Mitt Romney – 2 Steps Forward and Say Half a Step Backwards
Overall, I have to say I see these grand “jobs plans” as political pandering, since politicians are in the business of saying one thing and doing another. (Often this is actually a good thing, like when President Obama during his campaign made some anti-free trade pronouncements and then his economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, assured us this was just pandering. To the President’s credit he has been wise enough to largely back off his anti-free trade campaign promises).
However, in reading the headlines about Romney’s jobs plan I noticed 3 things: 2 very good and 1 bad. On the positive side, Romney has announced that economists Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard will lead his economic team. Both are very renown economists. Mankiw is particular is one of my favorite macroeconomists.
On the negative side, I noticed this:
“Directs the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency.”
This sort of protectionist rhetoric is a little worrying, especially when I think the charges against China are pretty much bogus. However, I think if we can trust President Obama to ignore his own protectionist rhetoric, I think we can definitely trust a businessman like Romney to as well. So on net, I think this is still positive news a la Romney.