# Mitt Romney’s Fuzzy Debate Math

Let’s take Mitt Romney at his word, and see how the numbers he cited during Wednesday night’s debate add up. We can begin with a pop quiz in Presidential arithmetic:

If you have a \$1.3 trillion annual deficit, and you are going to make it shrink to zero without raising any tax, how many new jobs will the economy have to create? Show your work.

Starting with Romney’s assertion that his policies will lead to 12 million new jobs over four years and provide the government with fresh tax revenue, how close will that come to plugging the gaping hole in the federal budget? Answer: Not very close.

If we assume that those jobs pay \$40,000 per year and that each new job pays 20 percent in Federal taxes, the total additional revenue comes to just \$96 billion in 2016.

That \$96 billion obviously doesn’t come close to the \$1 trillion currently projected deficit — not to mention the \$300 billion in additional spending Romney proposes for the military and the insurance company subsidies he’s “returning” to Medicare.

Never mind that there’s a problem lowering the top tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent, which will cost \$250 billion in revenues. Plugging that hole by taking away the \$165 billion in deductions used by top earners simply doesn’t work. Then there’s an even bigger problem making his tax cut of \$5 trillion “revenue neutral” while giving the middle class “tax relief.”

But let’s continue taking Romney at his word, even if it’s not worth the paper it isn’t printed on.

Let’s imagine those new jobs are really, really good jobs. How good do they have to be to provide enough new tax revenue to cover the deficit?

At a 25 percent Federal tax rate on all the new income, the average new job would have to pay a mere \$433,333 per year to fill the gap. Sign me up for one of those new jobs, please.

The other possibility is that Romney’s policies will magically create even more jobs than he’s assuming. If the new jobs were those \$40K per year jobs each paying 20 percent in taxes, we’d need 162.5 million new jobs. For those playing along at home, that’s more jobs than the total current civilian labor force, which stood at 154.6 million last month.

The bottom line?

Romney’s real problem is that when he talks numbers, the numbers never add up.

Howard Hill is a retired investment banker who created a number of groundbreaking deal structures and analytic techniques on Wall Street, and later helped manage a \$100 billion portfolio.  He writes and blogs at mindonmoney.wordpress.com. Follow on Twitter: @hhill61

Photo Credit: AP/David Goldman

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# Trump Aides Quietly Warn That Worse Is Still To Come

Donald Trump

Allies of former President Donald Trump have advised members of the Republican Party to cool down their inflammatory rhetoric toward the United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation following the execution of a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday.

Trump supporters, right-wing pundits, and lawmakers have been whipped into a frenzy over what Trump called a "raid" by federal agents in pursuit of classified documents removed from the White House during Trump's departure from office.

Indications are growing of an ongoing criminal investigation into how, why, and by whom those items ended up inside Trump's property.

But according to New York Times correspondents Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess, and Glenn Thrush on Thursday, "some senior Republicans have been warned by allies of Mr. Trump not to continue to be aggressive in criticizing the Justice Department and the F.B.I. over the matter because it is possible that more damaging information about Mr. Trump related to the search will eventually become public."

That report was published shortly after CNN learned that in June "the FBI served an earlier grand jury subpoena and took away sensitive national security documents."

Fifteen boxes of materials and the contents of Trump's safe were recovered from the seaside compound.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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# Trump's Inner Circle Seized By Paranoia And Conspiracies

Former President Donald Trump

On August 20, 2022, Donald Trump will have been gone from the White House for 19 months. But Trump, unlike other former presidents, hasn’t disappeared from the headlines by any means — and on Monday, August 8, the most prominent topic on cable news was the FBI executing a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in South Florida. Countless Republicans, from Fox News hosts to Trump himself, have been furiously railing against the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). And in an article published by Politico on August 11, reporters Kyle Cheney and Meridith McGraw describe the atmosphere of “paranoia” and suspicion that has become even worse in Trumpworld since the search.

“A wave of concern and even paranoia is gripping parts of Trumpworld as federal investigators tighten their grip on the former president and his inner circle,” Cheney and McGraw explain. “In the wake of news that the FBI agents executed a court-authorized search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, Trump’s allies and aides have begun buzzing about a host of potential explanations and worries. Among those being bandied about is that the search was a pretext to fish for other incriminating evidence, that the FBI doctored evidence to support its search warrant — and then planted some incriminating materials and recording devices at Mar-a-Lago for good measure — and even that the timing of the search was meant to be a historical echo of the day President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.”

It was on August 8, 1974 that Nixon, overwhelmed by the Watergate scandal, announced his resignation. The following day, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as president. And right-wing pundit Monica Crowley, on Steve Bannon’s “War Room,” claimed it was no coincidence that the FBI chose August 8 to execute the search warrant.

Crowley told “War Room” listeners, “There are no coincidences when it comes to the Deep State. They could have done this raid a couple of days before or tomorrow, but they chose August 8 for a reason.”

Cheney and McGraw stress that while Trumpworld is “deeply suspicious, even conspiratorial” to begin with, the Mar-a-Lago raid has made their “paranoia” even worse.

“Trump allies have begun pushing conspiracies to explain away the probe,” according to Cheney and McGraw. “The chatter was fed, in part, by two articles, one in Axios the other in Newsweek, that suggested someone high up within Trump’s orbit had flipped and was cooperating with the government and that detailed the belief among some Trump hands that they had a mole. By late Wednesday afternoon, it had become an openly discussed topic on Fox News. And a story in the Wall Street Journal indicated that, in fact, a witness had been aiding investigators, telling the FBI that not all classified records had been disclosed during early negotiations and helping investigators pinpoint the location of missing records.”

The Politico reporters continue, “But the more aggressively pushed theory by Trump allies, at least in public, was the idea that evidence might have been planted by the FBI on the premises. Trump himself floated the idea in a post on his social media site, and it was amplified by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), as well as Fox News hosts like Jesse Watters, and even Trump’s own lawyer.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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