Porkulus saved or created two million jobs now

posted at 9:30 am on January 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Why, I thought the White House had abandoned the “saved or created” mythology!  Apparently, they’ve only abandoned having to account for how they get the numbers.  The Washington Post reports that despite having their earlier number of 640,000 torn to shreds by the Associated Press and media outlets around the nation, the Obama administration has now tripled down on jobs saved or created:

The $787 billion economic stimulus package has created or saved between 1.7 million and 2 million jobs, but its impact on the economy ebbed slightly in the final quarter of 2009 compared with prior months, the White House said Tuesday night.

Releasing the administration’s second quarterly report to Congress on the stimulus’s impact, Christina Romer, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said a third of the tax cuts and spending in the package is out the door. Her office estimates that the stimulus added between 1.5 and 3 percentage points to the growth in gross domestic product in the final quarter of 2009. That estimate, which is in line with other analyses, is lower than her office’s estimate of stimulus-related impact in the third quarter, between 3 and 4 percentage points.

Administration officials said often last year that the stimulus’s impact would be felt more over time as spending ramped up, but Romer said in a conference call with reporters that the drop-off in GDP impact was not unexpected. The biggest jolt to the GDP came with the first big surge of spending over the summer, she said, and job creation is now following.

Er, what?  The economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, numbers announced less than a week ago.  Job creation isn’t following — it’s not happening at all, as the BLS numbers clearly showed.

Let’s put up yesterday’s chart of total jobs over the last 10 years to make this clear:

With the exception of a bump of 4,000 jobs in November — temporary work — there hasn’t been any job creation at all.  For eighteen months, the rate of job destruction has remained constant, as the slope of the drop on this chart shows, bottoming out with November’s numbers and dropping again last month.  Where in any of the established metrics of employment at BLS does it show net job creation?

The White House either is living in a fantasy world, or it thinks we are.  Unfortunately, that fantasy is George Orwell’s 1984.

Update: Er, jobs, not dollars. Don’t write headlines before having first cup of coffee.


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Which brave Republican soul is getting prepared to shout ‘you lie!’ at the SOTU? More than one?
Midas on January 13, 2010 at 10:23 AM

They should prepare large cards — say 2 ft by 3 ft. They distribute these cards to members sitting in the last five rows of the House chamber on their side of the aisle who sit in seats in which, when they hold up cards, spells out

X X XXXX
X X X
X X XXX
X X X
XXXX X XXXX

Simple, silent and honest.

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 10:56 AM

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Um, that was supposed to spell out “LIE”

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Get yer programs here. Programs, get yer programs here. Can’t tell a job saved, created, or money saved or created without yer program. Keep track of the latest BS with yer program. Get yer programs here.

TQM38a on January 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Sell some popcorn with that and you’ve got a customer!

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 11:02 AM

BRB…I just found 200,000 saved and/or created jobs in the trunk of my car and I need to take them to the Elections Office Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Left Coast Right Mind on January 13, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Someday in the future, some enterprising intellectual will look back on this moment in history, and wonder how the US Government had so quickly lost its mind…

Don’t they realize that every time they make this type of statement, it FURTHER Erodes the people trust in the Federal Government?

Romeo13 on January 13, 2010 at 11:07 AM

What’s fun is that this headline was posted at HuffPo and at least 80 percent of the comments were “BS, it has.”

Marcus on January 13, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Simple, silent and honest.

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Proportional fonts.

Does the WH think they have any credibility on this? If they do, they’re hallucinating.

mr.blacksheep on January 13, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Listen up Dems, and listen good. Stuffing billions of tax payer dollars in your pockets, and leaving a quarter for the waitress is NOT job stimulus. Idiots!

Anyone else notice on that graph, the incline in job losses really started to rise in 06? Say…isn’t that about the time Dems took the reins in Congress? Well imagine that!

capejasmine on January 13, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Um, that was supposed to spell out “LIE”

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Little help for you:


X     XXX XXXXX
X      X  X 
X      X  X 
X      X  XXXXX
X      X  X 
X      X  X 
XXXXX XXX XXXXX

WashJeff on January 13, 2010 at 11:18 AM

The only thing Romer knows for sure is what time lunch is served. THAT she obviously never misses.

