Romney’s failure to offer credible policy ideas will lead to more #RomneyShambles
There are so many ways to make fun of Romney now, it has even started a cottage industry of #RomneyShambles, #Mitthitsthefan, and my favorite, #AmericanBorat tweets (perhaps Romney can help the economy after all, at the expense of his political future). It appears that, despite being a politician since at least 2002 (when he became governor of Massachusetts) and a presidential candidate in
1946 2006, Romney has absolutely no intuition on when he should lie to spare a country’s feelings (not just lie to try and make an opponent look bad).
However, the policy Romney is not much different than the travelling Romney: they are both unwilling to realize that things have changed and he needs to change with them. With his gaffe-tastic Day 1 outside of the US, he missed that he should speak about the Olympics and the English differently than he would when appearing on Fox News. In a similar way, Ezra Klein describes how Romney has refused to modify any of the Bush Administration’s standard policy responses, despite the huge financial crash and recession that Bush left flaming on Obama’s doorstep that would for most people lead to a re-think of policy.
Lower taxes, fewer regulations, more domestic energy production, promises of deficit reduction that are quickly overwhelmed by increased defense spending and reduced tax revenues, and glossy rhetoric about economic freedom pretty much defined the Bush administration’s economic policy. And how did that economic policy work out?
It was a disaster.
The best chart (of the many good ones) in the post is from the Center for American Progress (full report here (PDF)) below. It shows average monthly job growth by year for the last 3 economic cycles (1974 – 2007), not including the steep fall that followed the financial crisis in his final year in office. Under Bush’s policies, which are incredibly similar to what Romney is advocating for, job growth was anemic compared to previous years when the economy was growing. Romney is campaigning on the basis of his experience as an
outsourcing pioneer job creator from when he was at Bain, yet says he will bring back the policies of George W. Bush, who has one of the worst track records in terms of job creation while he was in office.
With a track record like that for the specific policies that Romney supports, it’s no wonder Romney has to resort to just attacking Obama for things he never did or said. His worst nightmare is that America might for a change have a serious discussion about the policies that led us into financial crisis like financial deregulation and realize that returning to those same old policies is a recipe for another crisis down the road, with little if any short term benefits.