The Corner

Pessimism or Realism?

Romney hits McCain for “pessimism” about Detroit’s economy:

By latching onto McCain’s proclamation that some of Michigan’s lost automotive jobs are gone forever, Romney’s camp believes it may have a wedge issue he can use against McCain in Michigan…Romney’s campaign seized on the comments, first in a press release Thursday afternoon characterizing them as “McCain’s pessimism about Michigan’s future.” Romney then continued to bang away with the criticism during the debate, and afterward.

“I’m not going to be one of those who writes off jobs in Michigan,” Romney told reporters after the debate. “The domestic auto industry can come back in a big way in that state and I’m not willing to run anyone off.”

But McCain is right. People in Detroit don’t want to hear it, but it would be silly to assert that those jobs are ever coming back to an over-taxed, over-regulated state whose labor force is lopsidedly dominated by unions. Sorry, Michigan, the Midwestern economy has changed. If you keep raising taxes, you’ll keep helping other states like South Carolina and Indiana take over domestic auto-manufacturing.

What Romney should have said is that unrealistic corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, supported by McCain, will cause more layoffs, as will the McCain-Lieberman carbon-dioxide cap n’ trade bill (a boondoggle for General Electric, which is heavily invested in subsidized energy and has the largest congressional lobbying budget of any corporation on earth).

UPDATE — From a reader:

Of course, Romney is being sandwiched. Huckabee is attacking him (even if not by name) as the guy who lays you off. So, now Romney’s going to be the CEO who comes in and brings back all those poor employees who were laid off by the last CEO.

Indeed. And it’s a promise he can’t keep.


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