Mitt Romney has been campaigning on the premise that he has a better grasp of economic issues than President Obama. Basically, his premise has been “I’m a business guy, I know about money; therefore you should hire me to fix the economy.” Admittedly, he looks like the Central Casting version of a businessman in a suit, and that’s likely to persuade some voters.
But Romney has provided few details, other than supporting deregulation and similarly returning to the Bush-era economic policies that drove us into the deep recession that we’re still trying to dig our way out of. He’s offered plenty of vague platitudes about knowing how to fix the economy, but he offers as proof of his ability only his questionable record at Bain Capital.
He claims that his time at Bain was as a job creator, though his record in the private sector consists largely of shutting down companies and siphoning money out of them for himself and his cronies. The number of jobs that he claims to have created seems to vacillate from day to day, state to state, speech to speech.
When challenged in any way on the very record that he holds up as his primary qualification, he whines that he is the victim of “character assassination.” According to Romney and his campaign, it’s somehow off-limits to infer that Romney and Bain were part of the byzantine investment banking structure that was responsible for the collapse of the economy and yet which remains completely unpunished.
Oddly, Romney similarly doesn’t want anyone to talk about his record in the public sector, which logically would have more bearing on his qualifications for the job that he is seeking. Maybe that’s because his jobs record as governor of Massachusetts consists of helping his state plunge to the position of 47th out of 50 states in job creation.
The fact remains that Romney hasn’t described with any specificity how he will create any jobs. If GOP history is any indicator, they’re seemingly only intent on reducing the size of government, which only reduces the number of jobs. Mitt and his team are still spouting the Reagan era ideology of supply-side trickle-down economics, even though there is not a scrap of evidence that such economic policy has ever provided any benefit to anyone except those who are already prosperous.
Obama has taken the cesspool of an economy that he inherited upon taking office and he has made it significantly better. Unemployment was at >10%; job losses were mounting. Unemployment has been moving consistently downward and is currently at 8.1%. Job creation is significantly up.
Blue collar job numbers are worse than the overall job numbers. Yet Republicans in Congress have blocked attempts at creating more jobs in this sector when the Obama administration proposed infrastructure programs that would have employed the unemployed as well as dealt with the nation’s crumbling bridges, roads, and other infrastructure.
More than 5,000,000 jobs have been added since Obama took office, despite a reduction of hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs that various state Republican legislatures have been championing. Obama has managed to show overall job growth in spite of that decline in public sector jobs.
So, in order to cast a vote for Mitt Romney, isn’t it fair to require Romney and his campaign to provide specific assurances not only for how he’s going to create jobs but also for how he’s going to do better than Obama has done? Sounds fair to me.