Trump on Dr. Carson: How many jobs did he create?

After Ben Carson had the audacity to tie Donald Trump in a poll of likely Iowa GOP caucus-goers, I speculated that Trump would not be able to resist going after the good doctor. As if on cue, Trump has done it.

Jamie Weinstein of the Daily Caller reports that Trump says he has great affection for Ben Carson, but questions whether Carson has the right experience to be president.

I feel the same way about Trump, minus the part about great affection.

Carson lacks experience in public office, but so does Trump. Therefore he can’t attack Carson’s credentials on that ground.

Instead Trump attacks Carson for not having created jobs:

I just think it’s a very difficult situation that he puts himself into, to have a doctor who wasn’t creating jobs and would have a nurse or maybe two nurses. It’s such a different world. I’ve created tens of thousands of jobs over the years.

This criticism is inane. Donald Trump created jobs by running businesses that hired people. This is not something that a sitting U.S. president is permitted to do. Moreover, conservatives hope that the next president will eliminate jobs in the bureaucracy he controls, not create new ones.

To the extent that the U.S. president creates jobs, he does so through pro-growth economic policies. That’s how Ronald Reagan did it.

Speaking of Reagan, how many jobs did he create before he became president? Few, if any, as an actor. Not many, I suspect (Steve can correct me if I’m wrong), as governor of California. Shortly after taking office, Reagan froze hiring by the state government.

Carson is at least as capable as Trump of identifying and pushing for economic policies that will spur job growth. But neither has experience in this realm.

Given the way Trump touts his business success as his overriding qualification for the presidency, it was only a matter of time until someone asked him whether billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is more qualified. This is the reductio ad absurdum of Trump’s calling card.

But when the Daily Caller put this question to Trump, he didn’t take it that way. Instead, he argued that he’s more prosperous than Zuckerberg:

Honestly, I don’t think I’d swap assets, to be honest with you. I’ve seen that stuff go up and down. I have very, very solid stuff.

To me, I love real estate because you can feel it. A lot of people, they’ll make five hundred million dollars by doing some new computer game, but I don’t consider that — I consider that sort of different. I consider that paper.

So there. Guess I’ll have to toss those “Draft Zuckerberg” posters.