She fits in perfectly with this incompetent, clueless and inexperienced administration. Except she’s fatter than most.

bradley11 on January 13, 2010 at 11:24 AM

The only thing Romer knows for sure is what time lunch is served. THAT she obviously never misses.

She fits in perfectly with this incompetent, clueless and inexperienced administration. Except she’s fatter than most.

bradley11 on January 13, 2010 at 11:24 AM

That, sir, is a sizeist remark!

Yoop on January 13, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Can someone tell me the term for the empty argument “It would have been worse if we had done nothing”?

Fogpig on January 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Exactly how many made up jobs need to be created to get him over 45% these days? Try 10 million, Barry. See how that one pans out.

lorien1973 on January 13, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Fogpig on January 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Argument from ignorance.

lorien1973 on January 13, 2010 at 11:34 AM

They saved the world.

What sweethearts.

notagool on January 13, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Fogpig on January 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Or the politician’s fallacy (I forget it’s exact name). The entier healthcare debate is premised around it.

“something must be done. this is something. therefore this must be done.”

lorien1973 on January 13, 2010 at 11:37 AM

1.9 million of them were czars.

Ronnie on January 13, 2010 at 11:44 AM

I would like to point out these numbers will also be much worse when the 2010 Census is completed. Over a million temporary workers will be displaced back into the ranks of the un-or-under employed, and you will see an unemployment rate closer to 11% by the time our 2012 elections come around….unless, of course, they borrow or divert money to turn them into ACORN employees (sigh)…

DrRich on January 13, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Not a fantasy world. They know what they are doing.

If the rules don’t prove out your story, then change the rules. Every marxist knows this, and Goebbels is smiling, too.

There is no objective truth for a marxist except money and power. Whatever is said or done to accumulate either is “good”.

I do wonder what people like Gibbs and Romer think they are going to do after their current gigs run out. Obviously they will have to find some other politician to toady for. No serious employer would want them, IMO. Soros will find them something, I guess.

Harry Schell on January 13, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Can someone tell me the term for the empty argument “It would have been worse if we had done nothing”?
Fogpig on January 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM

It’s the same logic that led people to drain blood with leeches to cure disease. As the patient weakened and died, the “doctor” would console him by telling how much worse off he’d have been without the treatment.

So I think it should be called “leeching.” And when politicians use our money to do it, it has two meanings.

logis on January 13, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Romer us talking about the jobs at the farm, meat packers, and restaurants in or near her vicinity.

Kissmygrits on January 13, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Careful logis….from Wikipedia….

The use of leeches in modern medicine made its comeback in the 1980s after years of decline, with the advent of microsurgery such as plastic and reconstructive surgeries. In operations such as these, one problem that arises is venous congestion due to inefficient venous drainage. Sometimes because of the technical difficulties in forming an anastomosis of a vein, no attempt is made to re-attach a venous supply to a flap at all. This condition is known as venous insufficiency. If this congestion is not cleared up quickly, the blood will clot, arteries that bring the tissues their necessary nourishment will become plugged and the tissues will die. To prevent this leeches are applied to a congested flap and a certain amount of excess blood is consumed before the leech falls away. The wound will also continue to bleed for a while due to the anticoagulant (hirudin) in the leeches’ saliva. The combined effect is to reduce the swelling in the tissues and promoting healing by allowing fresh, oxygenated blood to reach the area.[13]

DrRich on January 13, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Ok I understand how one creates jobs, but just excatly how does one save jobs? What is the test for a “saved job?” Now don’t shoot me, I know it’s BS but if they are going to continue to spout this dribble then someone needs to create the “Saved Job Test.” Likewise what’s the test for a company not laying off people.

I’m sitting here contemplating how I may have saved some jobs. “Hey we were going to lay off 1000 people but we didn’t!” Is that the test? Maybe the Government thought about firing all the Civilians and Contractors but it didn’t hence saved hundreds of thousands or millions of jobs. (sorry I hope I didn’t give them an idea) I decided to have my lawn mower serviced this year so surely I must of saved someone’s job.

So how does one determine what a SAVED JOB is and not just a made up number that can’t be proved. I’m sure if we get our heads together we can come up with some sort of test.

RonAck on January 13, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Well if you think about Ed is not completely wrong they did create 2 million dollars as well by printing more money!

xler8bmw on January 13, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Every time they make an announcement about this, the headline should read “new claims about unmeasurable jobs goal”. It’s nearly impossible to measure the source of created jobs, and it’s DEFINITELY impossible to accurately measure “saved” jobs.

