Mitt Romney’s Three-Point Plan For Mediocrity
Last week, I wrote of Mitt Romney’s astounding promise to reduce the unemployment rate by the end of his first term to 6% (about the rate (actually, a bit higher) than the CBO calculates the current baseline would get us anyway). Truth is, that CBO projection is prefaced on current policy remaining the same, and projects a rate of 5.5% by the close of 2017. So Romney is planning on doing worse than current policy? Well then, we had better take a look at this plan!
Romney told Fox News that he has a three step plan to achieve his goal of mediocrity:
- Get rid of Obamacare
- Drill here, drill now – oil, gas, coal!
- Tackle the deficit (read: austerity)
Naturally, these are exactly what one would expect any Republican to say when appearing on Fox News — but let’s assume that Mitt really means it. The Romney plan for ‘Restoring Our Future’ would be a) a return to a failed health care system; b) continued reliance on fossil fuels; and c) austerity — because it’s working so well in Europe!
Taking these one by one:
- Romney claims Obamacare is hurting small businesses, preventing them from hiring. The truth is that the ACA exempts businesses with less than 50 employees, and provides tax credits to help cover the cost of employer premium contributions. Simply put: Obamacare is not preventing hiring. When the economy creates demand, employers will hire.
- Romney not only claims that drilling domestically for oil, natural gas and coal will create jobs in the energy industry – he claims this will somehow bring long-ago outsourced manufacturing jobs back home. Yes, energy production will create jobs – but not enough to greatly impact nation-wide unemployment numbers; and there is absolutely no justification for his manufacturing claims. Besides, this is not truly an area of disagreement between Romney and Obama.
- This is the big problem for Romney. The same CBO that predicts his unemployment rate is easily achievable also says the US version of austerity (the ‘fiscal cliff’ we risk plunging from in early 2013) will lead to recession. We see no indication from Romney that he would do anything to avert such a disaster.
If this is indeed the scenario we could expect from a President Romney, 6% unemployment really would be a miracle. Maybe by the time we get to the debates, Romney will have some real policy positions, and not just re-heated GOP talking points. Here’s hoping.