President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are promoting plans to fix America’s economy. So rife is the “fix the economy” story line out of Washington, Looney Tunes should produce it.
Kwazy wabble, fixes are for things. An economy is not a thing to be fixed like a leaky faucet or tax loophole.
For example, over the past eight years Haley Barbour, Leland Speed, Gray Swoope and other members of the state’s economic development team have not been trying to fix Mississippi’s economy. Rather, they have worked to build, grow, and champion Mississippi’s economy.
They attracted advanced manufacturing, defense-related, and energy industries. They built the Mississippi Blues Trail, attracted the Grammy Museum, and expanded tourism opportunities. They helped existing business and industry expand and reach new markets. They championed Momentum Mississippi and business innovation.
Just this month, in cooperation with the Mississippi Arts Commission, they kicked off the Mississippi Creative Economy initiative to help communities and entrepreneurs start and grow businesses based on Mississippi history, art, literature, and music.
“We have an extremely viable creative economy,” Barbour told kick-off attendees. “61,000 people in Mississippi work in jobs or professions that are considered part of the creative economy. We have a history that’s out of this world. Artists, musicians, civil rights. People want to come and see what happened here and while they are here, it is our opportunity to show them something, sell them something, sing them something.”
Now, contrast this ardent building, growing, and championing approach to that presented by stars on the national political scene.
Romney’s top fix is to cut corporate income taxes. Obama’s is to halve Social Security taxes for businesses. Others in Washington voice similar fixes. All hope that proceeds from tax cuts would be used to grow jobs at businesses that see no need, no economic demand, to add jobs.
Where are the new and expanded business opportunities; the major industries coming to, or back to, America; new growth not dependent upon consumer debt and consumption?
Romney’s plan also calls for trade agreements with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea, a survey of U.S. energy reserves, and moving workforce training programs to the states. Obama’s plan also calls for federal spending to repair schools and supplement teacher salaries, to create a National Infrastructure Bank to improve transportation infrastructure, and to extend and reform unemployment insurance.
Robert Reich, a former Secretary of Labor, called Romney’s plan “unremarkable.”
David Stockman, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, called Obama’s plan “just more Keynesian poison.”
These fix-it approaches resemble dud cartoons compared to the blockbuster build-it, grow-it, champion-it approach our economy needs
“Oh, my gwacious!” famed wabble wouser Elmer Fudd would say.