Thursday, August 9, 2012

Misleading Charts and Tepid Promises

Via Matt Yglesias, I learn that the Mercatus Center released a chart today of Presidential job-creation records at the end of each President's time in office.
To their credit, the Mercatus Center does offer the qualifier that Obama hasn't even finished one full term yet, while most of these men on here had finished two. Matt basically says everything that I want to say though:
"By my calculations, that'd give him 52 additional months in office. And say that for those next 52 months, Obama totally fails to spark bounce-back growth or make meaningful progress back toward full employment. Instead, we keep on adding about 150,000 jobs per month just as we have for the past 18 months. That'll add 7.8 million jobs to the current total, rocketing Obama ahead of Kennedy, Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and George W. Bush. Still hardly the greatest record in American history, but not too shabby at all."
I don't have anything more to add to this, really. There's just one more thing I'd like to mention, since we're on the topic of job creation. Some of you may know that Romney has vowed to create 12 million new jobs in his first term in office. I thought I might put that in perspective based upon the available forecasts of job growth between 2012 and 2016--the hypothetical Romney first term. Moody's Analytics is forecasting a job growth number around 11.84 million new jobs and Macroeconomic Advisers is forecasting 11.8 million. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting 10 million jobs being added in a Romney first term, but that forecast assumes that the so-called "fiscal cliff" takes place at the start of next year, which most economists don't believe Congress will let happen. So it is likely that the job creation forecast will be substantially higher than 10 million.

Obviously macroeconomic forecasting is hard and often inaccurate/flawed, but Romney is doing a bit of forecasting of his own when he makes that kind of campaign promise. I guess all I'm saying is that I find it kind of funny that Romney's campaign promise is that he will create roughly the same number of jobs that most forecasts are saying will be created regardless...


Always good to set a high bar.