Mitt Romney is doubling down on his claim to create 12 million jobs in his first term.
Conveniently, Moody's already projects that 12 million jobs will be created between 2013 and 2016...
Nonetheless, in a press release today, the Romney campaign claimed that this new plan would create 12 million new jobs. “My plan will turn things around and bring the economy roaring back, with twelve million new jobs created by the end of my first term,” Romney said.
I ran this claim past Mark Hopkins, a senior analyst at Moody’s Analytics. His conclusion: according to his firm’s projections, the economy is already set to add 12 million jobs in the next four years, provided a series of policy outcomes take place, such as a long term deficit deal that includes tax hikes on the rich and cuts to entitlements.
Hopkins tells me:
The current Moody’s Analytics baseline forecast is for payroll employment to increase by 12 million jobs from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016 (134 million to 146).
If Romney is elected and the trajectory of the U.S. economy plays out according to script, obviously he’ll be able to take credit for those 12 million new jobs.
However, the economic assumptions embedded in our forecast include only an extension of Bush-era tax rates for those under 250K, which is more closely aligned with the Obama administration’s position. We also assume a bipartisan deal to scale back sequestration and achieve a long-run fiscally sustainable path, with Democrats accepting reforms to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for the increase in top tax rates.
In effect, therefore, Romney is essentially promising no more jobs than we currently expect to gain under proposals similar to those advanced by the Obama administration. There’s not enough in Romney’s plan to estimate how many jobs it would create. If he’s saying the net change will be 12 million jobs, that’s exactly what we’re estimating without Romney’s plan.
In other words, Romney's promising Americans the 12 million jobs that would be created if we just did what Obama wants to do.
Should we be surprised? He won't release his tax returns. He won't detail the exemptions and credits he plans to eliminate to pay for his tax overhaul. He won't come clean with details on anything. Why would this be different?