The latest jobs report, which said the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent in May while the U.S. added a paltry 69,000 jobs, focused the 2012 presidential spotlight directly on the economy. Mitt Romney assailed President Obama's failure to put more Americans back to work, arguing that the slumping jobs market is definitive proof that we need a new leader with new ideas. Romney has a 59-point economic plan of his own, which basically boils down to reducing taxes, rolling back government regulations, expanding American oil exploration, and cutting spending. Would that lower the jobless rate?
Yes. It's time to try something new: The May jobs report "makes it official:" The Obama economy isn't working, says The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Obama's focus on "temporary, targeted" tax cuts don't encourage businesses to hire, since they know the cuts could expire soon. And Obama's "historic burst of regulation" over the health care and financial industries have "harmed business confidence and job creation." Romney should seize this opportunity to explain that his approach is best for American businesses and workers — a small-government "vision of how to restore American growth and prosperity."
"An economy built to stall"
No. Romney's plan would have no impact on jobs: "Romney is not offering a plausible solution to the crisis," says Jonathan Chait at New York. His plan is based on "long-term policy changes that Republicans would favor even if the economy was humming along." The problem? These measures won't move the needle on the short-term unemployment situation. Romney, in line with most mainstream economists, has all but conceded that new stimulus spending is the way to "boost the short-term economy" and spur hiring, but he hasn't offered such a proposal because it would bolster Obama's arguments.
"Springtime for Romney"
Romney has no plan... and he might win anyway: Let's not pretend that Romney "has a credible solution to the jobs crisis," says John Cassidy at The New Yorker. In fact, a President Romney "could well bring on another recession" if he starts "slashing federal spending right away." But all the arguments in the world might not make a difference: "The 'time for change' argument often resonates more strongly with voters than the incumbent's critique of his opponent's plans." With the labor market deteriorating, "Mitt Romney now has a good chance of being the next president."
"Job slowdown could cost Obama the election"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- California's epic drought
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
Subscribe to the Week