PRE-DEBATE FACT CHECK: Romney’s Plans Wouldn’t Create 12 Million Jobs And Could Slow The Recovery

Mitt Romney hasn’t even take the stage yet and his campaign is already hiding the truth about his jobs plan. They claimed it would create 12 million jobs, but as independent fact checkers have found, his math simply doesn’t add up. One today wrote that it was a “bait-and-switch,” explaining that the “’new math’ for Romney’s jobs plan doesn’t add up.” And independent projections say that under current policies, 12 million jobs would be created over the next four years no matter what. What’s worse is that Romney’s claim is simply false – outside economists agree his plan would do nothing to create jobs and could slow the recovery. In fact, one study shows that his plan would cost us 2 million jobs over the next two years.

Here are the facts:

ROMNEY BASED THEIR 12 MILLION JOBS CLAIM ON A MYRIAD OF STUDIES – SOME OF WHICH DIDN’T EVEN EVALUATE ROMNEY’S PLANS – THAT FAIL TO PROVE HIS CLAIMS

Washington Post Fact Checker Gave Romney’s Claim That He Will Create 12 Million Jobs In Four Years “Four Pinocchios.” [Washington Post – Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, 10/16/12]

  • Washington Post Headline: “Mitt Romney’s ‘New Math’ For Jobs Plan Doesn’t Add Up.” [Washington Post – Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, 10/16/12]

Washington Post Fact Checker Called Romney’s Claim That He Will Create 12 Million Jobs In Four Years A “Bait-And-Switch,” Since The Numbers Behind The Claim Are “Based On Different Figures And Long-Range Timelines Stretching As Long As A Decade” And “In Two Cases Are Based On Studies That Did Not Even Evaluate Romney’s Economic Plan.” “Romney’s 12-million-jobs promise has garnered a lot of attention. We became interested in this ad after a reader asked whether the campaign had provided much detail on how he would reach this total. This television ad is also prominently featured on the Romney campaign’s ‘Jobs Plan’ Web page. The math here appears pretty simple: 7 plus 3 plus 2 equals 12. But this is campaign math, which means it is mostly made of gossamer... This is a case of bait-and-switch. Romney, in his convention speech, spoke of his plan to create ‘12 million new jobs,’ which the campaign’s white paper describes as a four-year goal. But the candidate’s personal accounting for this figure in this campaign ad is based on different figures and long-range timelines stretching as long as a decade — which in two cases are based on studies that did not even evaluate Romney’s economic plan. The numbers may still add up to 12 million, but they aren’t the same thing — not by a long shot.” [Washington Post – Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, 10/16/12]

  • Romney Used “Squishy” Numbers To Claim He’ll Create 12 Million Jobs, Including A Citigroup Global Markets Study That Predicted 3 Million Jobs Would Be Created “Largely Because Of Trends And Policies Already Adopted — Including Tougher Fuel Efficiency Standards That Romney Has Criticized And Suggested He Would Reverse.” “For instance, the claim that 7 million jobs would be created from Romney’s tax plan is a 10-year number, derived from a study written by John W. Diamond, a professor at Rice University.  This study at least assesses the claimed effect of specific Romney policies. The rest of the numbers are even more squishy. For instance, the 3-million-jobs claim for Romney’s energy policies appears largely based on a Citigroup Global Markets study that did not even evaluate Romney’s policies. Instead, the report predicted 2.7 million to 3.6 million jobs would be created over the next eight years, largely because of trends and policies already adopted — including tougher fuel efficiency standards that Romney has criticized and suggested he would reverse.” [Washington Post – Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, 10/16/12]
  • Romney’s Claim That 2 Million Jobs Can Be Created By Cracking Down On China Is “Suspicious” Since The Study He Pointed To Was “Highly Conditional.” “The 2-million-jobs claim from cracking down on China is also very suspicious. This figure comes from a 2011 International Trade Commission report, which estimated that there could be a gain of 2.1 million jobs if China stopped infringing on U.S. intellectual property rights. The estimate is highly conditional and pegged to the job market in 2011, when there was high unemployment. ‘It is unclear when China might implement  the improvement in IPR protection envisioned in the analysis, and equally unclear whether the United States will face as much excess labor supply then as it does today,’ the report says. The Romney campaign has already used this study, in a misleading way, to claim that Obama’s China ‘policies cost us 2 million jobs.’ Now the campaign has just taken the same figure and credited the claimed job gain to itself, even though the report does not examine any of Romney’s proposed policies.” [Washington Post – Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, 10/16/12]

Glenn Hubbard “Acknowledged” That: “The Big Point Is The 3+7+2 Does Not Make Up The 12 Million Jobs In The First Four Years (Different Source Of Growth And Different Time Period).” [Washington Post – Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, 10/16/12]

Washington Post’s Greg Sargent: Romney’s 12 Million Jobs Claim Is “Flim-Flam” Since “The Studies The Romney Camp Itself Cites In Defense Of The Plan Don’t Back Up The Plan’s Promises.” “Yesterday I noted that one of Obama’s most important tasks at tonight’s debate is to spell out clearly that Mitt Romney is selling the American people a bill of goods on jobs and the economy. Romney has promised that his “five point plan for the middle class” will create 12 million jobs. Of course, economists have estimated that the economy will create that many jobs in four years without any Romney policies. But Post fact checker Glenn Kessler decided to take Romney’s plan at face value. And he’s made an important discovery. It turns out Romney’s plan is an even more absurd exercise in flim-flam than we thought: The studies the Romney camp itself cites in defense of the plan don’t back up the plan’s promises.” [Washington Post, Greg Sargent, 10/16/12]

