President Obama Needs To Quiz Romney on the Economy

During recent months, much has been said about President Obama’s economic policies. The GOP have relentlessly claimed his ‘reckless’ spending spree is making matters worse. The Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney thinks the government is spending too much, and is failing to create any new jobs. With less than a month before election day Romney still hasn’t given us any concrete plans on how he plans to remedy this situation.

Let us start with Romney’s own statements. He has said that his budget plan would produce new jobs by cutting taxes and reducing the deficit – but he has yet to explain how exactly he’s going to achieve this. A recent article in the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) by Andrew Fieldhouse and Josh Bivens states that Romney’s math simply doesn’t add up, meaning he is never going to fulfill his promise of creating 12 million jobs. In fact, his budget proposal would lead to an overall loss of 554,000 jobs by 2014. And, if he is going to revoke the Affordable Care Act, cut Medicaid spending and block grants, the results will be devastating. The EPI article is thorough and concise, and paints a pretty bleak picture of not only Romney’s math but his ‘vision’ for economic growth.

On the other hand, back in June the Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told Bloomberg that President Obama “Recognizes the need to stimulate the economy”. Rich Miller’s excellent Bloomberg piece quoted Stiglitz as saying that “The election of Mitt Romney as president in November would ‘significantly’ raise the odds of a recession because it would herald a shift to a much tighter budget.”

What is becoming more of a concern is that the American electorate may actually believe Romney’s claims. President Obama has acknowledged that federal spending has gone up. Why he doesn’t make more of the fact that it has increased at the lowest pace in 60 years seems a little odd. At this crucial stage of the election campaign President Obama should be shouting from the rooftops that he is the pragmatist who saved the country from another Great Depression. Maybe after his relatively poor performance in the first Presidential Debate President Obama will be better equipped in the second debate?

If President Obama takes a stand against Romney’s half truths and three quarter lies next week the electorate may finally take some notice. We all know that the ill-fated ‘trickle down economics’ didn’t work in the 1980s and won’t work again. Maybe President Obama should remind the electorate that the Bush Administration created our record deficit during those terrible 8 years, mainly by funding the two longest wars in our history. He could also mention that his Keynesian economic policies are in fact working, just like FDR’s did in the 1930s. President Obama needs to come out as the clear winner in the last two Presidential Debates. Quizzing Romney about why he won’t share his plan to ‘fix’ the economy would be a good starting point.