My neighbor, Glenn Kessler, Washington Post's factchecker, this morning. Romney earned 4 "pinnochios" for these claims, which the Post's ratings scale defines as "whoppers". This is the maximum number of stars a candidate for public office can earn for efforts to stretch, fold, spindle, mangle, and mutilate facts and reality. So, truly a breathtaking, stellar performance by the Mittster on this one.
Romney’s 12-million-jobs promise has garnered a lot of attention.
But the specifics — 7 million plus 3 million plus 2 million — mentioned by Romney in the ad are not in the white paper. So where did that come from?
We asked the Romney campaign, and the answer turns out to be: totally different studies … with completely different timelines.
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.
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.
“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),” Hubbard acknowledged in an e-mail.