It made me daydream about a Mitt Romney who had a spine and what he’d say. Someone who makes parody videos might make one of Romney as Col. Jessup of “A Few Good Men,: staring down his pesky interrogator. This is a Romney one could almost respect:
Son, we live in a world that has wages, and those wages have to be lowered by men with cunning. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Mr. Axelrod? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Ampad, and you curse Bain. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Ampad’s demise, while tragic, probably saved capitalism. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves America.
You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me at that desk, you need me at that desk. We use words like bootstrapping, call price, and carried interest. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very consumer freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a business degree and create some destruction. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
Though he may embrace the middle class rhetorically, his actual policy tells a different story. Romney plans to increase the taxes for half of middle class families with children, while his wealthy fundraiser attendees who make $1 million or more would get an annual tax cut of nearly $150,000. He also wants to make it easier for companies to outsource jobs; by exempting companies from taxes on foreign profits, Romney could send as many as 800,000 jobs overseas.
He also recently flipped his position on raising the minimum wage, saying, "There's probably not a need to raise the minimum wage." In Mississippi, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and the minimum wage for tipped employees is an even lower $2.13. The minimum wage would need be be near $10 today to have the purchasing power that it had in the 1960s.
Just a few months ago, Romney dismissed concern for the struggling middle class as "envy" and "class warfare." Now he's trying to change his tune a bit, while still embracing policies that would do no favors for American workers.
Still, I agree with Tomasky: That would be a Mitt Romney I could almost respect. Almost.