Mitt’s Mendacious Math


Mitt has a five-point plan that will create 12 million jobs in four years. He says this over and over. And multiple headlines today say Mitt’s math is malarkey.

Dana Milbank wrote, “the source the Romney campaign provided for the jobs figure was a trio of studies that either didn’t directly analyze Romney’s policies or were based on longer time horizons than four years.”

In brief, Milbank says that (a) some independent economists think that if the economy stays on its current trajectory, it will add 12 million new jobs in the next four years, never mind who wins the election. And (b), those studies that the Romney camp claims to be about his particular plan don’t say what he says they say.

In a recent ad, Romney, speaking to the camera from a factory floor, says his “energy independence policy means more than 3 million new jobs,” his tax plan “creates 7 million more,” and “expanding trade, cracking down on China and improving job training takes us to over 12 million new jobs.”

But when Kessler asked for substantiation, the campaign referred him to a Rice University professor’s study for evidence that Romney’s tax plan would generate 7 million jobs — which turned out to be a 10-year number. The evidence for the energy policy creating 3 million jobs comes from a Citigroup Global Markets study that did not analyze Romney’s plan and was assuming an eight-year horizon. The remaining 2 million jobs, Kessler wrote, were justified by a 2011 International Trade Commission report that also didn’t analyze Romney policies.

See also Glenn Kessler (since when has Kessler given a Republican four pinnichios?), Joe Conason, and Don Lee in the Los Angeles Times.

I also like what E.J. Dionne says

Under pressure this time, the former Massachusetts governor displayed his least attractive sides. He engaged in pointless on-stage litigation of the debate rules. He repeatedly demonstrated his disrespect for both the president and Candy Crowley, the moderator. And Romney was just plain querulous when anyone dared question him about the gaping holes in his tax and budget plans.

Any high school debate coach would tell a student that declaring, “Believe me because I said so,” is not an argument. Yet Romney confused biography with specificity and boasting with answering a straightforward inquiry. “Well, of course, they add up,” Romney insisted of his budget numbers. “I — I was — I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years, and balanced the budget. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget.” Romney was saying: Trust me because I’m an important guy who has done important stuff. He gave his listeners no basis on which to verify the trust he demanded.

If you think about it, Romney probably hasn’t had to justify himself to anybody since he became head of Bain Capital in 1984. Must be a shock to his system.

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 18, 2012 @10:04 am

    I always sucked at math, and I always suspected it was WAAAAAAY over-rated as far as education is concerned.
    Romney is “Exhibit 1,” and Ryan is “Exhibit 2.”
    Romney, apparently has all of the mathematical ability and knowledge of the average sea slug.
    And yet, despite being worm-like, protected by an ocean of his father’s wealth, he became one of the handful of richest men in America by running a company that was like the early bird that gets the worm – all he had to do was get there early enough, before the other predatory birds, poke around in the dirt, pounce at the right time, cut the worm to pieces, and devour the best parts – if the worm could regenerate its parts, he and other birds could pounce again – and if not, well, his stomach and bank accounts were full.
    Then he became the Governor of one of our greatest, and most progressive and forward looking states.
    And now, is positioned to become the 45th President of the United States.
    And all by insisting that 2+2=8, or 2+2=3, depending on what he wanted to show investors, or what he had to disclose the government.
    And, for all of his lack of mathematical ability, he must be credited for his contributions to the field of Accounting – he’s invented ‘Mitt “Schrödinger” Romney’s Quantum Theory of Account Superposition.’ You don’t know what he paid in taxes until you can look at his returns, and you can’t look at his returns. BRILLIANT!!!

    And Ryan has all of the mathematical ability and knowledge of dish detergent.
    ‘Lack of mathematical ability?’
    And this man is a well-respected Congressman, and poised to be the next VP of the US.
    He is the future leader of the Republican Party, and a likely Presidential candidate himself – and a threat to the Commonwealth of the nation if he wins that election.
    All of this from a guy whose budget looks as if it was written by Ayn Rand, back when Tim Leary used to come to her parties and use her as an unknowing suspect in his LSD experiments.

    And to think, my parents wanted me to be an Engineer! But I sucked at math, and became a Communications major, instead.
    Hell, with my mathematical ability, I couldn’t even be a Railroad Engineer – I had the bad habit of crashing my toy trains, ala Lil’ John Galt, if I didn’t get my way.
    Oh, if only I knew then what I know !
    I might also have grown up to be a sociopathic parasite feasting on the body politic, just like Romney and Ryan!

  2. goatherd  •  Oct 18, 2012 @11:50 am

    You can see how some characteristics of a sociopath could help you become successful in business, especially vuture capitalism.

  3. goatherd  •  Oct 18, 2012 @11:51 am

    That should, of course be, “vulture capitalism”.

  4. Bill B.  •  Oct 18, 2012 @2:32 pm

    Can you imagine R-money after some sessions of dealing with Democrats as dedicated to bi-partisanship as the R’s have been? He does not deal well with the “loyal opposition” concept, if recent facial expressions are anything to go by.

  5. maha  •  Oct 18, 2012 @3:07 pm

    He does not deal well with the “loyal opposition” concept, if recent facial expressions are anything to go by.

    Corporations are just plain not democracies. They’re run more like feudal fiefdoms, even when there are stockholders who vote.

  6. JM  •  Oct 18, 2012 @5:02 pm

    Does the 5-point plan exist anywhere outside of Mittens’ skull?

  7. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Oct 19, 2012 @12:28 am

    all he had to do was get there early enough, before the other predatory birds

    ‘Gulag, it was even a bit worse than that sometimes. Sometimes (so says a rumor from one of his competitors – so take it with a grain of salt) Bain would bid higher than anyone else – so, now, they get the inside picture. Per the article, everyone agrees – you makes your bid, you look at the books, and then if you say “whoa – no way” you can withdraw your bid and let one of the lower bidders in instead.

    Bain would *lower their bid* based upon the contents of the books.

    Now, this is dirty pool. The reason a company opens its full books for audit is because of that bid. But now Bain has ‘em over a barrel – sure, they *could* walk away and let another bidder in. But you know, just saying the wrong thing (or not saying the right thing) could poison the well and leave the company without a buyer at all.

    Again, this is stuff I read in an article that was sourced from a Bain competitor. And people can be sore losers.

    But it just reeks of Romney all over. Just close the sale – and then decide that the bargain has been altered. No… no, wait. “The bargain has been altered”? That’s a Vader line. And let’s be honest: with Darth Vader, you know *exactly* where you stand. I don’t have the same confidence with Romney.

    (I’d like to be clear, I’m not suggesting that Romney is as evil as Vader – but there is also a certain honesty in “if you fail me, I’ll murder you” versus “I’m not throwing Granny off the cliff for at least 11 years, so don’t say I’m going to throw Granny off the cliff!”)

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