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Friday, May 09, 2014 3:41 PM


Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum Call for Higher Minimum Wage; Tweedle-Dum vs Tweedle-Dee


In the past few days, three candidates who ran for the last Republican presidential nomination, including nominee Mitt Romney, have endorsed a higher minimum wage.

Yahoo!Finance asks Mitt Romney Calls for Higher Minimum Wage. Does it Matter?

Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, called on Republicans Friday to raise the minimum wage, going against the congressional leadership of his own party.
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"I think we ought to raise it, because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us," Mr. Romney said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

In recent days, two other Republican presidential hopefuls from 2012 – former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania – have also called for a minimum wage hike. The trend may signal that in presidential politics, some Republicans see the issue as a way to soften the party’s image across a broad electorate.

On MSNBC, Romney linked his support for a higher minimum wage to the GOP’s effort to reach out to working Americans, including Hispanics. Romney lost the Hispanic vote to President Obama, 71 percent to 27 percent. 

“I also believe that key for our party is to be able to convince the people who are in the working population, particularly the Hispanic community, that our party will help them get better jobs and better wages,” Romney said.
Matter in What Sense?

The senate has blocked debate on the issue. It needs 60 votes to advance but only has 52. The fact that Mitt Romney flip-flopped twice (from for, to against, to for) does not change Senate math.

Nonetheless, Romney's flip-flopping does raise this question once again: From Obamacare to war-mongering to minimum wage, what real differences were there between Obama and Romney?

About all I can come up with is war-mongering and abortion. On the war-mongering front I remain convinced that if Romney had won the US would have attacked Iran and we would be engaged in a hopeless trade war with China.

Non-Differences

There are probably a few other differences, but arguably not on anything the President can directly control. Here are some distinct non-differences.

  • Obamacare and Romneycare are essentially the same.
  • Obama promised cuts in military spending but didn't deliver. No essential difference.
  • Obama promised to get rid of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp but didn't. No essential difference.
  • Romney called Russia our number one enemy. Obama now acts that way. No essential difference.
  • Obama considers Snowden a traitor. So does Romney. No essential difference. 
  • Did either Obama or Romney have a realistic plan to eliminate the deficit? No, they didn't.

The 2012 election offered a classic choice of Tweedle-Dum vs. Tweedle-Dee. I said so at the time and numerous Republicans attacked me for that view.

Perhaps Republicans can see the truth now, but I doubt it. Self-assessment by bureaucrats and political parties is about zero.

Hopefully the 2016 election provides a real choice. Don't count on it. However, you can count on bluster, huffing and puffing, finger-pointing, and name calling even if there are few real differences.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

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