Is Mitt Romney painfully ignorant, is he a bald-faced liar, or both? (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The father of Obamacare on Monday, saying how bad things would have been
for innovators like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates if they had been a businessmen during President Obama's administration.
Under President Obama’s administration, these pioneers would have found it much more difficult, if not impossible, to innovate, invent, and create.
Somebody really needs to let Mitt Romney know that not only was Steve Jobs CEO of Apple through the first two years of the Obama administration, but he also supported Obama. And for all Romney's bluster about the evils of Obama, Apple somehow managed to release not just one but three different generations of iPads during his tenure in office, completely revolutionizing the tablet market.
(As for Bill Gates, while Windows Vista came out under Bush—okay, cheap shot, I admit it—Obama hasn't stopped Microsoft from coming out with Windows 8.)
But Romney was just getting started on his absurd rant. According to him, under Obama:
The government would have banned Thomas Edison’s light bulb.
Now that's just silly. Obviously, there are more regulations now than there were in Thomas Edison's day, but that thanks in large part to the progress of inventors like Edison. Romney's argument is like saying Henry Ford couldn't have invented the Model T because seat belts are now required in cars.
Amazingly, Romney dug even deeper on the lightbulb issue:
Oh yeah, Obama’s regulators actually did just that.
That's bull. First, the regulation Romney is referring to was signed into law by George W. Bush ... and second, it doesn't ban light bulbs, not even incandescent ones.
What it does is set efficiency standards, just like on cars. As long as incandescent bulbs meet those standards, they can still be manufactured and sold. Over the next two years, the manufacture of older less efficient incandescent bulbs must be sold out, but existing stocks won't be regulated.
Because of the new standards, CFLs and LEDs will grow in popularity, but you can already buy incandescents that meet the new standards—they are just one click away.
What Mitt Romney doesn't seem to understand is that innovation and progress often creates new regulatory challenges. Before cell phones, we didn't need to worry about wireless spectrum. Before airplanes, we didn't need air traffic controllers. Before cars we didn't need a highway system or fuel efficiency standards.
For all of Romney's bluster, if we didn't have any regulation whatsoever, neither Steve Jobs nor Apple would have been able to produce the iPad without them. I know regulations aren't fun and they aren't sexy, but aren't you glad your neighbor's WiFi network can't stop you from running one of your own?