Sometime in tonight’s debate, Mitt Romney might promise to create 12 million jobs if he is elected. That’s in America, not in China, where he has created most of his jobs up to now.
He doesn’t provide details but his proposed strategy includes:
- Drastically reducing federal spending
- Reducing personal income tax rates by 20 percent
- Eliminating taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains
- Cutting the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent
- Eliminating or reducing federal income tax exemptions to compensate for lost revenue. (What tax exemptions will the middle class lose? Will they end up paying less, more or the same federal income tax? Romney doesn’t say but he claims his plan is “revenue neutral.”)
He also talks about making “North America” energy self sufficient, improving education and adding trillions to the military budget.
I hope President Obama will make Romney provide details to back up his pledge to create 12 million jobs.
He should ask Romney to explain exactly how he arrives at a hard number of new jobs.
How many jobs does he get by trashing the environment to drill, baby, drill? How many of those jobs will be in Canada, Mexico or other countries that make up “North America”? How many jobs will “trickle down” when the fat cats pay less taxes? How many jobs will be produced by building battleships, tanks and fighter jets that the military doesn’t need or want?
When will “improved” education (privatizing the schools) produce dividends in the form of jobs? What kinds of jobs? How many?
And on the debit side, how will slashing federal spending impact the jobs market? How many government workers will be laid off as a result? And what kind of ripple effect will ensue?
What will happen when seniors (and the poor) have less to spend on health care?
How will that affect hospitals, doctors, clinics, nursing homes?
How many corner stores and fast-food joints will go out of business as welfare checks and food stamps dry up?
To me, the Romney plan seems to do no more than rob Peter to pay Paul. In this scenario, “Peter” will be the poor and the middle class (you and I) and “Paul” will be the corporate class (Romney’s pals).
So if you hear Romney promise all those jobs, don’t get excited.
You might be too young to remember, but I was around back in the Sixties when economists were talking about the future. They told us labor would be in short supply in America by now, that this would be an age of leisure because the work week would be shorter and wages would be higher, etc. etc.
None of that has happened. In fact, the opposite is true. Americans are working longer hours for lower pay.
Back in the Sixties, China was still sleeping. Globalization was yet to become a reality. The economists didn’t figure on thousands of American factories moving to cheap-labor markets overseas.
As an old saying puts it, when a man talks about the future, the Devil laughs.
I am sure Romney knows that. He doesn’t for a minute believe the nonsense he talks. Somebody must have done a focus group and told him that’s what voters want to hear. The focus group probably thought 12 million was a nice, round number.
As for himself, all Romney wants is to become president. He doesn’t care what he has to say to get elected.