Cooking the books on Porkulus effects?
posted at 10:55 am on April 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
The White House now claims that they have saved or created over 2.8 million jobs with Porkulus, the massive spending bill passed in the first days of the Obama administration. How exactly do they get that number? Big Government compares the latest declaration from the White House to their original projections, and discovers that Barack Obama has claimed addition from subtraction:
The number of jobs in the U.S. is currently 129.7 million. So to justify the Administration’s current claim of 2.8 million jobs “created or saved” by stimulus, they need to also claim that without that stimulus there would be only 126.9 million jobs. That’s exactly what they do, displayed as the “baseline projection” level in the graphic below from an April 14, 2010 report …
An inconvenient truth, at least for the Obama Administration, is that once upon a time, in their January 2009 Romer/Bernstein Report they told America that without their stimulus there would be 133.9 million jobs. That’s right, in order to make it look like their stimulus has “created or saved” 2.8 million jobs, the Obama Administration first had to whack 7 million jobs from their previous estimates.
At the center of the issue is this chart from the Council of Economic Advisers. Watch carefully what happens to the “baseline” (number of jobs without Porkulus) in the last four quarters of the report:
Note that the chart reports its source as BLS data, but with “CEA calculations.” The chair of the CEA, Christine Romer, offered this as a projection in January 2009 of the same “baseline” number for the fourth quarter of 2010:
Without Porkulus, Obama’s economic advisers warned that we would only have 133.8 million jobs in the US, but would have almost 3.7 million more than that with Porkulus. Now, suddenly, the baseline has dropped all the way down to 126.9 million, and that’s three quarters sooner than the bottom-out point suggested in their original analysis. They simply subtracted seven million from their previous baseline in order to claim growth that has never materialized.
“Saved or created” has always been a fraud. Now we see how the three-card monty works.