If we had just been stupid smart enough to elect Mitt Romney in 2012, we wouldn’t have an impending Ebola crisis on our hands. So sayeth Scott Brown, the former Republican Senator who moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire after losing re-election. He appeared with Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio Friday morning to explain how Romney would be so much better than Obama at handling the Ebola crisis.
Buzzfeed News posted Brown’s interview with Kilmeade, where he said:
Gosh can you imagine if Mitt was the president right now? He was right on Russia, he was right on Obamacare, he was right on the economy. And I guarantee you we would not be worrying about Ebola right now and, you know, worrying about our foreign policy screw-ups.
Well, actually, one of Romney’s budget plans was to cut most federal programs by as much as 40 percent by 2015. Considering that part of the CDC’s and NIH’s problem is funding, we can assume that Romney would have cut their budgets even further. Despite the fact that this is unworkable and he likely would have put forth a budget-cutting idea that was far more realistic after election, he still wanted deep cuts to federal spending that probably would have ended in something similar to the sequester we’ve been stuck with since March 2013.
He would have done all that while also cutting taxes, particularly for business. But that doesn’t help people who have no health insurance and can’t afford health insurance, even with Obamacare. While he claimed to want to help the middle class, the GOP of 2012 is the GOP of today, and they like cutting taxes for the rich and for corporations while raising taxes on the middle class and gutting the safety net for the poor. No health insurance, and shrinking paychecks, would have at least ensured the same conditions we have now under Obama, if not worse. So we’d have worse things to worry about, which would have compounded Ebola fears.
But wait! He would have encouraged monitoring and research that might have helped with this. Oh wait. That doesn’t work when the agencies responsible for said monitoring have no money. If Romney were elected, and trying to keep whatever spending cuts he promised, he’d now be in a fantastic hornets’ nest of a dilemma. He could increase funding by further hurting other areas of the government, he could shrug and say, “Oh well, pandemics happen,” and stick to his budget plan, or he could increase the deficit to get some funding to address the problem (not bloody likely until we are in a true crisis).
He probably would have tried to close the borders and ban travel from affected countries. Want to talk about foreign policy screw-ups? There’s a reason that public health officials don’t want to close the borders. Actually four, according to Think Progress:
- It will prevent health officials from being able to effectively track travelers to and from Ebola-stricken countries, thus exposing us to even more risk.
- It will only delay the inevitable, meaning we’ll have to deal with it later, rather than sooner.
- It will make it even harder to address Ebola at its source, which is West Africa.
- There is a serious, worldwide economic cost to banning travel, even if it’s only to a few countries.
To read all of the explanations of these reasons, head to Think Progress via the link above.
So, in a nutshell, if Romney were in office now instead of Obama, we’d have a CDC and NIH in even worse shape than they are now, and we’d have banned travel, causing all sorts of problems for ourselves and the rest of the world. Yep. We definitely would be better off with Ebola if Romney were president.
Listen to Scott Brown be an idiot below:
Featured image from Wikimedia Commons