Over on Swampland, Ana Marie reports from the Great and Economically Struggling State of Michigan that Romney and McCain have made economic policy a focus of their primary battle there, even though their ideas to help the state are pretty much the same:
As small government conservatives, neither man supports the kinds of targeted incentives and tax cuts that could help Michigan in particular. As free-marketers, both men support advancing free trade …, a stance that, in economically depressed areas, is
ngenerally translated to “allowing our jobs to go to China.” While Romney tells people that he’s going to fight for “every single job,” his stated plan for those unemployed auto workers is to get them different jobs, to retrain them and improve education to prepare workers for jobs in the information economy, as well as for what some call “green collar” jobs in the burgeoning field alternative energy research and development. McCain’s plan? To retrain and educate displaced workers for jobs in the information economy and the “green revolution.” McCain also wants to reform unemployment insurance, as his policy proposal recognizes that free trade and globalization “will not automatically benefit every American.” Romney makes no such concession. In his stump speech, he insists “the American worker can compete with anyone,” and vows that he will “bring back” jobs in manufacturing and industry in Michigan.
I’m still reeling a bit from the realization that the candidates have finally started talking a lot about economic policy, which means that I have to start paying attention to them. It’s clear that McCain and Romney don’t have any really bold new ideas to help Michigan. But does anybody?