MAYBE ROMNEY SHOULD JUST STOP WRITING OP-EDS…. Former one-term Gov. Mitt Romney (R), in advance of his 2012 presidential campaign, has to identify ways to stay relevant. He doesn’t have a job, and isn’t on Fox News’ payroll, so that tends to lead Romney to write op-eds to stay in the game.

This strategy would be more effective, though, if Romney’s op-eds were any good.

A few months ago, Romney did his level best to pretend to understand foreign policy and counter-proliferation. The result was utterly humiliating.

Soon after, he ran another piece, this time writing an op-ed for the Boston Globe. It was largely incoherent, too.

Today it’s USA Today‘s turn to publish a Romney piece. He argues against the tax policy agreement reached by the White House and congressional Republicans, insisting that we can’t afford to help the unemployed with extended benefits, and jobless aid only encourages those lazy unemployed folks not to work anyway. Romney even suggests “individual unemployment savings accounts,” so workers can pay for their own periods of unemployment.

Wait, it gets worse.

The piece goes on to complain about the deficit, while calling for tax cuts that would add to the deficit. Romney reconciles this contradiction the old fashioned way:

In many cases, lowering taxes can actually increase government revenues. If new businesses, new investments and new hiring are spurred by the prospects of better after-tax returns, the taxes paid by these new or growing businesses and employees can more than make up for the lower rates of taxation.

Oh, good, Mitt Romney believes in the tax fairy.

Remember this from the summer? It’s the notion that the cost of tax cuts, without offsets, is irrelevant, because they necessarily pay for themselves. It’s an idea so ridiculous that no credible economist takes it seriously. Even the Bush administration — the most fiscally irresponsible in American history — rejected it as nonsense.

And even if Romney didn’t know any of this, he should at least recognize recent history — Bush’s tax cuts, the ones Romney seeks to protect, didn’t “increase government revenues”; they helped create massive deficits.

There have to be better ways than this for unemployed politicians to stay relevant.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.