For a long time — basically ever since Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell infamously stated that the Republican Party’s #1 goal was to defeat President Obama — it has been plainly obvious that the Republican Party was committed to a strategy of economic sabotage to further their political ambitions.
The rationale is simple: The worse the state of the economy, the higher the unemployment rate, the worse President Obama’s chances for reelection become. Thus their sabotage strategy: Make sure the economy doesn’t recover. Make sure the unemployment rate stays high. Oppose all attempts to create jobs. Kill jobs that have already been created. Turn the public against Obama. Win back the White House and Congress.
Like I said, this has been their transparent plan from the very beginning. Anyone who doesn’t think this is the game plan is either disingenuous or blind. And in case you had any doubts, the Romney campaign just laid this strategy out in the most blatant way possible.
First, a little background. You’ve hopefully heard about something called the “wind production tax credit” (PTC) that is going to expire at the end of the year, unless Congress acts. The tax credit is important because it helps level the energy playing field relative to fossil fuels (a game that is stacked greatly against renewable energy, as I noted here). It also helps create market certainty, which stimulates investment, which stimulates the economy, which creates JOBS (to say nothing of the innumerable other other reasons renewable energy is important, including environmental, public health, national security, etc). But let’s focus on the jobs, because that’s what the Republican Party is against (refer back to the Grand Strategy to Defeat Obama).
So the PTC is set to expire, and the wind industry has warned that this will destroy 37,000 American jobs. Even Republicans in pro-wind states like Iowa have come out in favor of the PTC, because it doesn’t help them politically to sabotage their own local economies. At the national level, however, renewable energy is being demonized by the Republican Party, and Mitt Romney has called for the elimination of the PTC (and all renewable energy incentives that might help clean energy compete with fossil fuels–the GOP’s big money corporate donors).
Now, the PTC is about to expire. If the PTC expires, 37,000 jobs will be lost. Thus Romney/Republicans oppose the PTC because they believe a bad economy is good politics for them. Now, as predicted, the possible expiration of the PTC is causing market uncertainty and leading to layoffs in the wind industry. Siemens, a wind turbine manufacturer, just announced that they were being forced to cut 38% of their U.S. workforce due to this political stunt over the PTC (and these aren’t the first layoffs caused by these political games). Cue Romney’s press release (emphasis mine):
Today’s layoffs at Siemens are yet another unfortunate reminder of the Obama Economy where American families have suffered from chronic unemployment, increased poverty and falling incomes. There is a fundamental disconnect between President Obama’s philosophy of the need for redistribution of wealth and the free market economy which our country was founded on. President Obama has focused on attacking the success of others rather than applauding their accomplishments and urging others to strive for similar success. Mitt Romney’s plan for a stronger middle class will foster the dignity of work, champion innovation, generate new wealth, and create 12 million new jobs in his first term alone in a variety of sectors, including wind.
It doesn’t get any more simple than that. Romney knows he is advocating a policy that is killing wind jobs (even Republicans have told him this). Then, when these layoffs start happening, he immediately tries to politicize it by attacking President Obama’s policies, even though President Obama wants to extend the PTC and create more clean energy jobs.
And there you have it, yet another blatant example of the Republican strategy of economic sabotage in action. Hurt the economy, blame Obama, hope the voters don’t notice the sabotage. And why would they? It isn’t like the media is going to point out the hypocrisy or the shocking underhandedness of this whole strategy, even though it deserves to be front page news.