Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Catch of the Day

Steve Benen watches Rick Perry's first ad airing in Iowa, and discovers that Perry is promising...2.5M new jobs in his first term. Which, as Benen notes, is a bit under what the US economy under that radical socialist Barack Obama has done in private sector jobs in the last eighteen months.

Indeed, 2.5M jobs would work out to all of 52K new jobs a month, which isn't even close to the break-even point needed to absorb new people in the workplace. Rick Perry: elect me, and I promise you four years of recession-level job growth!

And that's being generous. Perry no doubt wants to continue shrinking the number of public sector jobs. Is his 2.5M new jobs the total of new jobs, or is it a net figure with his planned public sector layoffs already included? If the former, well, I don't know if he's pledging a specific number, but it's not really clear that he's promising any net new jobs growth at all.

The fun part? Perry brags about 1M new jobs in Texas. If one were to be uncharitable, one might suppose that Perry and his ad team aren't actually aware that the US is rather a lot bigger than the Lone Star state. Let's see...there are about 25M Texans, so that's well under 10% of all Americans, and actually about 8%. So why isn't he at least promising at least 12M new jobs? Why is he promising that he'll deliver recession-level results that are far worse than he claims for what he's done in Texas?

I'm wrote over at Plum Line today about signs that Perry's campaign is getting more competent over time, but this is just stupid. He's making up numbers ("dynamic scoring") to pretend that his tax plan wouldn't produce massive increases in the federal budget deficit; he might as well promise a pie-in-the-sky number of new jobs, while he's at it.

Great catch by Benen, and a very silly blunder by the Perry people.


  1. I'm not sure it's that big a blunder.

    The entire GOP budgetary/economic blueprint is faith-based. History doesn't support it at all, but they continue proposing it.

    What's more, 2.5 million is a "big number." That sounds like a lot of jobs. So, why not promise them? Plus, since acceptance of his policies working is also faith-based, he can't be proven wrong, because he is right by fiat.

  2. Well, nothing you say in an ad now could be a *big* blunder for next November, but: it's still a nice little talking point for the Dems that Perry promises to create fewer jobs than Obama actually "created" in the last X months.

  3. Maybe Perry figures he'll look really good if he can then come up with 2.7 million in four years.

  4. Maybe he'll walk it back by saying, "It was a typo -- the ad was supposed to say 2.5 billion."

  5. It gets worse. The numbers in his only jobs plan - the Energizing American Jobs and Security plan - are dubious as well. They indicate an addition of 1.2 million jobs in the energy sector over 20 years (which doesn't sound particularly encouraging...) but more objective analyses suggest that, with more realistic assumptions, his plan will add 500,000 jobs, not 1.2 mill.

    The numbers in his tax plan are dubious too. He suggests that by introducing his flat tax he'll be able to save over $483 billion in 'compliance costs'. Where does that number come from? How does he calculate or define compliance costs? The only estimate I could find online came from the Tax Foundation back in 2005, and they estimated that tax compliance costs would his $483 billion in 2015. If we assume Perry used the Tax Foundation figures, is he really suggesting his flat postcard tax would result in no compliance costs?!?

    I think there's plenty of reason to suspect that his numbers are more rhetoric than evidence... and that's never a good sign.


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