Senate Republicans unveiled their so-called jobs plan last week to some fanfare, and made some rather bold claims. Most notably, some GOP officials said the party’s jobs agenda would create 5 million jobs. How? They didn’t say. When? They didn’t say that, either.

One independent economist took a look at the plan and concluded that it would fail to help the economy in the short term, and some of the plan’s components might even “push the economy back into recession.”

But that’s just one credible, non-partisan analysis. How about a second opinion? The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler checked in with the office of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the three main architects of the alleged plan, and received more detailed information about the basis for the Republican claim. In this case, it didn’t help the GOP’s argument.

The 5 million figure cited by Paul, and echoed by other Republicans, is ludicrous. Even if one accepts the studies that came up with the figures, in most cases they indicate the GOP proposals would do little to create jobs in the near future.

It’s also worth noting the irony of the Republican defense: Paul’s office cited a CBO study that used “the same methodology that calculated successful job growth in the” 2009 Recovery Act that the right falsely considers a failure.

But even putting that aside, we’re left with a realization that should matter a great deal to the political world: Senate Republicans have put together a jobs bill that (a) objectively doesn’t create jobs; and (b) they’re shamelessly lying about.

Given the importance of the jobs crisis and the public demand for action, I’m not still sure why this isn’t a bigger deal. This isn’t just a question in the political fight over jobs; it’s the question. Which side is offering a jobs plan that works?

The answer is no longer in doubt, if it ever was. President Obama’s plan would, according to independent analysis, boost job creation. The Republican plan wouldn’t. It’s as simple as that.

Greg Sargent asked two questions this morning, both which have clear answers: “In the view of experts, are both parties making a serious and legitimate contribution to the debate over what to do to alleviate a national crisis that’s causing mass economic suffering? Or is only one party making a serious contribution to that debate?”

Perhaps the public should hear more about this.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.