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Mitt Romney’s purported qualification for the presidency is that he is a job creator and knows how to jump start the economy. So, we’ll take a look at those claims.

Job Creator? During Romney’s governorship his state of Massachusetts was the 47th state in job creation. Maybe that’s why he chose not to run for reelection for governor after serving just one four year term — he was unpopular and could not have been reelected.

Knows how to jump start the economy? Romney adheres to the GOP line about tax cuts for the wealthy, and austerity for the rest of us. We’re fortunate that there are some ongoing, real-life, experiments being conducted right now that we can assess. The adjoining states of Illinois and Wisconsin are demonstrating the success and failure of austerity vs. stimulus and taxes vs. small government.

Wisconsin, led by GOP Scott Walker, slashed taxes for the rich and balanced the budget by cutting government expenses. The result? Wisconsin is dead last in job creation in the entire nation. Illinois, on the other hand, is led by Democrat Governor Pat Quinn , who raised taxes on the already rich, balanced the budget and invested in worker training and education. Illinois is the 3rd most successful state in job creation.

There’s also an international experiment going on. Great Britain’s Conservative Party has tried to meet the global recession with austerity measures and slashing government spending. The result? England just dropped into a double-dip recession. The US met the recession not with austerity measures, but with a stimulus package — and our economy has grown for 24 straight months.

Mitt Romney and the Republicans claim that austerity and small government will be good for the economy. But, we can see in real-life experiments — that just does not work.

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