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Thursday, September 22,2011

The GOP's jobs debate

By Jim Hightower

Now, let’s turn the Hubble telescope to the far-away galaxy where Rick, Mitt, Michele and Goofy are contending for the Republican presidential nomination.

In the GOP’s recent debate at the Reagan Library, its seekers of the presidency collectively caused people to gasp and say to themselves: “Gosh, I miss Ronald Reagan’s intellect.” Especially stupid was the outbreak during the debate of a schoolboy spat between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney over the serious issue of job creation.

Let’s replay the moment. Romney had boasted of his performance as a job creator during his governorship in Massachusetts, leading to this retort by Perry: “Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt.” To which Romney shot back: “Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, governor.” Mustering all of his wits, Perry parried with this fib: “That’s not correct.” And Romney struck the last blow by declaring definitively: “Yes, that is correct.”

Aside from their juvenile inanity, it’s revealing to hear the two Republicans brag about having created jobs. “Look at what we’ve done over the last decade,” Perry exclaimed at another point in the debate, “we created one million jobs in the state of Texas.” We? That’s Republican heresy!

Indeed, out on the campaign trail, both Rick and Mitt are piously faithful to the GOP’s religious dogma, which sternly dictates that government can’t create jobs — only the magical free market performs that miracle.

Believe it or not, though, these two are presently their party’s front-runners, which is why many Republicans are asking, “Is that all there is?” Well, maybe not. His Rudyness, Rudy Guiliani, now says he might jump into the race “if I think we’re truly desperate.”’ Wow, that really would be desperate.


For more information on Jim Hightower’s work — and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown — visit

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