Mitt Romney is in Colorado today, doing that thing presidential candidates do where they talk at people for a while and the people clap and the candidate shakes some hands and makes some jokes and then gets in a car and goes somewhere else to do the same thing. It really sounds like a lot of fun.
But some of the people in Colorado don’t want to clap for Romney. They don’t want to shake his hand. Why are they being so rude? Because Mitt Romney doesn’t care if they lose their jobs. From the Denver Post:
The visit comes just days after his campaign took a firm stand against extending the wind-energy production tax credit — a position that puts him at odds with three of the state’s four Republican congressmen and could cause trouble with some of the independent voters who decide elections in Colorado.
Conservative U.S. Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton have joined Democrats in Colorado’s congressional delegation in urging Congress to extend the credit, saying in a joint letter earlier this year that allowing it to expire this year could cause Colorado to lose “thousands” of jobs.
The wind industry employs about 5,000 people in Colorado; among the other states with the large number of wind-industry jobs are swing states such as Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
I can only assume that the voters unhappy about Romney’s bold stand have not heard his explanation for attempting to destroy a rapidly growing sector of the economy. We will repeat: he wants to “end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,” per his spokesman. You thought you were working a good middle-class job, providing for your family. Nope. You are a boondoggle, which is French for something about freedom.
Worse, you are helping wind power to cheat on this un-level playing field in the game against fossil fuels — a competition that is currently running neck-and-neck. Just look how much more subsidy wind gets than fossil fuels — six times! Or, oops. That’s backward. Fossil fuels get six times the subsidy of wind. But you get our point.
Senate Republicans, who are cooler than whiny, job-losing Coloradans, backed Romney up by removing the tax credit from pro forma tax-break legislation. [See update below.] Previously, they hadn’t cared as much, until Romney’s spokesman brought up his great points about “boondoggles” and “playing fields.” That’s how democracy works: reasoned arguments carry the day.
Barack Obama is currently leading in the polls in Colorado, but you can expect that to change once voters realize the truths like those contemplative statesmen in the Senate did. Boondoggles must end. Playing fields must be level. Yeah, it costs a few people their jobs. But you can’t put “wind energy” in your gas tank, now can you? And besides, with all these new voter ID laws, I doubt the unemployed are even allowed to vote.
Mitt Romney, I’d like to shake your hand.
UPDATE: In the end, the Senate Finance Committee voted to extend the wind tax credit. No thanks to Mitt.