My most sincere apologies to John Steinbeck, but I couldn't help myself. It's time to talk of Mittens, the man who thinks he can ascend to the presidency with no real program or vision. I've been waiting for some time to see and hear exactly what the presumptive Republican nominee has in the tank, but the answer seems to be he's running on empty. When the likes of Scott Walker says Romney can't win simply by dogging Obama, you understand the nature of his campaign's dilemna.
Consider his latest line of attack. Mitt Romney believes that the only good jobs are private sector jobs, that it's bad for workers in the private sector to join the unemployment line. For government workers, however, not so bad. From last week to this, Romney doubled down on this philsosophy. Last Friday he said Americans don't want or need more teachers, firefighters, or police officers. One might suppose this is what passes for vision in Romneyville. But Mittens wasn't done yet.
After Democrats went after him on the "we don't need" thing, Romney opined that the federal government doesn't pay for these state and local workers. Of course, that's a complete falsehood. The feds spend billions each year to pay for cops, firefighters, and teachers. Not to be outdone when he's on a roll, Romney maintained that the place to cut (since he thinks cutting government workers means private sector jobs will appear) is of course, federal workers. As only he can, Mitt told Colorado voters, "we have 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let's send them home and put you back to work".
Many of the federal jobs Romney says can be vaporized are in areas he supports, like the military and veterans affairs. Meanwhile, nearly 700,000 non federal government workers have lost their jobs since the start of the Great Recession. That's added a full percentage point to the national unemployment rate. And one might question whether citties and towns around this country really want to make due with fewer people working for state and local governments. Cops, firefighters and teachers aren't nearly the only ones affected. Teacher's assistants, secretaries, day care workers, and those who work in after school programs all find their employment at risk right here in the NYC metropolitan area. They have in common lower pay than the workers so often talked about on the campaign trail.
This vision thing should haunt Mitt Romney. Somehow I don't think it does. Maybe he can pay for his own police force, fire protection and education system.
Listen to me Monday through Friday 6 AM to 9 AM on WWRL 1600.