Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
The latest jobs report is out, and Mitt Romney couldn’t be happier. As you know, unemployment remains stagnant and terribly high at 8.2 percent.
This spells trouble for Obama in November.
Romney said the report is a “kick in the gut” for the American people, but it’s actually a shot in the arm for him.
And he knows it.
The Republican strategy all along has been to make the economy just as awful as possible by Election Day, and it seems to be working.
It was the Republicans who sliced down Obama’s original jobs program, which was only half a loaf to start with. And they carved up the funds that were going to go to help states out, which is one big reason why public sector jobs have fallen so fast.
And it was Republicans who’ve resisted, rejected, or chipped away at every jobs program that Obama has proposed ever since.
At this point, they won’t give Obama a dime to jumpstart the economy. They’d rather see it continue to sputter, regardless of the pain this inflicts on the 12,700,000 people unemployed right now.
All Romney proposes is lowering tax rates and regulations on corporations.
But that won’t create jobs, since many corporations wiggle out of their taxes anyway, and it was the lack of financial regulation that started the recession in the first place.
What would create jobs is increased government spending on infrastructure and green energy, and increased federal funding to the states, whose tight budgets are forcing mass layoffs.
But Romney opposes all these ideas. He doesn’t care about the unemployed. He’s the guy who said he likes to fire people.
He can prattle on about how he’s “met with families in their homes, in cafes and restaurants and in break rooms,” and how he understands that “American families are struggling” and that “there’s a lot of misery in America today.”
American families are struggling. And there is a lot of misery.
But he has nothing to offer them but synthetic sympathy—and a kick not in their gut but in their teeth.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Scott Walker Flouts Supreme Court, Imitates Orval Faubus and George Wallace."
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