When is a Jobs Plan Not a Jobs Plan?

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When President Obama released his jobs bill a few weeks ago, Moody’s analyzed it and concluded that it would boost GDP and help employment. So what do they think about the Republican jobs plan released yesterday? Greg Sargent picks up the phone and asks:

“I don’t have enough detail to evaluate how many jobs this would create,” Gus Faucher, the director of macroeconomics at Moody’s Analytics, told me. “I could say, `My plan is to do nothing, and it will create five million jobs.’ And it could work, particularly if I don’t say over what time period.”

….“Should we look at regulations and make sure they make sense from a cost benefit standpoint? Certainly. Should we reduce the budget deficit over the long run? Certainly,” Faucher said. “But in the short term, demand is weak, businesses aren’t hiring, and consumers aren’t spending. That’s the cause of the current weakness — and Republican Senate proposals aren’t going to address that in the short term.”

It’s yet more government via slogans, a favorite of the GOP these days. They release an endless stream of white papers and bulleted PowerPoints, but none of them ever have enough actual detail to be scored by either the CBO or private analysts.

Why? Because they know perfectly well what the score would be if they included all the details: zero. Or maybe worse. As always, it’s better to stick to slogans, which sound plausible and will get reported on the evening news regardless of what a bunch of wonky economists think, than to let the wonky economists actually speak up and ruin things.

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