With the exception of a brief period in late September, where Mr. Romney seemed to be throwing away his chances to win the Presidency this Forum has always said that the election was Mr. Romney’s to lose. After Mr. Obama allowed Mr. Romney to “etch-a-sketch” his positions in the first debate the momentum has swung back to Mr. Romney. He can still lose, but only if he does a couple of stupid things and only if Mr. Obama does not run a perfect closing campaign.
So it is now time to look at what will happen if Mr. Romney does win as far as economic and fiscal policies are concerned. Here are the guaranteed predictions.
- The fiscal cliff, with the expiration of all of the Bush era tax cuts will not happen. Congress will pass and Mr. Romney will sign a one year extension of those tax cuts, with the exception of the payroll tax cut.
- The sequester of spending that was mandated by the debt ceiling agreement will happen only for domestic spending. Military spending will not be cut, in fact it may be increased.
- Medicaid will become a block grant, beginning the process of ending the program except for the seriously ill and the seriously poor. People on Medicaid will lose most of their benefits, and to get treatment they will have to wait in long lines with lengthy delays to even see a physician.
- The ACA, known as Obamacare will be repealed. What, if anything will take its place is unknown, and it is likely that disagreements in the Congress will prevent anything from being enacted. The most popular provision, allowing children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parent’s policy is the most likely provision to survive. The provision requiring insurance companies to accept enrollees with pre-existing conditions may also survive, but with no price controls anyone without insurance and with a pre-existing condition will probably find the $17,000 a month premium a little too high.
- The new administration will find that low interest rates are not the problem they thought they were. In fact the only reason Republicans felt that low rates were a problem is that they were afraid that would help the economy and help Democrats.
- PBS and Planned Parenthood, you are own your own.