WSJ: The only people who believe that Porkulus saved 3 million jobs are …

posted at 3:35 pm on July 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The White House is doubling down on the failure of its Porkulus spending to create or even save jobs in the American economy by claiming that their efforts saved or created 3.6 million jobs in the last year.  That’s quite a claim, considering that overall employment fell by over 2.3 million since the passage of Porkulus in February 2009, and the Wall Street Journal isn’t buying it.  Instead, the WSJ reminds readers of the promises that led to the spending of almost a trillion dollars that America didn’t have, and how far short the results have fallen:

Christina Romer went so far as to claim that the 3.5 million new jobs that she promised while the stimulus was being debated in Congress will arrive “two quarters earlier than anticipated.” Yup, the official White House line is that the plan is working better than even they had hoped.

We almost feel sorry for Ms. Romer having to make this argument given that since February 2009 the U.S. economy has lost a net 2.35 million jobs. Using the White House “created or saved” measure means that even if there were only three million Americans left with jobs today, the White House could claim that every one was saved by the stimulus.

The White House also naturally insists that things would be much worse without the stimulus billions spent on the likes of Medicaid payments, high speed rail projects, unemployment benefits and windmills. Mr. Obama said recently in Racine, Wisconsin that the economy “would have been a lot worse” and the unemployment rate would have gone to “12 or 13, or 15 [percent]” if government hadn’t spent all of that money.

This is called a counterfactual: a what would have happened scenario that can’t be refuted. What we do know is what White House economists at the time said would happen if the stimulus didn’t pass. They said the unemployment rate would peak at 9% without the stimulus (there’s your counterfactual) and that with the stimulus the rate would stay at 8% or below. (See the nearby chart.) In other words, today there are 700,000 fewer jobs than Ms. Romer predicted we would have if we had done nothing at all. If this is a job creation success, what does failure look like?

All of these White House jobs estimates are based on the increasingly discredited Keynesian spending “multiplier,” which according to White House economist Larry Summers means that every $1 of government spending will yield roughly $1.50 in higher GDP. Ms. Romer thus plugs her spending data into the Keynesian computer models and, presto, out come 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs, even if the real economy has lost jobs. To adapt Groucho Marx: Who are you going to believe, the White House computer models, or your own eyes?

Actually, the data supports the argument made at the time Congress passed Porkulus and Barack Obama signed it.  The massive and sudden increase in debt incurred for the program created a rational conclusion that national debt service costs would grow sharply.  With the Democratic agenda of higher regulation proceeding apace in 2009, businesses pulled back and sheltered capital, which is why the only jobs actually saved were in state bureaucracies from the bailouts sent to cover their budget gaps … for one year only.  Those jobs will shortly go on the chopping block now that Congress has gotten gun shy about engaging in another year of subsidizing state bureaucracies.

Mike Pence blasted this new message in a floor speech today in the House:

In the worst economy in a quarter of a century, American families are hurting, businesses are struggling in the city and on the farm. And that’s obvious to almost everyone in this country except the Obama Administration.

Remarkably, yesterday, the White House issued a report saying that the stimulus bill that passed a year and a half ago, had ‘saved or created 2.5 to 3.6 million jobs.’ As my three teenagers might say to me in like circumstances, ‘Really?’ Two point five to 3.6 million jobs? Unemployment was 7.5 percent when the stimulus was passed, it’s 9.5 percent today.

It’s important the American people know that the report, issued by the administration yesterday, isn’t even based on actual numbers. It comes from what economists say is a highly-inflated projection of how much economic growth is created for every government dollar that’s spent. The facts come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They speak for themselves.

Since the stimulus was enacted, more than 3 million jobs have been lost in this country. A net job loss of 2.4 million jobs. Enough with the talk. The stimulus bill has failed. It’s time for new ideas. Across the board tax relief and fiscal discipline now.

And let’s recall yet again the actual employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that exposes the White House argument as sheer fraud., with the red star designating the passage of Porkulus:

That’s a chart only Captain Kickass and Sergeant Smartass could spin into victory.

Update: Matt Welch puts it succinctly: “I don’t know about you, but government propaganda really irritates the hell out of me.”  Kind of like Porkulus road signs, only more transparently false, I’d say.


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Losers…

PatriotRider on July 15, 2010 at 3:37 PM

This reminds me of Baghdad Bob.

Eichendorff on July 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM

“Erect more signs, I’m going golfing.”

-PBHO

Bishop on July 15, 2010 at 3:40 PM

The only people who believe that Porkulus saved 3 million jobs are …

on drugs?

paid by axelrod?

c’mon kids, this could be funny.

