Mitt Romney's Poverty of Ideas.
In the shady world of politics, it is usually best to listen to each and every candidate and determine for oneself whether that candidate has any substance. A look at Mitt Romney's campaign so far does not bode well for the presumptuous Republican nominee. The shorthand description of his campaign would be this; Mitt blames Obama for the economy. Mitt blames Obama for apologizing for America (sic). Mitt blames Obama for gas prices...
Lets start with the economy. First of all, it must be said that the economy is no where near where anyone wants it to be. With a rate of unemployment at 8.3%, far too many people are still suffering from the misguided policies of George W. Bush. To put these numbers in perspective, however, it is necessary to look at where we were in 2008. True, the unemployment rate at the beginning of that year was 7.9%. However, the unemployment rate was rising rapid, even as the country was undergoing a power transition between George Bush and Barack Obama. By the time Obama was in office, the unemployment rate had climbed as high as 9%.
The economy as a whole was on a crash course towards another Great Depression. Only the economic stimulus, signed by George W. Bush, and later further implemented by Obama, averted disaster. The unemployment rate then began to fall to as low as 8.2%. What explains the recent rise? The number of unemployed Americans has just now rejoined the labor market, that is, more people are looking for work. And 163,000 jobs were added to the labor force in July. And wages are now higher than they were in 2011.
One of Romney's more ludicrous claims is that he would have let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt. Apart from upsetting Clint Eastwood, and losing Romney Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota, what would the impact to the economy have been? Those supporting bankruptcy might be interested to know that had one or both auto-dealerships gone under, the effect on taxpayers would have been very large. What's more, fewer cars on the market would have caused prices for new automobiles to rise. And the fall of the great companies would almost certainly have had a domino effect of epic proportions. With millions unemployed, the economy would have taken a huge turn for the worse.
Thankfully, that did not happen, because of the Auto Bailout. Romney's next argument for election is that Obama has "apologized" for America. If that is Mitt's best argument for his foreign policy credentials, it is no wonder that Obama leads so magnificently in foreign policy. If foreign polls count, then Obama has been steadily losing favor with the Arab world. The reason? They believe that he has been to fair with Israel. It is fair to point out that Obama has failed to bring peace between Israel and Palestine. That just about continues a trend that has been carried from President Truman on...
Arabs aside, the Chinese and the Russians aren't too fond of us either. For one thing, both were always critical of Obama in a way that other countries were not. And when, in 2010, Obama promised to stiffen American opposition to China's currency manipulation policies, the Chinese were even less enamored of him. Obama's own relationship with Vladimir Putin has always been strained. And the attitudes of both the Chinese and Russian citizens at large are less favorable to Obama then some other countries. If President Obama has been apologizing for America's role in the world, then he certainly has not been doing it very well.
Finally, some Republicans have been trying to blame rising gas prices on Obama. Never mind the fact that gas prices have fallen to 6% since June, and that they may continue to fall as low a $3.00 a barrel by the fall. The idea that any President can influence the price of gas in any given month is utterly laughable. If anything sets gas prices, it is the oil companies and the availability of oil at home and abroad.
Since Congressional Republicans, Paul Ryan among them have blocked the Presidents "American Jobs Act" of 2011, and have themselves offered few, if any, alternatives, they have relinquished their right to any credibility in the jobs debate. And they misrepresented Obama's "you didn't build that" remark, which has become infamous. Obama was referring to infrastructure, not businesses.
Romney and the Republicans are desperately hoping to distract voters from their own poverty of ideas. They offer us a promise of a change in administration, followed by four more years of what one might call "nothing". And that is because they have put nothing of substance on the table.