100 Days Presser: 150,000 jobs?

posted at 2:55 pm on April 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It takes a lot of nerve to get up in front of the press and claim job creation or salvation with specific numbers as unemployment skyrockets.  Of course, when Barack Obama does it, the act takes a little less courage, as the everyone knows the national media won’t challenge him on it:

This budget builds on the steps we’ve taken over the last 100 days to move this economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity.

We began by passing a Recovery Act that has already saved or created over 150,000 jobs and provided a tax cut to 95 percent of all working families.

Really?  Which 150,000 jobs were those?  Does Obama have any supporting data for this claim?  We wouldn’t know from the performance at the press conference, as not one single reporter asked Obama to corroborate that claim.  The only follow-up on jobs came from Andre Showell, who asked a softball about black unemployment and how Obama would address it.

My good friend King Banaian wonders about this as well.  The chair of economics at St. Cloud State University thinks he might have found the origin for the data:

So where do they get away with a number like that?

Actually, I thought this was easy. The administration has claimed that ARRA (“the stimulus bill”) will “save or create” 3.3 million jobs in 2 years. So I thought perhaps what they were doing was taking the date of signing, Feb. 17, computing how much of two years had passed (71/730 ~= 9.7%) and … well, that doesn’t work, because on a pro-rated basis they would get to claim 321,000 jobs.

I thought then maybe he had specific numbers. I recall him saying that he was told Caterpillar would call back the 20,000 in layoffs it had originally called for. But that doesn’t work out either, because Caterpillar is still laying off. Initial filings for unemployment insurance have risen through the first 100 days, though today’s number is a hopeful step downward.

King has a clip of the classic Bullwinkle sequence when he tries to pull a rabbit out of a hat.  I think Obama pulled this number from somewhere else, but be sure to read all of King’s analysis.

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It’s unbelievable isn’t it?



mark24609 on April 30, 2009 at 9:05 PM

He’s probably talking about firefighters and cops and such that were funded at the local level with tax dollars through the stimulus package. I have no idea if that many were on the chopping block, but from the things that have been said it seems that this would be the 150,000.

By this logic, his determination to keep taxes high and complicated has probably saved millions of jobs. Sure they’re IRS jobs, but he’s saving them by golly.

vitocorleone99 on April 30, 2009 at 9:08 PM

..provided a tax cut to 95 percent of all working families.

OK, I’m really tired of this lie. Somebody please show me where Congress passed a tax cut. Was it in the stimulus that no one read?

Cutting withholding does not equal tax cut — it equals more taxes due (or, if you are foolish, a smaller refund) next year.

AZfederalist on April 30, 2009 at 10:48 PM

“already saved or created”

How exactly does one quantify jobs saved?

Could Bush claim he “saved” 170 million jobs?

DSchoen on May 1, 2009 at 3:34 AM

“I created 190,000 jobs a week ago Friday”



I created 40,000 of those 190,000 a week ago Friday


DSchoen on May 1, 2009 at 3:45 AM

Too bad he couldn’t save the 100 people that just got laid off where I work.

loudmouth883 on May 1, 2009 at 6:58 AM

he didn’t save mine, or my neighbor’s :-(

Alden Pyle on May 1, 2009 at 8:03 AM

I wish this “boy” would be consistent; He should shut up about everything for the next 3 1/2 years like he’s shutting up his personal history. We’ve got enough comic strip characters trying to make funny.

Cybergeezer on May 1, 2009 at 10:51 AM