Washington Post’s Greg Sargent: “The Plan That Is Central To Romney’s Candidacy On The Most Important Issue Of This Election — Jobs — Is A Complete Sham. This Is Every Bit As Bad — Or Worse — Than Romney’s Claim To Have Created 100,000 Jobs At Bain, Or His Vow To Cut Spending By Eliminating Whole Agencies Without Saying Which Ones, Or His Refusal To Say How He’ll Pay For His Tax Cuts.” [Washington Post, Greg Sargent, 10/16/12]

ROMNEY’S ARGUMENT THAT HIS ECONOMIC POLICIES WOULD CREATE 12 MILLION JOBS IN HIS FIRST TERM WAS DISPUTED BY AN INDEPENDENT ECONOMIST, SINCE AMERICA IS ALREADY PROJECTED TO CREATE 12 MILLION JOBS OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS

Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: “Romney’s Target Of 12 Million Jobs Over The Next Four Years Happens To Be The Same Number Of Jobs The Economic Forecasting Firm Moody’s Analytics Expects Us To Add Even Without Major Policy Changes.” [Ezra Klein, Washington Post, 8/31/12]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Both Moody’s Analytics And Macroeconomic Advisors Predicted A Gain Of At Least 12 Million Jobs By 2016. “But Moody’s Analytics, in an august forecast, predicts 12 million jobs will be created by 2016, no matter who is president. And Macroeconomic Advisors in April also predicted a gain of 12.3 million jobs.” [Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 8/31/12]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Romney’s Pledge To Create 12 Million Jobs By 2016 “Appears To Be An Effort To Take Advantage” Of Broad Economic Trends Showing The Same Job Gains No Matter Who Is President. “But Moody’s Analytics, in an august forecast, predicts 12 million jobs will be created by 2016, no matter who is president. And Macroeconomic Advisors in April also predicted a gain of 12.3 million jobs.  In other words, this is a fairly safe bet by Romney, even if he has a somewhat fuzzy plan for action. We have often noted that presidents are often at the mercy — or the beneficiary — of broad economic trends, and Romney’s pledge appears to be an effort to take advantage of that.” [Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 8/31/12]

Romney’s Promised Job Growth Is “Pretty Close To What’s Already  ExpectedAnd “Not  Much To Write Home About.”  “But by at least some forecasts, Mr. Romney’s promises may actually be a little underambitious, in that his promised job growth is pretty close to what’s already expected. In its semi-annual long-term economic forecast released in April, Macroeconomic Advisers projected that the economy would add 11.8 million jobs from 2012 to 2016. That means Mr. Romney believes his newly announced policies would add an extra 200,000 jobs on top of what people already expected, or a jobs bonus of about 2 percent. The more jobs the better, of course, but that’s not really much to write home about.” [New York Times, Economix Blog, 8/7/12]

ECONOMISTS SAY ROMNEY’S ECONOMIC POLICY PLANS WOULD “DO MORE HARM IN THE SHORT TERM” AND “PUSH US DEEPER INTO RECESSION AND MAKE THE RECOVERY SLOWER”

Washington Post Headline: “Economists: Romney’s Ideas Wouldn’t Fix Short-Term Crisis, And Could Make Things Worse.”  [Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 6/7/12]

Senior Adviser At Moody’s Analytics Mark Hopkins: Romney’s Policies “Would Do More Harm In The Short Term” And “If We Implemented All Of His Policies, It Would Push Us Deeper Into Recession And Make The Recovery Slower.” Asking whether Romney’s economic policy ideas would create jobs in the short-term: “‘On net, all of these policies would do more harm in the short term,’ added Mark Hopkins, a senior adviser at Moody’s Analytics. ‘If we implemented all of his policies, it would push us deeper into recession and make the recovery slower.’” [Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 6/7/12]

Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz: “The Romney Plan Is Going To Slow Down The Economy, Worsen The Jobs Deficit And Significantly Increase The Likelihood Of A Recession.” “Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said the election of Mitt Romney as president in November would ‘significantly’ raise the odds of a recession because it would herald a shift to a much tighter budget… ‘The Romney plan is going to slow down the economy, worsen the jobs deficit and significantly increase the likelihood of a recession,’ said Stiglitz, who served as chairman of President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers from 1995 to 1997.” [Bloomberg, 6/5/12]

ONE STUDY SHOWED ROMNEY’S POLICY PROPOSALS WOULD COST NEARLY 2 MILLION JOBS OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS

Economic Policy Institute: Romney’s Policy Proposals Would Cost 1.9 Million Jobs Over The Next Two Years, If His Tax Cuts Are Paid For. “If some of Romney’s proposed individual income tax cuts were revenue-neutral (he has said that they would be, but has not specified what ‘base-broadening’ adjustments he would make to the tax code to accomplish that), his plans would instead lead to employment losses of 608,000 in 2013 and roughly 1.3 million in 2014. The weaker job growth and outright job losses under the Romney plan are driven by his proposal to cap government spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a move that implies very large cuts to overall spending.” [Economic Policy Institute, Who Would Promote Job Growth Most In The Near Term? Macroeconomic Impacts Of The Obama And Romney Budget Proposals, 9/26/12]