Jobs are a major issue in the presidential campaign, but Mitt Romney’s claims deserve close scrutiny (Romney: “Lots of jobs needed,” The Advocate, Aug. 31).
He would do well to start with the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, which has blocked every initiative that President Barack Obama has proposed since they took control in late 2010. Prior to this, President Obama was able to pass a stimulus bill that created 3 million jobs over two years and to put U.S. job growth into positive territory for over two straight years starting in 2010.
That is no small accomplishment — the U.S. was losing an average of over 700,000 jobs a month when he took office (over 800,000 in that month of January 2009). During 2011 and 2012, the economy added an average of 150,000 jobs a month, with 163,000 added in July. The president does have a plan — it includes the American Jobs Act he put forward in 2011, which would have added 1.9 million new jobs through measures that were all paid for, so that the deficit wouldn’t increase.
But that bill never made it out of Congress. Giving an arbitrary time limit of four years to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression is clearly a fiction, but it’s one of many Mitt Romney is telling.
He claims that he’ll create 12 million jobs in his first term — why 12 million? His one-page plan didn’t say, but the number sounded familiar to observant commentators. In fact, the financial firm Moody’s Analytics had already projected that the economy is set to add 12 million jobs over the next four years. So Romney is promising jobs that were projected to be created anyway. But Moody’s stipulated that their assumptions include extension of the Bush tax cuts only for those making under $250,000, which is what President Obama is proposing, and exactly the opposite of what Romney is proposing, which is greater tax cuts for top incomes on top of the Bush cuts.
Romney’s sleight of hand on his jobs pledge is in line with his entire campaign. Voters need to wake up and look past the slogans, because they’re the ones who will feel the effects of going back to the policies that caused the collapse of this great country.
retired AT&T governmental affairs employee