Opinion: Romney’s Middle Class Economic Plan: Work More, Make Less
During his convention speech, Presidential candidate and former Chairman of Bain Capital W. Mitt Romney told America they deserve better because they work hard.
One rhetorical example he used was that, “when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits.”
Americans who lost good jobs in this economy did take other jobs – if they could find them.
Had a larger stimulus been passed, there would have been more of those jobs. Had we not laid-off so many teachers, firemen and cops during a recession then those lower wage jobs would have been available to more Americans looking to replace the good job they just lost.
But Romney exposes a larger truth in that statement: that wage destruction is his vision of the American economy.
Taking away a good paying job and shipping that job overseas played a role in how Mitt Romney was able to become so wealthy.
His economic plan basically says if you make $22.50 an hour with benefits, you make too much money; and if you make $22.5 million, then you pay too much in taxes.
That, in a sentence, is Mitt Romney’s – and the Republican Party’s – view of the American economy.
If people are satisfied with making $22.50 an hour then they can work more hours to make the same money, holding down a couple or three minimum wage jobs.
That view of the American economy is why they are so hostile to labor unions on this Labor Day. Because those high wages take profits from the true American heroes: the job creators who are not rewarded enough.
They believe that economic benefits are too skewed towards working Americans and they want to redistribute that money up the food chain to the wealthiest Americans.
Of course when they are talking about job creators they are not just talking about people who started a successful small business. They are mostly talking about the people who, like Mitt Romney did at Bain, move money on a spread sheet and pay the lowest rate of taxes today.
Even the vaunted small business job creators don’t get as good a deal as those whose wages are disguised as “carried interest” – like Romney.
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said yesterday that there was nothing memorable about Mitt Romney’s speech to the GOP convention.
While he was right on the rhetoric that Romney chose and he was right on the lack of specifics, I believe this line that accidentally highlights the struggles of the disappearing middle class that Mitt Romney played a significant role in and should be THE memorable line.
The problem of Americans losing “that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits” and then taking “two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits” predated the economic collapse created by the people who are paid with carried interest and make too little money in the economy.
But Republicans cannot win without getting the votes of the people they want to work those two jobs, so they are running a campaign of division and are avoiding any talk of their specific plans.
The description of Americans losing good paying jobs with benefits and having to work twice the hours at twice the jobs and lose more than twice the time with their loved ones is what happened when Romney made millions sending a plant overseas or spending a company to bankruptcy as he and his partners picked the dying carcass clean for their financial benefit.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.