Visiting Poland for the final leg of his gaffe-filled trip abroad, Romney praised how the nation has “lifted the heavy hand of government” to become one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.
The problem with Romney’s speech, however, is that the the Polish government plays a larger role in its economy than the U.S. government plays here. The Associated Press noted that the reality of Polish government spending doesn’t match Romney’s rhetoric:
While it’s true that Poland is one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies and boasts dynamic entrepreneurs, Romney’s depiction of Poland as a place of small government is debatable. Even 23 years after throwing off a communist command economy, the Polish government continues to have a strong presence in people’s lives: it gives women $300 for each baby they have, doubling that sum for poor families; it fully funds state university educations; and it guarantees health care to all its 38 million citizens.
And while Poland’s economic growth has certainly been impressive in recent years, this is partly the result of economic redistribution in the form of subsidies that have been flowing in from the European Union since it joined the bloc in 2004.
In addition to praising higher government spending, this is also the second time Romney has inadvertently lauded universal health care — a far cry from his criticisms of the individual mandate. He first complimented universal health care in his comments on Israel’s relatively low health spending.