In advance of tonight's GOP presidential debate, the Democratic National Committee has released a report claiming that 9.5 million American jobs would be lost if a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution were implemented by next year -- including the loss of 473,000 jobs in Florida.
The reasons for the job losses, the DNC says, includes two factors: a cap on federal spending as a percent of the national economy and the requirement of a two-thirds vote of Congress to raise revenue.
"The Tea Party economic plan endorsed by the GOP presidential field, euphemistically referred to as Cut, Cap and Balance, might make for great sound bites at a Tea Party Express rally, but based [on] our analysis, it would be devastating to American workers and the middle class," the DNC says in a statement.
Of course, we'd all like to know how the Dems cooked up these numbers.
The DNC says it "uses the conservative Romer-Bernstein rule of thumb that equates 1 percent of GDP to 1 million jobs."
That may not exactly be the best way to measure their estimate, since that's the same method used in the report on the stimulus package to claim American unemployment wouldn't top 8 percent with the stimulus spending:
Of course, after that chart didn't quite hold true, the White House came out and said it didn't realize how big of a hole President Bush had left it in, which would have changed its forecast.
On the other hand, there's no evidence to show the jobs situation would've been better without spending -- and that's what the DNC focuses on here.
Since the Congressional Budget Office's most recent report shows nearly a trillion dollars of federal spending would have to be slashed to adhere to the balanced-budget amendment, that's where the DNC comes up with a loss of 9.5 million jobs.
Still, those in the Democratic Party would prefer not to find out if those estimates become true.
"There's not a Democrat, Independent, or Republican that doesn't think we need to get our fiscal house in order, but this blatant appeal to the Tea Party would do nothing more than worsen economic conditions and lead to a second dip recession," Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith says. "It is time for the Republicans to come forth with a plan that would actually help middle-class families rather than please the extreme wing of the party."
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You can find the DNC's report here.