Six points where Mitt Romney and his economic advisers are mostly wrong

Mitt Romney’s economic plan is largely based on a whitepaper written by several “heavyweight” economists: Glenn Hubbard of Columbia University, Greg Mankiw of Harvard University, John Taylor of Stanford University, and Kevin A. Hassett of The American Enterprise Institute. Both Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Mankiw served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under George W. Bush.

The title is promising: “The Romney Program for Economic Recovery, Growth, and Jobs.” The problem is, the plan is riddled with fundamental flaws. Here are six points where Mitt Romney and his economic advisers are mostly – if not fully – wrong about what ails the American economy and how to fix it.

1. Anemic recovery

Julie Jacobson/AP/File
Mitt Romney speaks to a crowd of supporters during a rally in Henderson, Nev., Oct. 23 as he holds up four fingers and asks if they want four more years of a bad economy under President Obama. Op-ed contributor Sam Thompson offers 'six points where Mitt Romney and his economic advisers are mostly – if not fully – wrong about what ails the American economy and how to fix it.'

Mitt Romney’s heavyweights criticize America’s current economic recovery because it is weaker than the recovery that occurred under President Reagan after the recession in 1981-1982. But the Reagan recovery came after a 0.3 percent decrease in GDP, whereas the current recovery comes after a 3.1 percent decrease in GDP.

Thus, the present recovery requires digging out of a much deeper hole, and the failure of Mr. Romney and his heavyweights to give consideration to the depth of the Great Recession is a fundamental flaw in their critique of the recovery under President Obama.

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