Just before today's White House jobs summit, Mitt Romney minces no words in blasting President Obama's economic policies.
"Like other presidents before him, Barack Obama inherited a recession. But unlike them, he has made it worse, not better," Romney writes in an opinion piece published this morning in USA Today.
The former Massachusetts governor -- who made his name and fortune at Bain Capital, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination last year, and who could very well run again in 2012 -- derides Obama's economic know-how
"His failure to stem the unemployment tide should not have been a surprise. With no experience whatsoever in the world of employment and business formation, he had no compass to guide his path," Romney writes. "Instead, he turned over much of his economic recovery agenda to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, themselves nearly as inexperienced in the private sector as he. Congress gave him and them everything they asked for, including a history-making three-quarters of a trillion dollar stimulus. But it did little to stimulate the real economy -- where jobs are created."
Romney also joins in the GOP criticism of the White House claims of success for the $787 billion economic stimulus. "In an attempt to disguise the truth, the administration has touted inflated figures of jobs "created."But every month, in good times and bad, jobs are created and jobs are lost. What matters is the net difference between the two numbers. Focusing solely on jobs created while ignoring the far greater numbers of jobs lost is Harry Houdini economics," he writes.
Romney then lays out his own 10-point plan, including freezing stimulus money that hasn't been spent yet and redirecting it to the private sector, granting more business tax breaks, not allowing President George W. Bush's tax cuts to expire at the end of 2010, ditching the "cap-and-trade" climate change legislation, and approving free trade agreements with Colombia and other countries.
UPDATE: Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan responded in kind to Romney:
“For months, the American people have been waiting for the 'Party of No' to offer a plan -- any plan -- to help fix the economy and create jobs. And for months, Republicans have done nothing. Now, instead of acknowledging, as leading economists and the independent CBO have, that the president's recovery act rescued this country's economy from the brink of disaster and has already saved or created 1.6 million jobs, Republican leaders like Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor are now offering 'plans' that are nothing more than a laundry list of the failed Bush-era economic policies that nearly destroyed our economy in the first place. Mitt Romney's allegiance to Bush economics is one policy position he'd do well to flip-flop on.”
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.