A New York Times editorial proclaims “Mr. Romney needs a working calculator.” Amen. As this editorial says, “To the annoyance of the Romney campaign, members of Washington’s reality-based community have a habit of popping up to point out the many deceptions in the campaign’s blue-sky promises of low taxes and instant growth.”
It is fitting that the New York Times refers to a ”reality-based community” because it was in the New York Times that this now famous phrase first appeared, back in 2004, quoting, fittingly enough, a Republican. It was an aide to President George W. Bush who first put a Republican president outside of reality and bragged about the expediency of making his own. And this is a community from which Mitt Romney has also willingly excluded himself.
“Blue-sky promises” hits the nail on the head. We are going to fix this and fix that, Romney says, but he won’t – and can’t – say how. It’s like magic (after all, Annsays, just electing him will fix everything – who needs math?) and we’re just supposed to trust him. I wouldn’t trust Romney if he told me the sky was blue.
As the Times go on to tell us: “The latest is the Joint Committee on Taxation, an obscure but well-respected Congressional panel — currently evenly divided between the parties — that helps lawmakers calculate the effect of their tax plans.”
And what is the word, you ask? It’s another blow to wishful thinking:
The answer came last week: ending all those deductions would only produce enough revenue to lower tax rates by 4 percent. Mitt Romney says he can lower tax rates by 20 percent and pay for it by ending deductions. The joint committee’s math makes it clear that that is impossible.
That won’t stop Mr. Romney from insisting that it is possible when he debates President Obama, of course, though he won’t have Lehrer in his corner this time.
We have already seen how Paul Ryan handled these questions when Mike Wallaceput him on the spot on Fox News of all places.
Yet it was Romney who told Obama he was not entitled to his own reality. That was a brilliant stroke, taking the initiative. You have to admire anyone willing to lie so boldly and so confidently. But with Mike Wallace, and with developments like the Times editorial, the tide me be beginning to turn on Romney’s fantasy economics. President Obama has the chance to put this lie away at the upcoming debate.
You don’t have to go far, though, to see how widespread this denial-of-reality goes, and why even a splash of cold ocean won’t shake the devotion of the faithful.
Glenn Beck may be less visible these days but he’s no less over-the-top. When you get a mythologizer like David Barton together with the suggestible and highly-strung Beck, anything can happen. Like proclaiming that Mitt Romney is the next Abraham Lincoln.
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