Not Enough Votes in his Class, Romney Now Toast

Mitt Romney

New Orleans  Here’s what Mitt Romney didn’t learn at the country club and the millionaire’s ball:  when you declare class war, you better have your troops in line.  So sure when you talk to your buddies, as he did in the fundraiser video, about all of the moochers in the 47% or 99% or whatever, and how all of you moneymakers are going to kick ass, you better make sure you are talking about going out and fighting in the corporate boardroom or among big institutional stockholders or the polo fields or something, not an election where a good part of the 47% to 99% get to also vote.  You have to not just know about money, you have to be able to do simple math.

For example with 20,000,000 of those 47% are not paying taxes because all they have is social security as income, it really no longer matters what you say about social security, they now KNOW that social security, Medicare, and every last bit of their citizen wealth is fair game now if they made the mistake and voted for you and your libertarian, cheesehead bro-friend.  And, furthermore when you go after that class, you also scare the bejesus out of every other AARP dues paying, Republican leaning white and whatever voter you used to have who may be paying some taxes, but damned sure NEEDS that social security check and Medicare coverage to make it all work.  When you have David Brooks, the Republican columnist for the New York Times cringing and calling you incompetent, and Irving Kristol, a conservative bellwether on the DC policy front, distancing himself at 100 miles per hour, you just lost huge whacks of the 53% you were dreaming about months ago at the club.

Interestingly, the Times  in a series of charts pointed out that where Mitt’s 47% of freeloaders live and thrive turns out to be in some of what is left as the hardest core, red meat, Republican states in the South and West:  Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina.  All of those states had between 38 and 45% non-income tax payers.  Except for New Mexico, all of them have been solidly Republican at various levels for years.  Florida was with Obama last time, and Romney may have just guaranteed that it will go with him again.  Like I said, when you declare a class war, you need to have suppressed not just the votes of some minority, poor, and elderly folks, but millions of others as well, because this is not in fact a stacked deck shareholder vote, but a real deal election where you have to get some of the 99% to actually pull the lever for your hating self.

Almost unbelievably, Obama has come from a close race that seemed depressingly like he could lose the whole game to sitting in the catbird seat where he might even have coattails given how poorly Romney may poll in November.  Yes, there’s a lot of time, but early voting is days away, decisions were already largely made and are now hardening, and Romney has finally revealed himself on domestic and foreign issues as a dangerous, dangerous dude.  Even Clint Eastwood now says in an interview yesterday, “If somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they’re going to have to take what they get.”  Amen!

In Romney’s class war, he has now found himself in a class all by himself.


Community Paramedics; Good Idea, No Reimbursement

N470_ambulanceew Orleans A fascinating story ran in the New York Times by Kirk Johnson about “community paramedics” being used in Colorado along with earlier experiments among homeless populations in San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.  There was nothing about the program that involved rocket science, but in cutting back on emergency 911 calls costing an average of more than $1000 for each call, these programs focused on prevention; getting out there, spreading the word, and creating a system of care before the crisis.  How smart is that?  Very!

Unfortunately, despite the rave reviews one could feel the double edged knife of the coming health care regime sending contradictory messages about care for at risk populations.  On one hand these programs are being driven by an emerging Medicare rule that will bar reimbursement for any hospital readmission within 30 days of a discharge if it is established to have occurred from “a preventable repeat of the previous diagnosis.”  On the other hand existing rules only allow reimbursement if a paramedic actually gives someone a ride to the emergency facility.  The bottom line is that preventive care extends life, most importantly, and saves money, which is also very important, but all of the bean counters know that having the paramedics out there in the community is unpaid in the sense of unreimbursed.

In such a situation how many cities and counties are really going to take this very important and much needed step in preventive care?  Damned few, I’ll wager, unless this cash flow is right sized.