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Mitt Romney at podium with hands extended in both directions
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. And I, I bought both of them, suckers." (Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters)
Michael Shear of The New York Times offers this wonderful understatement about Mitt Romney's pledge to achieve a six percent unemployment rate by the end of 2016:
In order to persuade voters to pick him over Mr. Obama, he must demonstrate that he would make their personal situations markedly better.

That argument loses power if his promise is the same as the one that Mr. Obama makes.

Indeed, Romney's promise is actually higher than the one the Obama administration makes. Last year, the administration projected a six percent rate by the end of 2016, but subsequently said that their forecast was stale and that unemployment would drop more quickly than that, though they declined to give a specific target. And as Shear notes, a slew of respected nonpartisan and independent projections say unemployment is already on track to hit six percent by the end of 2016, if not sooner.

Those facts alone are enough to demonstrate the absurdity of Romney's claim, but it's also worth pointing out that under his policies, things would actually get worse. The core of Romney's economic plan is a dramatic $10 trillion tax cut for the wealthy coupled with enormous spending cuts and widespread regulatory rollbacks. Basically, he's proposing to double-down on Bush's trickle-down philosophy ... while simultaneously imposing severe austerity. It's a recipe for economic disaster, no matter what unemployment rate he promises.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu May 24, 2012 at 09:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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