That’s been a known known since before the stimulus was announced.

But hey, they could just give us a list of the 2 million people, if they’re so sure.

hawksruleva on January 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM

wow the audacity…

cmsinaz on January 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM

You people are all just a bunch of whiners and complainers – look – so what if you haven’t got a job? You will like it and vote democrat. Do we understand each other? Because, that’s a nice knee cap you’ve got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it.

johnnybgood on January 13, 2010 at 12:13 PM

There is, unfortunately for some, a difference between “creation” and “resurrection” but, as you can see, the distinction is meaningless because neither apply to the jobs situation.

LarryG on January 13, 2010 at 1:07 PM

OT- but it is about a threat to future jobs.

7 Billion/year industry under threat from a fish and Obama and Durbin:
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=350305&src=109

Second article says carp dna found in Winnetka pumping station, 6 miles from lock.

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 13, 2010 at 1:44 PM

The argument from ignorance points to a lack of evidence as the evidence for or against some claim. That’s not really what is going on when folks say ‘doing nothing is worse’.

Like many real-world arguments, more than one fallacy can be identified (depending on the details, how hard you look and how ungenerous you want to be), and what jumps out for me with this one is deceptive alternatives. There isn’t only a choice between doing nothing and doing something stupid!

VerbumSap on January 13, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Ok I understand how one creates jobs, but just excatly how does one save jobs? What is the test for a “saved job?”

In the real world, it would be if you had a business and would close down if not for an extension on a loan or something, and you got that extension, well jobs saved. Kind of more difficult to prove than that since it’s rarely so clearcut and it’s hard to say since in capitalism a job saved here could easily be a job not created over there. Anyways, this is the Obama administration so enough with reality.

I’m sitting here contemplating how I may have saved some jobs. “Hey we were going to lay off 1000 people but we didn’t!” Is that the test?

Time for fantasyland. The test is if as much as a $1 of the stimulus bill went to supporting a worker then that job is to be included in the “saved or created” metric whether it was on the chopping block to begin with or even if the stimulus provided meaningful support for the job.

Maybe the Government thought about firing all the Civilians and Contractors but it didn’t hence saved hundreds of thousands or millions of jobs. (sorry I hope I didn’t give them an idea) I decided to have my lawn mower serviced this year so surely I must of saved someone’s job.

Well, most of the “stimulus” money is going to state and local budgets so it may be stopping them from having to deal with bloated overpaid government workforces. That is sort of saving jobs, problem being those are jobs that seriously need to be corrected for state and local governments to get back to fiscal sanity.

So how does one determine what a SAVED JOB is and not just a made up number that can’t be proved. I’m sure if we get our heads together we can come up with some sort of test.

RonAck on January 13, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Mostly made up, as mentioned I think the “stimulus” can legitimately be said to have saved around 100-200,000 state and local government jobs but bragging about the taxpayers bailing out banks, unions, and now bloated pampered public payrolls is a bit too much.

jarodea on January 13, 2010 at 2:06 PM

An Orwellian fantasy.

Orwellian because even George Orwell wouldn’t believe it.

Speakup on January 13, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Incredibly stupid on the part of Obama. People get upset when the administration screws up the economy, but don’t insult our intelligence by telling us what a wonderful you job you did. Don’t p*** on my shoes and tell me it’s raining.

PackerBronco on January 13, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Why not just make it 6 million?

JellyToast on January 13, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Can someone tell me the term for the empty argument “It would have been worse if we had done nothing”?
Fogpig on January 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM

An unproveable assertion with no basis in fact

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 6:41 PM

An unproveable assertion with no basis in fact
ya2daup on January 13

Who’s credibility is in serious doubt.

If they were wrong on their 8% unemployment claim why would one give them credence on their it would have been worse.

The could say “it MIGHT” have been worse, but that opens up it might not have been worse and/or it could have been better if they did nothing at all.

It’ not like this Admin has a competency problem, their just not real good with numbers, names, history, reality, honesty………………

And such.

DSchoen on January 13, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Time for a liberal diet!!!

jgdp on January 13, 2010 at 8:12 PM

Question is how many of each? Can they provide real world statistics or do we have to guess?

larvcom on January 13, 2010 at 8:19 PM

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