The American economy added 115,000 jobs in April, and while that number fell well short of expectations, it represents the 26th consecutive month of private sector job growth. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was quick to harp on the report, appearing on Fox & Friends just minutes after the release to say that the economy should be growing at a much faster pace. The economy should be adding more than 500,000 jobs a month, Romney said:
ROMNEY: We should be seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs created per month. This is way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery.
Romney’s call for 500,000 jobs a month would certainly make for a faster economic recovery. That sort of growth, however, is hardly “normal,” as Romney claims. As the chart below shows, there have only been 16 months since 1939 — and only four in the last 50 years — in which the economy added 500,000 jobs or more:
It isn’t the first time Romney has made unreasonable claims about the economy. Romney released a tax plan in March that would reduce federal revenues by more than $6 trillion because of its massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Despite that number, Romney says his plan won’t add to the deficit, but economic analysis of the plan shows the economy would have to grow 6.8 percent a year for five years — significantly faster than it has in any five-year period in recent history. As the Center for American Progress’ Michael Linden and Seth Hanlon said at the time, Romney’s plan is “implausible, to say the least.”
Not only are Romney’s claims unrealistic and borderline impossible, his economic plan also provides no path toward such growth. Romney’s policies, according to a Republican National Committee official, would be the same as former President George W. Bush’s, “just updated.” Those tax cutting policies, of course, failed to create jobs or stimulate economic growth and instead left the country with the massive budget deficit and sputtering economy Romney now claims he’ll fix.
Romney has staked his campaign on his knowledge of the economy. But as his former primary opponent Rick Santorum said in March, “If Mitt Romney’s an economic heavyweight, we’re in trouble.”