Fighton03 on July 15, 2010 at 3:40 PM

If true, this would be the first truth from his mouth since taking office. Nobody above a single digit IQ would ever consider the possibility.

volsense on July 15, 2010 at 3:40 PM

This reminds me of Baghdad Bob.

Eichendorff on July 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM

That is Baghdad Biden.

upinak on July 15, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Ed, I love your ‘captain and sergent’ reference! That was golden!
L

letget on July 15, 2010 at 3:41 PM

White House economist Larry Summers means that every $1 of government spending will yield roughly $1.50 in higher GDP

Why did we only spend $1 Trillion with this type of return on investment?????

WashJeff on July 15, 2010 at 3:42 PM

All of these White House jobs estimates are based on the increasingly discredited Keynesian spending “multiplier,” which according to White House economist Larry Summers means that every $1 of government spending will yield roughly $1.50 in higher GDP.

I really like this “Keynesian multiplier” business. Wait until I tell my wife that for every dollar we spend, we’ll get $1.50 back. We’ll call it “spending our way to wealth.”

Only a Dem political hack could spout this kind of bullsh*t and not be taken away in a straitjacket.

Cicero43 on July 15, 2010 at 3:43 PM

It really is as bad as soviet era propaganda. No foolin’, what next, a report on the red-hot housing sector? Maybe an announcement of 5% unemployment? Seriously, with lies this big, this transparent, and this desperate- why not just go whole hog and say what you really wished reality was.

abobo on July 15, 2010 at 3:43 PM

By the way, I’m now inaugurating the Keynes Asset Appreciation Fund. Send me your money, I’ll spend it, and the returns will be stupendous.

Cicero43 on July 15, 2010 at 3:44 PM

That’s a chart only Captain Kickass and Sergeant Smartass could spin into victory.

Them 2 say whatever General Sor-@$$ tells them to say

macncheez on July 15, 2010 at 3:44 PM

This reminds me of Baghdad Bob.

Eichendorff on July 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Exactly . . . Obama is the epitome of Baghdad Bob. The spooky part is that his mindless followers actually believe him.

rplat on July 15, 2010 at 3:45 PM

“There are no American troops in Baghdad” – Bob

“The stimulus work, there is no economic crisis” – Barry

Fools think…and talk alike

Cookies Mom on July 15, 2010 at 3:45 PM

“There are no American troops in Baghdad” – Bob

“The stimulus work, there is no economic crisis” – Barry

Fools think…and talk alike

Cookies Mom on July 15, 2010 at 3:45 PM

I did not have.. with that woman ….-Billy

macncheez on July 15, 2010 at 3:47 PM

There is a multiplier all right. Borrowed money has to be repaid WITH INTEREST.

flyfisher on July 15, 2010 at 3:48 PM

If they keep this nonsense up, not only will Our Nation flip the house and senate, but will also look to impeach this lying bastige.

Key West Reader on July 15, 2010 at 3:49 PM

I was just watching Modern Marvels on the History Channel, two episodes in their Engineering Disasters series. The stimulus bill, indeed all of the big agenda items pushed by the Democrats, remind me of those shows. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

flataffect on July 15, 2010 at 3:51 PM

I’m starting to wonder…..

Does the (D) after their names actually stand for “delusional?”

Or maybe dumba$$
Or dipshi+

UltimateBob on July 15, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Transparently liars.

rbj on July 15, 2010 at 3:52 PM

The only people who believe that Porkulus saved 3 million jobs are …

people who think Obama will pay their mortgage
people who think Obama will fill their car with gas
people who think Obama has a stash

txhsmom on July 15, 2010 at 3:56 PM

OT the oil has stopped flowing.

upinak on July 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM

While bozo and posse are busy patting themselves on the back the DoL reports today that in unadjusted numbers, over a half million people filed initial claims for unemployment last week.

The number might actually be higher, since it was a holiday week and also the biggest vacation week of the year.

Regarding teh Keynesian GDP model (which is total horse dip, btw) Others have suggested that a dollar of Government spending which takes capital out of the private sector actually only gets a fraction of the value.

January 1 all the new taxes, regs and paperwork kick in, effectively finishing off the economy and any hope of work.

dogsoldier on July 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM

OT the oil has stopped flowing.

upinak on July 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Captain Kickass to take credit in 3, 2, 1….

Brat on July 15, 2010 at 4:03 PM

The only reason these losers lie is they know no one will call them on it.

tarpon on July 15, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I was just watching Modern Marvels on the History Channel, two episodes in their Engineering Disasters series. The stimulus bill, indeed all of the big agenda items pushed by the Democrats, remind me of those shows. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

If we can get the right “Engineers” on it after it happens, they MIGHT be able to figure out how to prevent this from happening again. Yeah, I know I’m dreaming…..

