Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mitt Wrongney

Though I haven't added to the blog for almost a year (I've been focusing on fiction-writing, and that's taking all my time), I couldn't resist posting on the current presidential campaign. Or, more specifically, on the clown who's running for office on the Republican ticket: Mitt "I Know What It Takes to Create Jobs" Romney.

How many times has he said those words during this campaign? He's said them at least ten times during each of the three debates (even though the third was ostensibly about foreign policy), and I'm sure he'll keep saying them until he's blue (or red) in the face. But what do they really mean? Or, more importantly, what evidence does he have that they're really true?

While Romney was governor of Massachusetts, his state ranked 47th out of 50 in job growth. Granted, that probably wasn't altogether his fault (any more than the sluggish rate of job growth during President Obama's watch is altogether his fault). Still, for a man who "knows what it takes to create jobs," he sure did a lousy job when he was in office.

Why is this? It's because, like many businessmen-turned-politician, Romney fails to grasp the difference between being a businessman and being a politician. He says to himself, "Heck, when I ran a business, I could create a job any damn time I felt like it, merely by calling up HR and saying, 'Hey, let's create a new job.' So I must be pretty brilliant at job creation, mustn't I?"

But of course, it doesn't work that way when one is governor or president; as Romney himself admits, government policies can have some influence on job creation, but as a rule governments do not CREATE private-sector jobs. Romney's policies--slashing business income taxes, gutting regulatory agencies, dismantling unions and health care plans, and so forth--might help create some jobs (but then again, they might not). But whatever the case, for him to say he "knows what it takes to create jobs" is flat-out wrong, at least when it comes to the role of government in doing so.

But then, in what other line of work does it actually attract people when one makes the claim that one is not what one has been hired to be? Plumbers don't say, "Trust me with this heart bypass operation--I'm not a career heart surgeon!" Heart surgeons don't say, "Trust me with this leaky faucet--I'm not a career plumber!" Only in politics does it seem to work to say, "I'm a businessman, not a politician--therefore you should vote for me to run the government!"

Or, in Mitt Romney's case: "I know what it takes to create jobs, because I have no experience and no success actually doing it while in office."

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