Mitt Romney accidentally told the truth again yesterday. At a campaign event in Michigan, the former governor rejected the principal economic message espoused by congressional Republicans the last several years. (video via ThinkProgress)
That’s not exactly helpful to the Republican Party’s election-year message.
What’s more, in September, Romney temporarily switched sides on economic orthodoxy.
Asked to explain his critique of President Obama’s economic views on msnbc … Mitt Romney alleged that “he doesn’t understand how the private sector works.” What in particular does the president not understand? Demand!
“The president thinks that if you have cash on your balance sheet that means you’re gonna go hire people. No, you hire people if you have customers. The president doesn’t understand what makes the American economy go. I do.”
In the immortal words of Josh Lyman, “That’s the other guys.”
In the larger economic debate, Democrats and the left in general are largely focused on one goal: demand. Policymakers should, the progressive argument goes, do everything possible to boost demand, since this rests at the heart of the larger problems – more demand would mean more jobs, more growth, more production, more trade, etc.
The right disagrees. In fact, Republicans tend to believe the exact opposite – we don’t need to boost demand; we need to deal with the real problems like regulations, taxes, and some amorphous sense of uncertainty.
Demand, in the conservative model, is largely irrelevant. It’s why Republicans consider the very idea of generating economic activity through unemployment benefits and food stamps to be completely ridiculous.
And yet, Romney accidentally endorsed the Democratic argument on national television.
Taken together, Romney, the likely GOP presidential candidate, believes the economy is getting better under Obama, spending cuts will hurt the economy, and the economy is being held back by a lack of demand, just as liberals have been arguing.