TeresainFortWorth on July 15, 2010 at 4:04 PM

OT the oil has stopped flowing.

upinak on July 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Because of the drilling moratorium no doubt. No more oil from the Gulf! ;-)

WashJeff on July 15, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Ed’s Ski Jump Graph is soon to be as famous as the Hockey Stick Graph.

ButterflyDragon on July 15, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Is it me, or has Kick ass, and Dumbass’s noses gotten bigger, from all the lying?

capejasmine on July 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM

The only people who believe that Porkulus saved 3 million jobs are …

The million and half or so “existentially challenged” Americans who voted for Obama. This claim is so ridiculous that even some of his imaginary supporters aren’t buying it.

year_of_the_dingo on July 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Lying by Obama just helps people that will run against him have better campaign ads. And the court allows corporations to buy ads.
Will Obama include numbers of jobs killed by fishing and drilling blockades as jobs lost?

seven on July 15, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Patholigical liars.

Last year the 2 carmakers were plunged into bankruptcy. Closed. At the same time Biden chirps about automotive jobs saved. He also ignored jobs destroyed by shuttering car dealers.

seven on July 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM

War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
Millions of Lost Jobs are Millions of Saved Jobs.

Edouard on July 15, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Notice how the house moderator, obviously a Democrat, tried to shut down Pence with ‘your time has expired’. No way that the Dems want the public to hear the truth about their failed stimulus bill.

docdave on July 15, 2010 at 4:20 PM

They don’t believe it either….but hey, what else have they got??

BigWyo on July 15, 2010 at 4:24 PM

The Obama administration’s lies about “creating/saving” jobs isn’t fooling the American people. All you have to do is drive around and see all the empty stores/businesses. WE know it’s a presidential bold-faced lie.

We can’t turn this economy around as long as the Democrats keep spending on bullcrappy bills like the FAILED STIMULUS.

TN Mom on July 15, 2010 at 4:26 PM

The only people who believe that Porkulus saved 3 million jobs are …

Punch lines, anyone? This could be good.

College Prof on July 15, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Allow me:

“The stimulus is lost”

Stimulus makes us sick, the nanny state makes us sick, it’s ruining our country, it’s ruining our world.”

“Now I believe, myself, that the director of OMB, the secretary of the treasury and you have to make your own decision as to what the president knows: that this recovery is lost, that the stimulus is not accomplishing anything,”

Future quotes from the Sen. Majority leader?

BobMbx on July 15, 2010 at 4:40 PM

The graph looks like an elephant in profile. Omen?

DarkCurrent on July 15, 2010 at 5:09 PM

We’re going to SPEND our way to prosperity! THIS IS “The Summer of Recovery!” YOU WILL BELIEVE!

The Obamassiah has said so. What the Obamassiah says BECOMES fact!

GarandFan on July 15, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Paging Joe Wilson. Paging Representative Joe Wilson.

fogw on July 15, 2010 at 5:27 PM

All of these White House jobs estimates are based on the increasingly discredited Keynesian spending “multiplier,” which according to White House economist Larry Summers means that every $1 of government spending will yield roughly $1.50 in higher GDP.

Insanity.

CWforFreedom on July 15, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Ed’s using the red star graph again … unexpectedly!

ya2daup on July 15, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Liars are liars. We understand liars. We can deal with liars.

The more frighting wonderment would be if they all actually believe what they are saying.

Yoop on July 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

I do like the WSJ, at least they haven’t sold out to the left and the Obama Admin but the only thing I have to say about the revelation that Captain Kickass and Captain Smart Ass are the only ones that believe Porkulus saved 3 million jobs is:

NO SHITTE SHERLOCK, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CLUE WATSON?

Liberty or Death on July 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM

I think John McCain put it best:

“The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

Planet Moron on July 15, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Went to the hardware store today and it was a ghost town. Recovery summer my ass. In fact, I went and pulled another large chunk of emergency cash out after that.

jukin on July 15, 2010 at 6:31 PM

The only people who believe that Porkulus saved 3 million jobs are …

My two year old niece, she can count to POTATO.

jukin on July 15, 2010 at 6:34 PM

HA HA Ha Ed stop my sides are hurting!! Captian Kickass and Seargent Smartass Bwahahahahaha !!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

sonnyspats1 on July 15, 2010 at 7:17 PM

From that angle, looks like Biden’s moniker should be ‘Testicle Boy.’

wkgdyw on July 15, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Sergeant Smartass? Don’t you mean Sergeant Dork?

andycanuck on July 16, 2010 at 12:21 AM