Somebody on John Kerry’s staff just earned a bonus.

Here’s Kerry’s comment in today’s Wall Street Journal (p. 1., What’s News, World-Wide, first item) on the White House “estimate” that 2.4 million jobs will be added to the economy this year, implying productivity growth of zero:

Kerry said it was “prepared by the same people who brought us intelligence on Iraq.”

Actually, that’s grossly unfair to the intelligence process, which reached a wrong, but not absurd, conclusion. But Kerry is dead right that the credibility of the current occupant of the White House, and the people who work for him, is the central issue in the coming campaign. They don’t tell the truth.

Brad DeLong has details on this particular act of mendacity, and on the incompetence of the daily press to handle it.

He notices in passing something I haven’t seen anyone else comment on: It appears that the CEA number, prepared last fall, assumed about a million more jobs by now than actually exist. So much for the claim that recent news on the jobs front hasn’t been terrible.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: