FACT CHECK: Romney on Polish Economy, Gov’t Role His saying that Poland has a small government is wrong. The Polish government gives women $300 for each baby they have, doubling that for the poor. It fully funds state university educations and it guarantees health care to all its 38M citizens.
Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney hailed Poland’s economy Tuesday as something akin to a Republican dream: a place of small government, individual empowerment and free enterprise.
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.
That last paragraph above really says it all.