Politicians praise other countries for improving their economy if they've used methods they plan to use to improve their country's economy, and Mitt Romney is no exception. The GOP nominee for U.S. president did just that in Poland this week - almost.
The problem is Romney didn't take into account the fact Poland improved its economy more in line with the way his opponent, U.S. President Barack Obama, advocates making economic inroads - by giving a leg-up to its citizens as they work to improve themselves.
Mitt Romney: In praise of Obama economics?
Here's what Romney said: “Rather than heeding the false promise of a government-dominated economy, Poland sought to stimulate innovation, attract investment, expand trade, and live within its means,” his Warsaw speech said. “Your success today is a reminder that the principles of free enterprise can propel an economy and transform a society.”
He added that Poland had “empowered the individual, lifted the heavy hand of government, and became the fastest-growing economy in all of Europe.”
Now here is where the big horn noise comes in and someone shouts in a megaphone: WRONG! Facts are that while the Polish economy has indeed made great improvements, the government in Poland, formerly a communist country, has had a large hand in it.
GDP: Poland vs. United States
In fact, as is now being widely reported, the country played a bigger role in fixing the economy than the role the United States government has played in working on its economy. Statistics from the International Monetary Fund show that the total Polish government expenditure as a percentage of GDP was 44 percent in 2011.
In the U.S.? Only 41 percent.
Some of the areas the Polish government has gotten involved in the lives of their citizens and given them a government leg-up include giving all women $300 for each baby birthed, double that for women classified as poor, paying for university students' education and - sound the alarm for this one, Mitt - providing health care for all 38 million of its citizens.
Poland is also a founding member of the World Trade Organization, an organization of governments that supervise trade. The country has also been helped by economic redistribution subsidies which have come since they joined the European Union.
Romney mentioned none of the above in his speech.