Mitt Romney and his economic advisers have spent the week claiming that Romney’s economic plan will create 12 million jobs, as they attempt to change the subject away from a Tax Policy Center report showing that Romney’s tax plan would mean a big tax increase for middle-class families.
A Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis shows that, far from creating 12 million jobs, Romney’s economic plan would kill 360,000 jobs in 2013 alone. But this discrepancy is perhaps less surprising considering that the same advisers who gave Romney his number — including economists Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard, who both worked for former President George W. Bush — estimated that the Bush tax cuts would lead to massive job growth:
Back in 2001, as chairman of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, Hubbard predicted that tax cuts slanted disproportionately to Americans in the topmost tier of income and wealth distribution would “quickly deliver a boost to move the economy back toward its long-run growth path,” starting with adding 300,000 more jobs and half a percentage point to the 2002 growth rate.
Then in early 2003, as President Bush proposed another round of tax cuts, Hubbard predicted these would add another 1.4 million jobs to the U.S. economy, over and above the 3.1 million jobs the economy would create on its own from natural economic growth in that time. Mankiw — who took over for Hubbard as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers later in 2003 — co-signed a letter with Hassett (then-economist at the American Enterprise Institute) to President Bush “enthusiastically” endorsing more tax cuts because “it is fiscally responsible and it will create more employment [and] economic growth.”
Unfortunately for American workers, these rosy predictions failed to pan out. In fact, total employment in the U.S. economy created only 2.4 million new jobs by the end of 2004, or less than half of what Hubbard predicted. By 2007 the economy was running nearly 8 million jobs short of what Hubbard predicted.
The Bush tax cuts, instead of leading to the millions of jobs Hubbard promised, led to the weakest job growth of the post-war era. So not only does Romney’s tax plan fail to add up, but his job growth plan is going to fall far short of its goals, if history is any example.