Dear Mitt

I saw you on TV Tuesday evening, saying “A better America begins tonight.”

Mitt Romney, Mr. 1% - Cartoon

Mitt Romney, Mr. 1% – Cartoon (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Love the concept.  Love it.  A better America is just what we need.  Oh, you don’t mind me calling you Mitt, do you?   You have been trying to appear a regular guy and I just thought I’d return the chumminess.

Right now a better America to many is spelled: jobs, jobs, jobs.  That’s in your wheelhouse, according to you, and what would a former community organizer know about that, so this is your trump card over Obama.  Your work as governor and managing Bain Capital makes you a jobs maestro of sorts, right?

Still, the details have been left kind of sketchy so far and there were questions brought up by your primary opponents leaving me with a few doubts I’d like you to clear up.  First,  when governor, Massachusetts was the 47th job producing state out of 50.  I know it was a recession and you did reduce  unemployment by one per cent or so, but as some pin headed professor has argued in the Washington Post, that reduction was fueled by  “people…. leaving the work force in droves”.  Even if we cut you some slack, and say you ranked 37th?  Or  even 27rd out of 50?  Well, that’s not really much to brag about is it?   The Post termed the growth “unremarkable.”

But let’s move on to Bain capital where you’ve said tens of thousands of jobs were created.   I’d feel more comfortable if you or Bain would provide a breakdown of that.  It seems clear you were very good at making money for Bain and its investors, including when you bought struggling companies and liquidated them and their jobs.  I’d like to see some hard numbers.   You could clear the matter up by offering an analysis and, frankly, if you had created so many jobs  (after subtracting the ones done away with and others exported abroad), wouldn’t it make sense to advertise those stats with big, bright colored charts?  Maybe even a full page ad in the NY Times?

This is no time to be modest.

So, if we are to count on you to turn on the job spout, I’d like to see more clear cut proof of your job creation prowess, and I imagine many other Americans would also.  After all “job creator” is your trump card, so you need to play it strong.  I don’t mean to be mean, but it’s not like you are particularly likeable – at least your public persona – like President Obama.  Maybe you’re really uncomfortable with public speaking like, let’s say, Ulysses S Grant, who preferred to ride around amidst cannon shot over making a speech (*1).   Maybe your forced contortions aimed at approximating a normal smile stem from that inner struggle.  Maybe you should join Toastmasters.  It helped me.

I hear many businessmen you’ve worked with like you – that’s good – and perhaps you’re a real hoot in private, but you’re a mannequin with a voice box in public.  Haven’t you noticed you never say anything that is funny but laugh anyway?  Sure your audiences laugh a little, but they’re just being polite.  When you laugh, they realize they’re supposed to.

I hate to be negative, but in addition to the public persona issue, you don’t impress me on foreign affairs.  I think it’s really complicated stuff, so when you say if you are elected Iran will not get a nuclear weapon, but if Obama is re-elected, they will.  Frankly that sounds simple minded.  What are you going to do so differently?  Pepper them with your folksy jokes in Farsi until they beg for mercy?

So, really, you’ve got to kick butt with this jobs creator angle, as it is your one strength.  In that regard, I have some bad news for you.  Sorry, but it’s unavoidable.  I’m sure you know of David Stockman, a budget director for Ronald Reagan.  You may know him personally, as he’s been in the company referbishing business for years, too.   Well, he asserts we have the same number of jobs in this country right now as we did in 2000.  Not one job more.

Now stop pointing your finger at Barack Obama. I know you are. You must know that George Bush had the worst job creation record of all presidents since 1939, this according to the Wall Street Journal.  And that was before all of the so-called crippling government regulations and market uncertainty your party loves to blame Obama for.

So, you want to free the job producers to go forth and multiply.  Well, they seemed plenty free during the Bush 43 years when so few jobs were multiplied while the economy was nearly destroyed through the unfettered greed of some of them?   Why so little job fecundity back then?

Hey, I wouldn’t blame Bush for all of it, really.  What gets ignored in the silly chatter is that we have been leaking jobs since the 1970’s via outsourcing in search of dirt cheap labor and technological advances that, while creating some new jobs, have done away with more old ones.  The reason we have thought we were doing well was, as David Stockman points out, we were riding high on economic bubbles like drug addicts at a party (I added the “drug” part) .

The bubbles have burst.  And the party is over.

Stockman insists that “the numbers for the U.S. don’t add up to anything but a painful, slow-growing future”… because our spendthrift ways have left us… “super saturated with debt.”  But there you are putting your party hat on and tooting your own horn while seemingly unaware of just how deep and broad our economic problems are.   If you want to win this election you had better make one hell of a case for your being just the guy we need to turn this economy around, and not as you sometimes did with Bain, making profits while destroying jobs.  Otherwise, I’ll stick with Obama.  At least he can be funny at times.

P. S. – If you think I’m a  glass-half-empty kind of guy, read this recent interview with Stockman.  His glass is barely moist.  Better yet, have one of your aids read it first so he or she can break the news gently.

Oh, by the way.  Just how huge of a mansion are you building that a car elevator is required?  Do you need an operator for that?  That would be one new job.

———————————————————————————————–

(*1)  Trick Trivia Question:   What is Ulysses S Grant’s middle name?

Answer:  Ulysses.    His full name was Hiram Ulysses Grant, but he dropped the Hiram.  When a congressman nominated him for West Point, he needed to give a middle initial.  He guessed “S” because Grant’s mother’s maiden name was Simpson.  Apparently Grant never felt the need to correct it.

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One response to “Dear Mitt

  1. It might be instructive to learn about Mr. Romney’s forward-thinking policies on higher education, one engine that drives the future job market. During the years when he served as Governor Romney of Massachusetts, 2003 to 2007, his state was ranked variously from 45th to 50th in state appropriations for higher education. This is according to the yearly rankings in the Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/State-Spending-on-Colleges/6493.

    In fact, Mr. Titanic, you might very well have some personal knowledge of navigating this woebegone system of higher education, having earned your doctorate from UMass Amherst, which I know very well. I was among the legion of your friends who gathered at your house to type your thesis on a collection of begged, borrowed, and stolen typewriters. Yes, Virginia, there was such a thing as typewriters long long ago in a galaxy far far away. “Beg, borrowed, and stolen” also describes how students here in Massachusetts are still getting their higher education, thanks to progressive governors such as Mitt Romney. Who needs a job if you don’t have an education, because it won’t support you anyway?

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