By Greg Sargent
Mitt Romney frequently faults President Obama for not having any kind of plan to pull us out of our employment slump. But would Mitt Romney’s ideas help fix the economic crisis?
I asked two economists to take a look at that question. Their conclusion: While both said they support some of Romney’s long term goals, they both agreed that Romney’s ideas would do little or nothing to fix the immediate crisis, and could in the short term make things worse.
The question of whether Romney’s ideas would fix the economy in the near term has gotten short shrift, because presidential campaigns amid a bad economy tend to focus relentlessly on the incumbent.
The most direct answer Romney has given to the question of what he would do to fix the near term crisis — as opposed to his long-term plan — came during an interview on CNBC in the wake of the bad May jobs numbers. Romney offered six suggestions.
He said he would tap our energy resources to “put a lot of people to work in the energy sector.” He said he’d repeal Obamacare, which is “scaring small businesses from hiring.” He said he’d balance the budget so people know “investing in America is going to yield a return in dollars worth something.” He vowed to “open up new markets in American trade.” He said he’d revamp the National Labor Relations Board and lower tax rates on employers, both of which would make it easier to hire people.
“Are all these things going to reduce the unemployment rate from eight to five in two years? No,” Joel Prakken, the chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, tells me. He described Romney’s ideas as a “a bundle of reasonable policy proposals that could well stimulate the economy from the supply side over a number of years, but would do little to stimulate aggregate demand in the short run. The reason that unemployment is as high as it is is inadequate aggregate demand, not inadequate supply.”
“On net, all of these policies would do more harm in the short term,” added Mark Hopkins, a senior adviser at Moody’s Analytics. “If we implemented all of his policies, it would push us deeper into recession and make the recovery slower.”
I asked each economist to walk through the specifics:More at: