VP candidate Ryan's no help. He spent his Sunday talk show appearance saying he and Romney will fix the economy, but kept claiming that the subject was too complicated and wonkish to get into. Of course, he could book a smallish university auditorium, warn the audience in advance that his speech was going to be lengthy and complicated and have at it. Not all that many people would see the whole speech, but economists and analysts could review something really meaty and substantive.
I completely agree with Ryan's statement that:
We want to grow the pie. We want economic opportunity. We want people to be able to get a better job, have more income security and higher take-home pay. And you can do that through economic growth.
There's no question that this is definitely the way to do it, but then Ryan makes a bizarre statement:
Attend our town hall meetings. Look at how we're walking people through how we fix Medicare, how we fix Social Security, how we create jobs, how we reform the tax code, how we have an energy policy, an education policy, a trade policy. Mitt Romney has put out more specifics on how to revive this economy, on how to get people back to work than the incumbent president of the United States has.
This is not the slightest bit believable. If these details had ever been presented, why doesn't anybody have the transcripts for any of those town hall meetings? Obviously, there are many people who would be happy to present these details to a broader public, if only to show fellow citizens how stupid they are.
Update: From Ezra Klein's analysis:
That doesn’t mean Romney is doomed to lose this election. But he needs to do more than convince voters that the economy is bad at this very moment. He needs to convince them that the economy will be better if he’s elected president. And that means convincing them that he’s got a policy agenda capable of turning the economy around.
Which gets to Romney’s real challenge in the debates, which has also been his real difficulty throughout the campaign: He doesn’t have an appealing policy agenda capable of turning this thing around, and his party hasn’t given him the freedom to construct one.
On a completely difference note, I'm very pleased to report that the movie "Won't Back Down" is a complete and utter bomb. I saw the preview. Wasn't impressed. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a very enthusiastic, vivacious single parent. Holly Hunter is credited, but I didn't see her anywhere in the preview. Main problem I had with the preview is that the movie appears to be very two-dimensional, setting up a very simple problem, followed by an equally simple solution. I saw later that the movie is very anti-teachers' union and that it suggests privatizing schools. As I pointed out back in June, privatization is not driven by popular demand, it's driven by wealthy special interests and it's simply not the answer. Not surprisingly, the movie is
Funded by Republican billionaire (and owner of the Weekly Standard) Philip Anschutz, who also funded the anti-teachers union documentary Waiting for Superman, the movie is, happily, drawing terrible reviews, many of which comment directly on its political mission.
Unfortunately, I wrote to my Representative and both Senators about the apparently bipartisan desire to make deep cuts in the budget that will, naturally, have a deep and unnecessary, very painful impact on the public at large. They all appeared determined to make those cuts anyway. Paul Krugman calls attention to the planned cuts. Let's hope he has an impact.