John Maynard Romney, or Say Anything!

October 6th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

All this time, while people like me and Larry Mishel and Paul K have been arguing that what’s holding back hiring is demand, not uncertainty, who knew that the Mittster was with us?  From an interview the other day, Political Correction finds the candidate saying this (hat tip: IDG):

“The president thinks that if you have cash on your balance sheet that means you’re gonna go hire people. No, you hire people if you have customers. The president doesn’t understand what makes the American economy go. I do.”

It’s as if someone put the wrong microchip in his head.  Or, that is, the right microchip (the left microchip?).  This is precisely what Keynesians and other near-term growth oriented types have been saying for months now. 

And the President, who supposedly doesn’t get it, has a $450 billion jobs plan on the table motivated precisely by this type of analysis, a plan Gov Romney strongly opposes. 

In fact, Romeny’s jobs approach explicitly eschews stimulative measures that would get customers back in the game.  Worse, it eschews them up and spits them out—see here: “Mitt Romney will immediately move to cut spending and cap it at 20 percent of GDP.”   I guarantee you, that would not lead to new customers, other than for Unemployment Insurance.

I spend so much time criticizing people like Gov Romney for inaccurate or misleading economic analysis, it may seem churlish to ding him when he gets it right.  But if candidates just say whatever pops into their heads with no regard for logical consistency with either the vast bulk of their statements or policy positions, it’s fair to assume they’re just trying to score political points.  And obfuscating along the way.

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2 comments in reply to "John Maynard Romney, or Say Anything!"

  1. Tom says:

    This gets at something I’ve been wondering: If Romney (or any R) wins the next election, would stimulus suddenly be OK with them? They would have to know it’s how to get reelected and that cutting to 20% of GDP would not. We already know the R’s spend like drunken sailors when in power, deficit be damned, and at least this time it would be the right thing to do.


  2. Evan says:

    “I guarantee you, that would not lead to new customers, other than for Unemployment Insurance.”

    BRILLIANT! You’ve spotted the genius of Romney’s plan! He’ll privatize unemployment insurance, and the resulting increase in waste and administrative overhead will create millions of jobs, as we all process each other’s insurance claims and look for reasons to deny each other. It’s an automatic stabilizer; the more people are out of work, the more business there is denying them money, and the more of them will be hired to deny the rest.

    Of course, that does mean a certain number of people will have to stay out of work to keep the business going. We can call them “job creators.”


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