on the family level, with a gradual movement toward libertarianism and individualism as the scope/size of the government increases. I love my ex-Greenpeace Lefty mayor of Seattle, but I’d never vote for him for any larger office.

I might very well support a single-payer system as Governor for a small state like Vermont, but never for the entire country.

Octahedron May 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Sadly, out of all the candidates who have a chance of actually being nominated, he’s probably the most electable.

Ike May 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

He admitted to some similarities, but said that in our federalist system states can do things that the national government cannot. True enough. But is Romney really telling people who care about freedom that the federal government should not take away their liberties, but it’s okay when state governments do it?

Actually, Romney has a very good point here.

This is precisely the sort of thing that ought to be carried out on a state-by-state level. That way, if you don’t like it you can vote with your feet without renouncing your citizenship.

The more practical point is that where it has been tried, it has failed — because it has a total disregard for real-world incentives and economic activity. Admitting the Massachusetts plan as a failure would actually be a net-positive for Romney, if it weren’t for his track record of flip-floppery.

John Papola May 17, 2011 at 8:04 am

Since our vote is anything but targeted and clearly has very little impact on the particular policy choices our president makes in the future, most people quite rightly attempt to get a sense of the core values and principles of a candidate. Romney has none. So why would anyone who wants greater freedom and peace vote for a guy who it can be reasonably assumed based on things like RomneyCare will vote for reductions in personal choice?

I didn’t get to vote for Obamacare. No private citizen did. Obama furiously opposed the individual mandate in his candidacy. That was obviously a lie. Voting on principles is all we’ve got… which means we’ve got very very very little to go on. Sure, he’s touting the right of States to tyrannize their people in ways the Federal government can’t. Well, that’s lovely. I don’t want to vote for a guy from a state with more tyranny. The 50 experiments model that Romney touts invalidates Romney.

yet another Dave May 17, 2011 at 10:47 am

* like *

brotio May 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm


WhiskeyJim May 18, 2011 at 10:12 am

Worst case scenario, you would vote for him (McCain lite) to get rid of the socialist, union loving, business hating, crony capitalist Obama.

muirgeo May 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm

The sad thing is RomneyCare is not doing as bad as some would have you believe. Unfortunately he has to argue against his success or he has no chance of winning over conservatives.

Bottom line is this country WILL one day have universal healtch care. We may go through conservative hell before we get there but we will have it some day.

Ike May 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Will it work just like Universal Spelltcheck?

(sorry, could not resist.)

Slappy McFee May 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I personally can’t wait. Then we can finally start consuming less health care.

John V May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

“The sad thing is RomneyCare is not doing as bad as some would have you believe.”

RomneyCare has had problems. The only success that the article you linked to boasts is that 98% of citizens are covered. But that is willful deception since that number counts people who already had health insurance. The real result is further down in the article (where it’s less likely to be read): Almost 60% of previously uninsured now have insurance. 40% still do not. So, the plan has been almost 60% effective. Not as impressive when seen that way.

And besides, even that general stat glosses over or avoids what the real problems are. See the article Don linked to:

“If anything, Romneycare may be making the free-rider problem worse. The Wall Street Journal reports that uncompensated care and misuse of emergency rooms are on the rise in Massachusetts. The number of people who wait until they are sick to buy health insurance then stop paying the premiums once they get treated, the Boston Globe reports, has quadrupled under Romneycare.

Nor is Romneycare a one-state experiment. The federal government is covering half the cost of the law’s Medicaid expansion and letting Massachusetts keep billions of Medicaid dollars that Washington should have revoked. We are all paying for Romneycare.”

So, “98% coverage” doesn’t sound nearly as nice when you look closer. And we won’t even get into small businesses having a harder time with the new law.

Methinks1776 May 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm

That, plus health insurance is not health care.

Don Boudreaux May 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm


Chucklehead May 17, 2011 at 4:18 am

“If anything, Romneycare may be making the free-rider problem worse.” Isn’t that the objective of government programs – to increase free ridership, the subsequent dependence, and vote buying?
On the plus side Romneycare has been great for New Hampshire.

kyle8 May 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Yeah we already have it, it is called Medicare and it sucks. Just like all socialized medicine sucks. Just like the Public Health Service in Britain that is destroying most of the remaining wealth in that country while letting thousands a year die on waiting lines.

muirgeo May 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Medicare sucks?… try taking it away from the people who have paid into it and are now benefiting from it…. Oh that’s right the Republicans tried that and had their asses handed to them. Every other country that has socialized medicine just thinks we are ridiculous.

What would really suck would be free market medicine. You have NO idea how that would work. People with serious illness would just not get covered. People with of good will would be left to care for them while the greed mongers would have no obligation. You guys really want to set up a society that rewards the worst among us and burdens the best among us to take care of the fall out of your deadly dreaded ugly society. It ain’t gonna happen. There are a lot of stupid people out their but not THAT many.

brotio May 17, 2011 at 12:28 am

There are a lot of stupid people out their…

All of them are sucking hind tit compared to you.

dan May 17, 2011 at 2:26 am
Ken May 17, 2011 at 11:14 am

You’re not here for the hunting, are you?

J Cortez May 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

My opinion is that Romney, as a candidate, is complete garbage. It’s not clear what he believes or what he desires his policies will be. He’s waffled so many times that it’s just a mush of noise.

danphillips May 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more! On the other hand, can you name me one single politician of either party to whom that description does not apply? Romney does what politicians do. He’s what politicians are. It is futile to try and find a politician who is honorable. If they were honorable they wouldn’t be politicians.

dithadder May 16, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Ron Paul 2012 my brother.

danphillips May 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Just the answer I expected. Answer honestly: President Ron Paul persuades both houses to pass a piece of legislation worded exactly as he wants it worded. He signs the bill into law. But muirgeo and thousands of others find the law to be untenable. They simply refuse to accede to the demands of Ron Paul’s law. Do you for one minute think President Paul would hesitate to send in the troops to force them to knuckle under his law?

dithadder May 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Ah, it was a trap :)

It seems to me that Paul’s platform consists of things that don’t really require acquiescence. I can’t imagine, for, example, thousands of troops waving their guns and refusing to leave Iraq.

Chucklehead May 17, 2011 at 4:09 am

Interesting conundrum. Since Paul’s platform is of negative liberties & limited originalist constitutional govt., his bill would be to repeal laws or end the war on drugs. So the “untenable others” would be vigilantes trying to continue the war on drugs, a illegitimate force. Since I believe that the central purpose of government is to protect our liberty by stopping illegitimate force or fraud, I would be okay with that.

Ken May 16, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Seriously, is it even worth it to write a blog post saying X politician is a joke? Isn’t that a bit like saying “It sucks to get poked in the eye”?

Chucklehead May 17, 2011 at 4:11 am

…..with a sharp stick on fire.

Previous post:

Next post: