Given Sarah Palin’s vast familiarity with American news sources, one would assume she’d understand that data emanating from the Heritage Foundation does not count as “independent.” Nevertheless, for the past few days she and the McCain campaign have been repeating the transparently hilarious claims that “independent” analysis has concluded that Barack Obama’s economic plan would “destroy” six million jobs. As CNN’s fact checkers pointed out, however, Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis actually claimed that Obama’s economic policies would produce fewer jobs than his rival’s.
As with most crystal ball economic forecasts, the Heritage Foundation’s predictions about job growth under an Obama presidency should probably be taken as seriously as the CDA’s prediction in 2000 that job growth would expand more vigorously under George W. Bush than it would under a Gore presidency. Specifically, they expected that Bush’s proposed tax cuts would produce 1.5 million jobs above the Congressional Budget Office baseline. Instead, George W. Bush will finish two terms in office with the slowest rate of growth in non-farm employment of any president since Herbert Hoover. The Heritage Foundation also predicted in 2000 that the US national debt under George Bush would wrap up around $380 billion by 2010. It currently stands at $10.5 trillion.