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Track records matter

<p>&lt;p&gt;Mitt Romney and his presidential campaign were caught off guard this week.&lt;/p&gt;</p>
Track records matter
Track records matter

Mitt Romney and his presidential campaign were caught off guard this week. A nonpartisan, independent analysis, prepared by researchers Romney has praised in the past, published a detailed look at the Republican's tax plan and discovered a severe problem: the numbers don't add up.

Brookings and the Tax Policy Center found that Romney's plan would raise taxes on 95% of Americans in order to pay for a massive tax break for the top 5%. No, no, Team Romney protested, the researchers didn't use "dynamic" scoring to account for magical growth. Yes, yes, TPC economists responded, the analysis gives Romney the benefit of the doubt, and the numbers still don't work.

But what about the effects of the corporate tax cut? Team Romney asks. That makes the problem worse, the independent researchers replies.

Josh Marshall twists the knife today, mocking the Romney advisor who assures us the numbers will add up just as soon as we realize how wonderful life in the fantastical RomneyLand will be.

[J]ust look who the campaign is putting forward as the expert on the Romney Economic Boom. I'm sort of surprised no one has pointing this out. It's none other than Kevin Hassett.Who's Kevin Hassett? Well, he's none other than the coauthor of the spectacularly boomtime late 90s bestseller Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market. As TPM Reader WM points out, not only was the book amazingly wrong and basically assumed the tech boom was permanent, the whole concept was based on the idea that stocks should be valued on a "formula that double-counted earnings and dividends. A true classic in wingnut economics." [...]This is the expert people are supposed to trust when we're told that the economy will grow so fast that normal tax analysis pretty much won't matter anymore in the Romney Economic Boom?

Yep, we're supposed to listen to the author of Dow 36,000, hear him present extraordinary claims about the results Romney will produce, and then take his word for it without the benefit of, you know, evidence. (We're also supposed to take on faith the notion that Romney's economic policy prowess will be extraordinary, even after he failed as the unpopular one-term governor of Massachusetts.)

This may sound naive, but I like to think credibility still means something. It's what makes the Romney campaign's new boasts literally unbelievable.