Some Insights Into Mittonomics

So Mitt Romney gave Mark Halperin an interview today, and it’s mostly composed of Romney dodging questions about the specifics of his economic plan, and the specific preparation his business career has given him to serve as president. This, of course, is interesting insofar as he keeps monotonously saying the economy is the only issue that matters, and that his business experience shows why we should trust him to “fix” it.

Mitt did make one bit of news that’s probably going to haunt him: a prediction that he could get the unemployment rate down to 6% by the end of his four-year term. As Steve Benen quickly pointed out: (1) 6% is 2% above the rate Romney called problematic earlier this very month; and (2) CBO is estimating the unemployment rate will go down to 6% by 2016 if no one does anything new about it. He’s promising to do a crappy job that any old body could do.

But there were two other answers he gave that I found intriguing: Asked why things would improve during his first year in office, here’s what he said:

Well you’d see a very dramatic change in the perspective of small businesses, entrepreneurs, middle-size businesses, and perhaps even some large multinationals. They’d say, you know what, America looks like a good place to invest again, a good place to take risk, a good place to hire again.

Wow, this is a “confidence fairy” that doesn’t even need to see any action; just one look at the manly visage of Mitt Romney, and the money will start flowing again!

And second, when asked about why he’s not proposing big first-year spending cuts, he answered:

[I]f you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I’m not going to do that, of course.

Keynesianism! Keynesianism! Call Jim DeMint! Romney’s not for immediately balancing the budget! Romney thinks public-sector jobs are real! Romney doesn’t think the confidence fairy would offset spending cuts!

On top of everything else, unless the transcript is wrong, Mitt referred to the “Democratic Party,” not the “Democrat Party.”

I think this may be the last non-Fox interview Romney grants for a while. If even Halperin can screw you up, it’s time to stick to the stock speech.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.