Jamelle Bouie makes a great point about the Mitt Romney interview with Brian Williams:
At best, these are plans to improve long-term American competitiveness. As economists have already detailed, there’s nothing in these policies which would deal with the immediate economic problem — a significant lack of aggregate demand. Romney’s economic plan wouldn’t put money into ordinary people’s pockets or increase consumer spending. If anything, when you consider yesterday’s vote on the Bush tax cuts, it would do the opposite.
The plan to fully extend the Bush tax cuts, advanced by Senate Republicans, would also end several tax benefits for working families, which include a tax credit for college tuition (of up to $2,500) and an expansion of the earned income tax credit. Overall, if passed into law, the GOP plan would allow tax breaks for 13 million working families with 26 million children to expire, costing them an average of $843 per family.
Given the degree to which Romney’s plans are indistinguishable from the ones pushed by congressional Republicans, there’s a fair chance that — if Romney wins in November — that Republicans are likely to raise taxes on middle- and working-class Americans. Indeed, when you couple this with plans to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans and reduce spending on programs for the least well-off, you actually have a plan to contract the economy.
By all means, let’s debate what to do about US economic performance over the long term. But let’s debate it after we fix the problem we are having right now, which is that 8% of Americans don’t have jobs. These are two different problems, and Romney doesn’t have anything to say about the most immediate issue. He agrees with the House Republicans that we just need to suffer through it and Congress and the Fed shouldn’t try to do anything else.