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Something's Coming, I dunno what it is, but it is, gonna be

So. I don’t know if y’all have read the Mark Halperin interview with Willard “Mitte” Romney in the upcoming issue of Time—I promise I am not going to make this Tohu Bohu over into a a complaints-about-Mitte blog for the next five months, really I’m not. I just sometimes see stuff and want to point it out…anyway, there have been a bunch of people in Left Blogovia posting about various things in the full transcript. There are a lot of things in it, actually, that reward the snark, as one would imagine of any interview with a newly crowned presidential candidate.

I also think that its dangerous for one’s understanding to read this stuff looking for the Real Person that lies behind it, or for the clues to what the candidate Really Thinks, or the cracks through which the Real Candidate is visible. That way eisegesis lies.

I do have to point this out, though. Mr. Halperin has asked about the automatic cuts in spending (including defense) that are scheduled for January 1, 2012. If Mr. Romney wins, does he want the Congress and Our Only President to address those cuts between the election and January 1? The Governor says he does not. Actually, he says “Of course not.” Mr. Halperin then, quite reasonably, follows up to ask if it wouldn’t be a problem for large-scale cuts that Mr. Romney opposes to take effect almost three weeks before Mr. Romney is sworn in.

Nah.

His response: “Well actually if I’m lucky enough to be elected the consumers and the small-business people in this country will realize that they have a friend in the White House, who is actively going to encourage economic growth, and there will be a resurgence in confidence in this country and a willingness to take risks, to invest, to add employees.”

In other words, just the fact of his election will be enough to encourage economic growth, without actually passing or implementing the policies that he says people will want. He believes that if he is elected he will improve the economy before taking office. No wonder he thinks that it makes sense to count job losses in January 2008 as taking place under Our Only President. He is taking credit for economic growth in November and December 2012.

I don’t blame Mr. Halperin for not asking the next question, which seems to be obvious:

Governor Romney… do you have a Plan B?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

Well, if you think that the health of the economy is mostly determined by political policies, then sure, obviously no one can affect the economy until they take office and start implementing policies.

Wouldn't you say, though, that the economy is also greatly affected by people's expectations about the future? In which case their expectations about what a newly-elected (or soon-to-be-elected, or they-hope-will-be-elected, or who even knows what) is going to do, once they're elected, could also have a significant effect.

Mitte may be entirely wrong, of course -- he's making predictions about the future, and that's pretty hard -- and he may also be entirely wrong about what a clockchucking cluckup GWB was. But the basic idea, that people's expectations about the future can affect the economy, doesn't seem laughable.


It's possible, sure, that just the anticipation of a Mitte Romney administration would be enough to turn around consumer confidence and whatnot, despite the Jan 1 enormous reductions in government expenditure that he says will be bad for the economy. Could happen. But it's just possible that despite the euphoria and all, the economy won't blossom in the last two months of the year. So if you're asking him What about those cuts? and he says The economy will boom before the New Year, it seems obvious to ask but what if it doesn't? Particularly, of course, since there aren't a whole lot of incidents where such a thing has happened, and there are aren't a whole lot of economic forecasts that suggest it will.

Thanks,
-V.


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