Look, I spent my life in business—25 years, in small business, big business. I know what it takes to support the energy and passion that drives this economy.He didn't even mention that he'd once been governor of Massachusetts or that he ran the Olympics. And what is it that he learned at Bain the he thinks is so important?
An economy is nothing but the collection of all of our businesses together.Well, that's a pretty stunning thing to say—and it's pretty stupid. The economy needs more than just "job creators." Without demand, a job creator is nothing. And without good workers, a job creator will find no one worth hiring.
An airline is a business, yet airlines could not exist without publicly funded airports. And forget about the bailout: Does anybody think we'd have the same car industry that we do without public highways? Does a firefighter or a cop or a teacher who works for the government cease to be part of the economy by virtue of their public sector status?
According to Mitt Romney, the answer is yes. And that explains why during his speech today, the only people whose opinions mattered—to him—were business owners. He condemned Dodd-Frank because of what he had been told by "an auto dealer" and "a banker" (but not, of course, by a pensioner or small investor). Romney defended his tax policy by citing a couple who owned a local hotel—but never talked about the regular people who pay a higher tax rate than he does. Romney said Obamacare is bad because it won't encourage employers to hire new workers, but didn't mention the millions of people who will gain insurance under the new law.
The problem here isn't that Mitt Romney includes businesses. The problem is that businesses are the only things he includes. Sure, he'll sometimes mention regular folks in his speeches—but only when they are telling tales of woe that he can blame on President Obama.
Mitt Romney's basic economic philosophy is that as long as you give the people on top what they want, everyone will do well. If that idea worked, it'd be great, because it's so easy to do. But it doesn't work. And no amount of speechifying by Romney will change that. He's promising The Bain Presidency, and that's the last thing we need.