Mitt Romney's "binder full of women" comment has gone viral, which is pretty entertaining but has had the unfortunate side effect of crowding the phrase "wind jobs." That's a real loss, because that term could become a very useful part of our political vocabulary. Tech people talk about "vaporware," and Tuesday night Mitt Romney showed us the "wind job" -- a gust of air intended to seem like something substantial, especially regarding employment.
Here's an example: "I appreciate wind jobs in Iowa and across our country," said Romney. But his campaign has stated unequivocally that he would end the Wind Production Tax Credit that helped create those Iowa jobs.
In another blast of hot air, Romney said he wants to grow Pell grants for students -- even though his own campaign paper says sneers at those grants and says he'll cut them back. Even worse, Mitt Romney says in that paper that they're part of our country's "expanding entitlement mentality."
This is money for kids who want to go to college -- to learn, to begin working on a career, to make a better life for themselves and their communities. Apparently that's too "entitled" for rich, self-satisfied Mitt Romney.
Neither candidate did enough to explain what happened to our economy and how we can fix it. But man, that Romney guy takes the cake. If any jobless Americans reached for the truth while he was talking, they grabbed nothing but air.
Well, as they used to say in the old neighborhood: I got yer "wind job" right here, pal.
A Mighty Wind
Mitt Romney says he'll create jobs by "opening up more trade," the second point in his "five point plan." On Day One as president, he says he'll sign the "Colombia, Panama and South Korea Free Trade Agreements."
Given the millions of jobs we've already lost to outsourcing -- some thanks to Romney and Bain Capital -- one can only guess at the logic: Hair of the dog that bit you? "Homeopathic economics," a Romney invention in which you ingest whatever made you sick to get better?
The Romney "wind jobs" only multiplied when it came to education. Romney claimed he wants to "keep Pell grants growing," but his running mate's (and his party's) budget would cut those grants (which are already inadequate) for as many as a million students. And Romney's own position paper on education complains that "the Pell Grant program ... is on unsure financial footing." That's the paper which blames the Pell grant program's "unsure financial footing" on "the expanding entitlement mentality."
Rich guy to the "47 percent": It's not me. It's you.
The campaign's education paper concludes that Romney would "refocus Pell Grant dollars on the students that need them most" -- strongly implying deep cuts to the program -- in order to avoid "future funding cliffs and last-minute funding patches."
You know what would avoid those funding problems even more effectively? Funding.
The Wind Cries Romney
Romney includes deficit reduction in his "five point plan," too. Another one of his "Day One" plans is something called, "The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act," which would immediately reduce all non-discretionary spending by five percent. Know what that means? Layoffs -- lots of them -- for teachers, first responders, postal workers and lots of other people.