Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy parroted the Romney campaign's claim that he would create 12 million jobs during his first term in office. However, economic experts say that Romney's plan is not nearly detailed enough to make this claim believable.
On Wednesday, Doocy claimed that we don't know what President Obama's economic plan is, but "Mitt Romney said, if elected, I'll create 12 million jobs."
Doocy's claims about Obama and Romney are both wrong. Obama has released a detailed economic plan as legislation, the American Jobs Act, which economists say would create millions of jobs.
By contrast, Romney has not released a credible economic plan. A paper written by four conservative economists makes the claim that Romney will add 12 million new jobs. And the Romney campaign has echoed that figure. But according to economic experts, Romney's plan does not have enough specifics to estimate the economic effects of his policies.
Brad DeLong, an economist at the University of California, Berkley, explained that Romney has not released a "complete, coherent, and scoreable" plan:
There is no Romney program -- a program is complete, coherent, and scoreable, Romney has repeatedly said that his statements are not scoreable. In order to estimate the economic effect of any program, you have to know what its pieces will do--you need to have it scored. Until Romney presents a complete and coherent program with scoreable pieces, [the conservative economists] have no basis for asserting anything about its economic impact.
Mark Hopkins, a senior analyst at Moody's Analytics, similarly told The Washington Post's Greg Sargent that "[t]here's not enough in Romney's plan to estimate how many jobs it would create."
In September 2011, Romney rolled out a 160 page plan for the economy with a similar claim that it would create 11.5 million jobs. But Economic Policy Institute budget analyst Rebecca Thiess noted that the math behind the job creation figure "appears to be nonexistent":
In fact, nowhere in the 160 page plan could I find a stated job creation number -- 11.5 million is a number Romney has quoted in public appearances, but it does not appear anywhere in his plan. The math doesn't just appear to be fuzzy -- it appears to be nonexistent.
So Romney's plan is really more of a conservative wish list of supply-side policies for stimulating long-term economic growth than a plan to put Americans back to work today or next year (or the year after next). And he relies on assumptions that don't have a whole lot of foundation -- for instance that trickle-down economics works or that it's unhealthy for the federal government to ever run deficits.
Furthermore, in attempting to analyze the tax aspects of Romney's plan, the Tax Policy Center found it "impossible to determine how the plan would affect federal tax revenues" due to a lack of specific policies:
Because Gov. Romney has not specified how he would increase the tax base, it is impossible to determine how the plan would affect federal tax revenues or the distribution of the tax burden. TPC has analyzed instead the effects of the specified proposals in the Romney plan. These estimates provide a guide as to how much the base broadening would need to raise taxes in different income groups to achieve the plan's targets.
To sum up, Obama has a detailed plan that economists say would create millions of jobs and Romney has not released a plan with enough detail for economists not affiliated with the Romney campaign to say what it would do. But Fox would have you believe that the exact opposite is true.