Though the actual Republican National Convention is delayed due to Tropical Storm Issac, the RNC economic message machine is at full tilt. Today’s official theme at the forlorn Tampa gathering is “We Built It.” The GOP doesn’t specify who the “we” are or what the “it” is exactly.
With zero percent support amongst blacks for the Republican ticket, African Americans have apparently concluded that the “we” is not them. The 44-point gap amongst Latinos and the 33-point gap amongst youth would seem to suggest that these groups believe the same.
That’s because on jobs—the number one issue important to black and brown America, young people, and the country as a whole—Mitt Romney is largely silent.
The centerpiece of the Romney economic plan is tax cuts for the wealthy, along with less regulation for companies. The GOP believes that giving millionaires an extra $265,000 a year, in addition to allowing businesses to pollute more and violate worker protections, will magically return the economy around. Oddly, Romney has said that his first action on the economy—“day one, job one”—is it to repeal Obamacare.
Despite the words he utters, the astounding fact is that the Romney campaign doesn’t believe his economic approach will work.
Romney claims that he will add 12 millions jobs during his administration. This is exactly the number of jobs that both the Obama White House and private sector economists forecast we’ll gain in the next four years no matter who is president. The bottom line is that Romney doesn’t have faith in his own proposals. He’s not promising to add one new job than would otherwise be the case.
The tragedy is that Americans do hope that this election can be about building a better, fairer and stronger economy. Romney and Ryan’s rhetoric is floor-to-ceiling full of attacks on President Obama. But whatever else can be said about Obama’s record, unlike Romney, he does have real economic plans that would add over 200,000 jobs a month, which is three times the current rate.
The GOP has long portrayed itself as the grown-up party. Somehow these supposed hard-nosed adults have regressed to fraternity-like concerns. Instead of a real way forward on the economy, they’re obsessed with the way women’s bodies work, who’s “a real American” and so on. But what the country needs to hear from the GOP this week is a real plan.