I haven't seen this discussed in depth so I thought I'd try my hand at my first diary.
Just prior to the last question last night, the candidates were talking about jobs, jobs, and more jobs, as they had been doing throughout the night. I've gotten used to their talking points when all of a sudden, in response to the President, Mitt Romney said, "Government does not create jobs." And then he repeated it to make sure we all heard him. "Government does not create jobs."
WTF!? We've just gone through about 80 minutes worth of debate where not only had President Obama not created enough jobs, but Mr. Romney was going to create 12 million to boot. Let's take a look at the debate.
Mr. Romney's Answer to Question 1:
But the key thing is to make sure you can get a job when you get out of school. And what’s happened over the last four years has been very, very hard for America’s young people. I want you to be able to get a job. I know what it takes to get this economy going. With half of college kids graduating this year without a college — or excuse me, without a job and without a college-level job, that’s just unacceptable.Ok, I'll grant that this could be argued that it's a little ambiguous. He wants you to be able to get a job but he's not explicitly saying the government can help you with that. The job should be there, but you're on your own to find it, is that right, Mr. Romney?
Oh, but he continues his answer:
I’m going to change that. I know what it takes to create good jobs again. I know what it takes to make sure that you have the kind of opportunity you deserve. And kids across this country are going to recognize we’re bringing back an economy. It’s not going to be like the last four years. The middle class has been crushed over the last four years, and jobs have been too scarce. I know what it takes to bring them back, and I’m going to do that ...Oh, so now he knows how to bring them back and he's going to bring them back by golly. But, Mr. Romney, are you aware that being President is being in charge of the government? Being President is not a privately held position. If as President you can bring jobs back, then wouldn't you say the government has an active roll in job creation? You certainly seem to say as much later in the exchange:
The president’s policies have been exercised over the last four years, and they haven’t put Americans back to work. We have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office. ... That’s why I put out a five-point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay. It’s going to help Jeremy get a job when he comes a out of school. It’s going to help people across the country that are unemployed right now.Right. So it's Super Romney to the rescue with 12 million shiny new jobs. But, he's not done.
Later, on energy:
We’re going to get through a very aggressive energy policy, 3.5 million more jobs in this country. It’s critical to our future.There's 3.5 million more jobs thanks to Mr. Romney's magical energy policy!
But lest we forget President Obama's role in all of this, Romney says:
I know why jobs come and why they go. And they’re going now because of the policies of this administration.Aha! So not only is Romney super-duper great at knowing how to bring more jobs to the country as President, but President Obama doesn't and these jobs are fleeing our shores directly because of his policies. His government policies.
Even Reagan knew how to create jobs, according to Mr. Romney.
Yeah, in the Reagan recession, where unemployment hit 10.8 percent. Between that period — the end of that recession and equivalent period of time to today, Ronald Reagan’s recovery created twice as many jobs as this president’s recovery.Ok, so we're still on the government can create jobs theory. And, actually, up to this point, Mr. Romney's been pretty consistent in making a case for government involvement in job creation.
But then, inexplicably, after another lengthy back and forth about jobs, Mr. Romney says this in exasperation after the President explained how some jobs just won't come back; the low wage low skill work that is easily shipped overseas:
Government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs.To which there were chuckles in the audience (well deserved of course).
Mr. Romney, are we all idiots? Do you think we have the attention spans of a flea? Are we to ignore the passionate cases you just made for how you will bring back jobs and why Obama has failed? Mr. Romney, either you somehow don't think the President is part of government, your short term memory is sorely lacking, you don't even think about the words coming out of your mouth, or you're just a psychopath. I don't know which one it is, but either way, you're not the President for me or for this country.