Mitt Romney Goes Glenn Beck

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 U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney pauses during pauses while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committee convention, February 7, 2008, in Washington.
Two visions. One of them completely deranged. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Mitt Romney has reworked his stump speech and delivered the new version last night. It’s premised on ... a total lie:

Just a couple of weeks ago in Kansas, President Obama lectured us about Teddy Roosevelt’s philosophy of government.  But he failed to mention the important difference between Teddy Roosevelt and Barack Obama.  Roosevelt believed that government should level the playing field to create equal opportunities.  President Obama believes that government should create equal outcomes.  

In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others. And the only people who truly enjoy any real rewards are those who do the redistributing—the government.
 
The truth is that everyone may get the same rewards, but virtually everyone will be worse off.

This isn’t just a casual line. In eight sentences, Romney asserts over and over again that Obama wants to create “equal outcomes” and give everybody the "same rewards." This is nuts, Glenn Beck–level insane. Restoring Clinton-era taxes is not a plan to equalize outcomes, or even close. It's not even a plan to stop rising inequality. Obama's America will continue to be the most unequal society in the advanced world — only slightly less so. The alternative proposals accelerate inequality even further.

This is a form of insanity that has become extremely pervasive in the Republican Party since 2009. The response to liberal invocation of rising inequality from the right's intellectual leaders has been to argue against not liberal policies but against socialism. This wild lie has become so widespread that press accounts don’t even bother to mention it anymore.