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Editorial: Job growth reality vs. myth

Mitt Romney, as well as most of the other Republican candidates for president, has run his campaign focused almost solely on President Obama’s sorry performance on creating jobs. Appealing to the conservatives in Nevada and Florida, he promised a robust period of job growth (of what percent he didn’t say) compared to the slow climb the job market has seen for the past three years.
As the Republican nomination approaches its foregone conclusion and hands the reins to Romney, President Obama’s response will pit reality against theory.
When President Obama took office in January 2009, the U.S. economy was losing more than 800,000 jobs a month (in both December 2008 and January 2009), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The month prior, the economy shed more than 600,000, and the month before that (October 2008), the nation dropped another 775,000.
For the year (2008), the U.S. economy lost more than 4.5 million jobs.
The policies of the previous administration, which were in place until the new fiscal year (July 2009) saw continuing high job losses — more than 700,000 per month for the next three months. But by July 2009, job losses were under 300,000. July spiked to more than 400,000 jobs lost, but ever since the economy under Obama has kept the job losses under 300,000 and starting the spring of 2010, the economy has seen net job growth for the past three years.
This January, the economy added 243,000 jobs and the unemployment rate has gone from over 10 percent at the end of Republican President George W. Bush’s tenure, to 8.3 as a national average. It’s still too high, all acknowledge, but the trend is in the right direction.
Mitt Romney touts his experience as in business as a reason voters should trust him to spur the economy even more. But his economic policies mirror George W.’s, which would largely cut taxes for the rich while widening the nation’s deficit.
Specifically, Romney’s tax plan calls for permanently extending the Bush administration’s tax cuts, reducing the corporate income tax rate and eliminating the estate tax — it would cut the taxes of people earning more than a million dollars a year by an average of $295,874. That’s according to an analysis of the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group.
Moreover, because Romney’s plan would also allow some of President Obama’s tax cuts to the lower-class to expire, his plan would effectively raise taxes on some people earning less than $40,000 a year.
Conservatives on the warpath to limit the federal deficit, might also be surprised to learn that Romney’s plan would add to the deficit by reducing federal revenues of more than $600 billion in 2015, a reduction of 16 percent.
The Romney tax plan would add to the deficit by reducing federal revenues by $600 billion in 2015, a 16 percent cut, according to the center. Second-place contender Newt Gingrich’s tax proposals would add even more to the deficit, the center says.
 “If the first thing you do is lower revenues by that much by extending all of those tax cuts, then you have a much bigger hole to dig out of to get back to a balanced budget,” he said in an interview. “The hole they’re digging, to mix metaphors, is a self-inflicted wound.”
After the Republican nominating race is all by wrapped up on Super Tuesday, March 6 (Vermont votes as well that day), these facts will come more and more into play — giving pause to American voters who still hold to the trickle-down fairytale.
Angelo S. Lynn

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