Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney took advantage of all of the attention being paid to Presidential politics and jobs this week by issuing his own jobs plan on Tuesday.
Like most political pronouncements made during a primary, Romney’s plan appeals to the GOP base and was roundly panned by Democrats. No one was expecting a moderate centrist economic plan from a candidate fighting Rick Perry for headlines.
But even though it is not centrist, one facet of the plan seems to reveal that Romney isn’t worried about even applying this plan to the real world.
Among the many steps of Romney’s plan is the idea that the United States should sanction China for unfair trade practices, including manipulating their currency rate.
How China handles their currency is indeed a problem, but actually proposing to sanction a country holding such a large amount of our country’s debt is like sending a complaint letter to a credit card company that you owe thousands of dollars to and expecting a positive change.
That letter to the credit card company would at best be ignored, and at worst would incite the credit card company to treat you even worse. That is exactly what sanctions against China at this point in the game would do to America.
China is not a country that is looking for the rest of the world to like it. They expect the rest of the world to respect it through power, not kindness. If they were worried about being polite and fair they would have addressed at least some of the human rights violations that they have been accused of for the last several years. Instead, they have enjoyed an ever-growing sense of superiority, especially when it comes to trade.
Issuing sanctions to China would do nothing to hurt them and would likely turn right around and bite this country in the backside. China is not in a position of weakness of right now. In fact, doing anything that would raise the prices of goods coming out of China would really only raise the prices for goods all of us buy at big box stores.
An entire economic plan shouldn’t be completely trashed just because one major facet of it is entirely unrealistic. However, what it tells us is that Mitt Romney is going for populist themes to regain some traction in his race against Rick Perry. Those populist themes, like demonizing China for everything that ails America, work fine on the stump during a primary but do nothing to show any of us how he would really lead if he was actually elected.
Even though President Obama received the bad news on Tuesday that his approval ratings are at an all time low, he has a direct advantage over any Republican who wants to run on populist themes because Obama can run on the point that he has experience in the real world. Yes, his ideas haven’t always gone well in the real world, but it’s an authentic advantage once the election gets to the point when both candidates have to make a run for the political center.
Making China the enemy in political stump speeches may seem like an easy and effective tactic. But, the ease and effectiveness quickly evaporates once the theory is applied to the real world. And while most of the Presidential campaign won’t be spent in the real world, the job that everyone wants only resides in the real world, and that’s the problem.
About The Blogger
- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.