Mitt Romney Economic Advisers Draft White Paper To Back Up Job Creation Predictions

Mitt Romney Economic Advisers Draft White Paper To Back Up Job Creation Predictions
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, Colo., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, Colo., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney's campaign released a paper by four of its top economic advisers on Thursday to back up its assertion that Romney's tax reform and fiscal plan would create "millions of jobs," as an adviser earlier in the day had stated.

The paper argued that Romney's policies would produce about 250,000 jobs a month in the U.S. economy, for roughly 12 million new jobs by the end of Romney's first term as president.

"The Romney economic program will change the direction of policy to focus on economic growth," the advisers wrote. "Its pro-growth effects will work in two basic ways: It will speed up the recovery in the short run, and it will create stronger sustainable growth in the long run."

The paper was less actuarial work with raw data and specific numbers, however, and more of an economic philosophy argument based largely on the premise that simply by undoing much of what President Obama has done since taking office, the economy would recover at a faster pace than it has been from the recession that began in late 2007.

"By changing course away from the policies of the current administration and ending economic uncertainty, as proposed by the Romney plan, we expect that the current recovery will align with the average gains of similar past recoveries," the advisers stated. "History shows that a recovery rooted in policies contained in the Romney plan will create about 12 million jobs in the first term of a Romney presidency."

The Romney economists wrote that in a normal recovery, such as that of 1974-75 or of 1981-82, the economy created about 200,000 to 300,000 jobs a month.

In focusing on broader measures of economic growth and of what a traditional recovery looks like, the Romney campaign is seeking to avoid getting bogged down in a debate over how much individual taxpayers would pay under the Romney plan in year one or two.

But Romney did appear on conservative radio host Sean Hannity's show, where the presumptive GOP candidate said that the president has been mischaracterizing his economic and tax plans.

"My plan does not reduce the share of taxes paid by wealthy people. That's one of the first principles of my plan, which is high income people will continue to pay the same share of taxes they pay today," Romney said.

"And if anyone's going to get a break, a tax break, it's going to be middle-income Americans. They're the people who deserve it," he said. "But he, you know [Obama] has a way of putting out a false statement and then attacking it and making it sound like it's mine, which of course it's not. And he knows better than that."

The Romney campaign sent the 8-page paper to reporters Thursday afternoon, after holding a morning phone call with the press when Romney advisers talked about having data showing evidence of their job claims, but did not provide it.

The paper's authors were Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia University's graduate business school; Greg Mankiw, a Harvard University economics professor; John Taylor, a Stanford University economics professor; and Kevin Hassett, of the American Enterprise Institute. Both Hubbard and Mankiw had roles in former President George W. Bush's White House.

Romney has come under attack from Obama this week after a think tank released a paper that said the Republican presidential candidate's tax proposal would result in a huge tax cut for the most wealthy Americans while causing the tax burden for middle- and low-income earners to grow.

Obama has also told audiences at campaign stops this week that Romney wants to make middle-class families pay $2,000 more a year so that high-income earners can get a $250,000 tax break.

Romney says he wants to lower everyone's taxes by 20 percent. The complicating factor for him is that many lower- and middle-income Americans pay little or no federal income taxes, in part because of deductions for things like mortgage interest or children. So if the rates are lowered for those Americans, but tax deductions or exemptions are taken away from them as part of what is referred to as broadening the base, then that would be a net tax increase.

The Tax Policy Center paper released on Wednesday said that Romney would be forced to take away deductions and exemptions from middle- and lower-income Americans if he did not want to add to the federal deficit by cutting taxes, keeping investment tax rates low and lowering the corporate rate.

The Romney campaign has countered that they could make the tax cuts "revenue neutral" -- a technical term meaning it would not add to the deficit -- by cutting spending, eliminating loopholes and exemptions for corporations and high-income individuals, and by increasing revenues from enhanced economic growth sparked by lower tax rates.

"The fact is that if you can create jobs then you're going to have an enormous positive impact on income distribution because people who don't have a job right now have an income of about zero," Hassett said earlier Thursday.

But until now, the Romney campaign had offered only vague assurances that their plan would produce the kind of economic growth that would result in, as Hassett referred to it, "millions and millions of jobs."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that the recession began in late 2008. It began a year earlier.

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