DES MOINES, Iowa – Stumping for presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry (search), Gov. Tom Vilsack (search) on Tuesday released a report he said shows that President Bush's job creation claims have been "grossly unmet."
"There's reason for Americans to have some real concerns about the pessimistic view that this is as good as it gets," Vilsack said.
Vilsack joined with Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (search) in releasing the study, compiled by Kerry's campaign. The governors said that while Bush claimed his tax cuts and economic policies would create 6 million new jobs, there has actually been a loss of 1 million jobs.
The study also showed that jobs which are being created pay 30 percent less than jobs which have been lost.
"New jobs that are coming on line are paying substantially less than the jobs they are replacing," Vilsack said.
Bush's campaign countered with other studies that show that since Bush took office, average weekly earnings of private-sector production workers have gone up nearly 8 percent. Campaign officials said that Bureau of Labor Statistics studies show "solid growth" in high-paying occupations like construction and health care.
Vilsack, who heads the Democratic Governors Association, rejected that claim.
"The fact is that the Bush administration promised the American people that its policies would produce nearly 6 million new jobs," Vilsack said. "That's a promise that has been grossly unmet."
Besides declining income, Vilsack said workers are being hammered by health care costs, which have soared by as much as 40 percent over the last four years. Bush has offered little in either job creation or health care, Vilsack said.
"John Kerry recognizes that the tax code has encouraged companies to invest overseas," he said. "He wants to reverse that. In addition to a tax plan, John Kerry has a health care plan."
While Bush's campaign points to recent reports of job growth, Vilsack said he hears increasing nervousness from workers as he travels across the country.
Vilsack and Warner released the report in a conference call with reporters. Vilsack, who has pledged not to seek a third term in office, said he plans to campaign actively throughout the country for Kerry.
Warner said that Bush could take a lesson from job-creation efforts by the states, which have assumed much of the responsibility.
"We actually have some of the stronger job growth in the whole country," Warner said. "I'm very concerned about making sure we have a national job creation program that's going to work."
Kerry has said he will produce 10 million new jobs if elected, and Vilsack said Kerry has put in place specific plans to reach that goal.
"John Kerry can make a difference and he can produce those jobs," Vilsack said.