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At the Economic Policy Institute, Josh Bivens and Andrew Fieldhouse have evaluated the job-creation impact of the budget proposals of President Obama and Mitt Romney.

The duo warns that their analysis had to make do with considerable vagueness in both proposals, but note that the Romney plan has fewer details, making its assessment more difficult. Moreover, they point out, the Romney plan contains contradictory objectives—a revenue-neutral outcome from lower income tax rates across the board achieved by "base-broadening"— that are mathematically impossible to achieve.

Their conclusions:

• The budget plans put forward by Barack Obama would lead to increased employment of about 1.1 million jobs in 2013 and 280,000 jobs in 2014, relative to current policy.

• The Obama employment gains would be driven by an increase in spending of $135 billion over the current policy baseline, which is the result of $142 billion in temporary spending under his proposed American Jobs Act.

• The budget plans put forward by Mitt Romney would lead to small job gains of 87,000 in 2013 and a loss of 641,000 jobs in 2014, relative to current policy, if his proposed tax cuts were fully deficit-financed.

• If some of Romney’s proposed individual income tax cuts were revenue-neutral (he has said that they would be, but has not specified what “base-broadening” adjustments he would make to the tax code to accomplish that), his plans would instead lead to employment losses of 608,000 in 2013 and roughly 1.3 million in 2014.

• The weaker job growth and outright job losses under the Romney plan are driven by his proposal to cap government spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a move that implies very large cuts to overall spending.

The details in the analysis provide their rationale. The condensed version: Romney's proposal would be a disaster; Obama's proposal would improve matters on the job front, but not be sufficient in and of themselves to get us out of the deep economic hole he inherited.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 08:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Economics and Daily Kos Labor.

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