I Have Heard of the Confidence Fairy and the Inflation Imp. But This I-Will-Do-Nothing Economic Policy from Mitt Romney Is Absurd
Romney's secretly taped comments weren't just embarrassing for the 47% comment. They also revealed a faith-based economic strategy:
If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you're talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see -- without actually doing anything -- we'll actually get a boost in the economy…
And Matthew O'Brien brings the very large hammer for the very big smack down:
Mitt Romney has a secret economic plan. It's magic…. [T]he conceit that Romney has a secret economic plan…. The idea is that Romney is too smart and too ideologically flexible, and his stated plans too vague and too mathematically incoherent for there not to be another plan…. But is the secret economic plan real or is there really no secret economic plan?….
Romney's secret economic plan to jumpstart the recovery is… winning office.
He thinks markets are scared of Obama, and an Obama loss would be enough to send markets racing up.
This is aggressive nonsense…. [T]he S&P 500 is up 10.9 percent since Romney said this, "despite" Nate Silver of the New York Times estimating Obama's odds of securing a second term jumping from 60 to 75 percent. There's just little reason to think that uncertainty, rather than lack of demand, is what's holding the economy back. Small businesses have consistently ranked "poor sales" -- i.e., poor demand -- as their biggest problem. Not so for uncertainty…. The index conservatives like to tout as proof of uncertainty's insidious grip… is a fatally flawed measure that counts Republican talking points as proof of those talking points…. How would we explain that real private fixed nonresidential investment has actually come back… but real private fixed residential investment has not? The simplest explanation isn't the president, it's the housing market…. It's hard to tell a story about why uncertainty would hurt residential investment, but not nonresidential investment. It's not hard to tell a story about why a housing bust would hurt housing investment -- and drag down overall demand….
Romney's magical thinking is the consequence of Republican obstruction. From the beginning, Republicans have been quite candid that their number one goal is making sure Obama is a one-term president. From the stimulus to Fed appointments to the abortive American Jobs Act, they have tried to block anything that might help the economy -- while decrying it all as dangerously outside the mainstream. There's a problem. It's not. The Obama administration has just followed textbook economics -- spending more and cutting interest rates amidst a slump -- much as a hypothetical McCain administration likely would have followed textbook economics. After denouncing these policies for years, the Republicans can't very well run on them. So they blame those policies for creating uncertainty, evidence be damned.