Mitt Romney's Secret Economic Plan Exists!

Josh Barro is the lead writer for the Ticker, Bloomberg View's blog on economics, finance and politics. His primary areas of interest include tax and fiscal policy, state and local government, and planning and land use.
Read More.
a | A

Some of you have mocked me for my postulate that Mitt Romney has a Secret Economic Plan. But the plan's existence has now been confirmed by America's newspaper of record, Politico:

[M]any of the folks who are despairing about Romney would actually love what he would do in office. Romney’s metric-obsessed transition team is fleshing out a “200-day plan” (100 days wasn’t enough time to pass a bunch of big bills) aimed at goosing the recovery and creating jobs by bringing corporate cash off the sidelines in the United States and attracting investment from abroad.

The weapons would include tax and regulatory policy and what one aide called a “very aggressive” series of executive orders, many already on the drawing board. Two of Romney’s friends told POLITICO he would be eager to sign a bipartisan grand bargain in the first four months in office to calm markets and ease partisan tensions.

Romney should announce this plan! His strategy of secrecy is obviously failing. He needs a bold, unconventional move if he wants to win the election and actually telling people what he would do if elected might be it. A specific economic plan would help Romney make the case that, unlike the paralyzed incumbent, he will be a dynamic job creator -- and it's the best rebuttal he can offer to the 47 percent fiasco.

Of course, the one main risk is that the plan might not be any good. The reference to a "bipartisan grand bargain" is especially troubling. If Romney is thinking about the sort of fiscal austerity deal people usually mean when they say "grand bargain," that's unlikely to calm the markets. But maybe he has something different in mind. He should tell us.

(Josh Barro is lead writer for the Ticker. E-mail him and follow him on Twitter.)


This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.