What’s Mitt Romney’s plan to turn the economy around? “Something dramatic” according to him, but he won’t say what that something is. He will only say what that something is not.
The Republican presidential candidate says he opposes another federal stimulus package and new government programs. He also says that if the Federal Reserve were to undertake another “massive” program of buying government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, with the goal of driving long-term interest rates even lower, it wouldn’t help the recovery.
“I can absolutely make the case that now is the time for something dramatic and it is not the time to grow government. It’s the time to create the incentives and the opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses big and small to hire more people and that’s going to happen,” Romney said an interview aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
We’re going to create incentives and opportunities without more stimulus or a new government program? And the Federal Reserve isn’t allowed to help either?
Mitt must be referring to his Tax Cut Magic. If he simply peppers the federal budget with a few magic asterisks, success will pour down like a heavy rain. And if you believe that, I have a bridge I’ll sell you.
The last round of quantitative easing initiated by the Federal Reserve actually did lower commodity prices and boost consumption, by the way. But that is not a long-term solution, and no one thinks that it is. It’s up to congress to act on some long-term goals, such as tax reform that shifts a little more of the burden onto the wealthy and away from the middle and lower class. Public works programs could put a lot of people to work in a short time, improving our infrastructure, improving our schools, making our streets and cities safer, and helping us to develop a more skilled workforce at the same time. Banking and investment reform could help people keep a little more of the money they do earn, and help them to invest some of it more wisely, creating a broader, more diverse investor class for our future and sustainable growth. And a lot of other things like green energy jobs, educating more health care professionals to close the widening gap between medical needs and the supply of medical access and procedures.
But back to Mitt and his secret economic plan. We’re supposed to believe him about his taxes, though he won’t admit nor deny that he has paid less than the 13.9 percent he paid on 2010’s returns according to the incomplete paper work he has supplied thus far. He denies not paying taxes for a ten year period as claimed by Harry Reid, and we’re just supposed to believe him because he says so.
We’re supposed to believe that he retired from Bain Capital retroactively nearly three years after he first claimed to have left the company. If he continued to work for Bain during that period of time in question, then his fingers were in some pretty sticky deals with which he doesn’t want to be associated. So, in spite of what legal SEC filings and other documents show, we’re to just believe him when he says that what we see isn’t really what we’re seeing. Even though to have filed some of these documents erroneously or duplicitously would be felony offenses.
Mitt is reminding me of Tricky Dick Nixon whose “secret plan” to get us out of Vietnam was a central part of his 1968 campaign that propelled him into the White House. Never mind that Nixon widened the war, carpet bombed large parts of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia and Laos, as well as North and South Vietnam. Never mind that Nixon prosecuted that war for a longer duration of time than did LBJ. Never mind that he clearly had no secret plan other than getting himself elected president.
If we learned nothing else from Nixon, we should have learned that we cannot believe leaders who hide things from us and simply ask that we believe them and trust them. We’ll see in November if we learned that lesson or not by how much of Mitt Romney’s lies and obfuscation we are willing to ignore.