“In yet another instance of Mitt Romney’s campaign not telling the truth, it turns out that the numbers behind his ‘jobs plan’ just don’t add up. For months, Romney has pledged to create 12 million jobs over his first term — a number economists project will be created under current policy — but the numbers he’s cited for his claims aren’t based on evaluations of his plan and are ‘squishy’ at best. Mitt Romney thinks he can run out the clock by not coming clean about policy details, but the American people deserve the truth about his plans. And the truth is that economists have concluded that the severe cuts he would make like education, research and development, manufacturing and infrastructure could eliminate 1 million jobs and shrink economic growth by 1 percent.”
The question now is whether Obama will seize on this new report at tonight’s debate to expose Romney’s jobs plan as a bill of goods during what may prove the highest profile, highest stakes of this election, further elevating the Post’s findings.
By any reasonable measure, this should be a big, big story. Romney’s claim that he will create 12 million jobs is central to his candidacy’s entire argument. It is the whole basis for Romney’s positioning of himself as the alternative to the unacceptable status quo — high (though falling) unemployment, and a too slugginh recovery — under Obama. The question of which candidate’s plans would actually fix the economic crisis is what this whole presidential campaign is supposed to be all about. And we’ve now learned that the studies the Romney campaign itself cites to back up the claim that his plan would create 12 million jobs don’t do anything of the kind.
As Steve Benen puts it, “Romney’s central jobs argument” has been “exposed as fraudulent.” Benen adds: “I don’t seriously expect this to rock the presidential campaign, but it certainly has that potential. The revelation is simply that brutal.”
Yes, it is. Or it should be, anyway.
Romney’s refusal to detail how his tax plan will be paid for has been rightly subjected to a great deal of intensely skeptical media coverage, as has his refusal to offer policy specifics on many other fronts. As Jed Lewison explains, this latest revelation is just as important — it’s easily in the same category as his bogus tax plan math. Will news orgs bring the same level of skeptism to Romney’s jobs plan, now that it has been clearly exposed as a sham?