In today's edition of ridiculous time wasters, we bring you a bout between heavyweight contender Mitt Romney and referee wannabe Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post. The question at hand: how should we rate Romney's contention that he has three studies verifying that his five-point economic plan would create 12 million jobs?
The winner is....Kessler, of course. Romney has always said that he'd create 12 million jobs in four years, but the studies in question (a) use timeframes of 8-10 years, and (b) don't evaluate his plan anyway. Four Pinocchios for Romney!
The loser is....all of us who still have functioning brain cells — including Kessler, who was forced to spend precious hours of his life on this nonsense that no one at Romney HQ even pretends to believe in the first place. But the rest of us still have to go along with the gag. Presidential candidates these days can literally say anything they want, and we're all required to stroke our chins and pretend to take them seriously.
In any case, the real answer to this question is a lot simpler: if elected, Romney probably will create 12 million jobs in his first term. So would Obama. So would my cat. And we don't need any studies to prove it. If the economy grows at about 3-4% for the next four years, we'll add 12 million new jobs, and there's a pretty good chance that the economy will indeed grow at about 3-4% for the next four years. We might be coming out of our recession slowly, but we are coming out of it, and this means that 12 million jobs is sort of a no-brainer. It's sort of like promising that unemployment will fall under 7%. It will, of course, but that's a pretty low bar. We should expect better.