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.
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.