I don’t have much time to comment this morning, but can’t let Obama’s acceptance speech last night pass without comment. Like Romney’s, it was loaded with motherhood and apple pie stuff, and gushed empathy for the middle class. But contrary to speculation that Obama would put forward a new vision for America, all we got was a rehash of timid policies. More emphasis on education. A reiteration of the already-failed goal to double exports. (Although it was interesting to note that the 5-year time frame wasn’t mentioned. I guess now we’ll just wait for inflation to do the job.)
Unlike four years ago, Mr. Obama is no longer promising to get tough on trade. Now he admits that he’s a free trade theory convert. At least he’s being honest this time, but now we know that there is absolutely no hope of any progress toward restoring a balance of trade and bringing American manufacturing jobs home.
Most disturbing was his “plan” for jobs. 600,000 additional jobs in gas exploration and production. A million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. And that’s about it. The Democrats complained about the Republicans’ arithmetic on the deficit. OK, let’s do some arithmetic. Seventeen million Americans are out of work. The president holds out hope for hiring 1.6 million of them. In the meantime, he also promises to import at least two million immigrants into the labor force, and he promises to cut the deficit by $4 trillion over ten years, which will cut about 4 million jobs from the economy. When I do the math, we end up with 20.4 million unemployed Americans by the end of his next term. By contrast, Romney says he has a plan to create 12 million new jobs, but hasn’t said how.
Regardless of how the election turns out, the presidency will indeed be Clint Eastwood’s empty chair for the next four years.