Team Romney To Hit Obama On Crony Capitalism

by William Teach | July 16, 2012 8:32 am

It started Sunday with Ed Gillespie hitting Obama

And the Washington Post[1] picks the story up

Trying to shift the presidential campaign narrative away from his personal finances and tenure at Bain Capital, Republican Mitt Romney will launch a fresh assault this week accusing President Obama of political cronyism at the expense of middle-class workers.

In a coordinated offensive starting Monday, the Romney team and its allies will say that the president has been a “typical politician” and has demonstrated “systematic favoritism” toward top campaign fundraisers by lavishing them with federal appointments and their companies with taxpayer money and special government deals, according to campaign officials.

What this does is shift the debate back to the economy, where Obama is pretty weak, and wants to avoid the discussion. Unemployment has been stuck above 8% for 41 weeks, the longest stretch since the Great Depression. Consumer confidence is weak. Housing is still in the doldrums. Cities are declaring bankruptcy. People have given up on the jobs market in historic numbers. Disposable income is at its lowest point ever. The cost of living is rising fast. All despite Obama’s massive Stimulus which mortgaged our grandchildren’s future. But hooked up quite a few Obama donors.

Consider that two words came into our lexicon during the Obama administration: funemployment, which is where people say “to hell with the jobs market, there aren’t any out there, I’ll just stay on unemployment and have fun”, and staycation, where people have no money to go anywhere during their week of vacation so just stay home.

The challenge for Team Mitt will be putting this in easy terms for the average voter who tends not to spend a lot of time on politics. There are plenty of examples, such as Solyndra[2]. And how about[3]

We also found out about the Stimulus[4]

Of the vaunted $862 billion stimulus in 2009, which Obama had claimed would build roads and bridges and “invest in the future,” Cogan and Taylor found that only $4 billion was devoted to infrastructure projects as of January 2011. Fully half of all stimulus spending went to fund Medicaid — which may or may not be good social policy but is hardly a stimulant to economic growth. And arguably, the strings the federal government attached to Medicaid funds — insisting that states could not restrict eligibility rules or reduce benefits — was bad policy.

Further, as John Lott observes, the stimulus funds were hardly targeted to help “those hardest hit by the economic crisis” as Obama had promised. Instead, “the states hardest hit by the recession received the least money. States with higher bankruptcy, foreclosure and unemployment rates got less money. And lower-income states also received less.” The key was politics. “Having an entirely Democrat congressional delegation in 2009, when the bill passed, increased the per capita stimulus dollars that the state receives per person by $460. In addition, the states that Obama won by the largest percentage margin in 2008 got the most money.”

Expect to hear the phrase “this is a distraction from issues that Americans care about”, which is usually trotted out when Democrats know that they are getting killed on the subject.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[5]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[6].

  1. Washington Post:
  2. Solyndra:
  3. how about:
  4. found out about the Stimulus:
  5. Pirate’s Cove:
  6. @WilliamTeach:

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