Former WH economist: Unemployment won’t drop below 8% before 2013

posted at 12:45 pm on August 16, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Remember Jared Bernstein?  Barack Obama brought him on board the transition team as one of his economic advisers, which produced the stimulus proposal asking for $775 billion in order to keep joblessness below 8%.  In fact, that prediction reportedly came from Bernstein himself.  CNS News caught up with Bernstein yesterday, who admits that perhaps that prediction wasn’t very good:

The White House economic adviser who determined in 2009 that if President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill were passed unemployment would not go above 8 percent, now says he was wrong and that he does not think unemployment will go below 8 percent before the end of 2012–the last year of the four-year Obama won in 2008. …

“Look, we made that projection back in 2008 at a time when the most recent information about the economy was that it was contracting at a rate of less than 1 percent,” Bernstein said. “At the time, we simply didn’t have good information. We now know with revised data that in the very quarter where we made that wrong projection, the economy was contracting at almost 9 percent.”

“So the statistics were way off at the time,” Bernstein continued. “It’s also the case that that forecast that we gave back then was the consensus forecast of the economics community. I mean, it wasn’t just that we were wrong. Everyone was wrong. And I think it’s largely because we just didn’t have a clear picture yet of how bad this recession actually was going to be.”

Seriously? That report got published in January, not October. The collapse of the economy was not just well-known, it was used by the incoming Obama administration to demand nearly $800 billion in emergency spending. The White House certainly knew that the US was losing 700,000 jobs a month, not the kind of job destruction one finds in a -1.0% GDP quarter. Anyone who didn’t recognize by January that we were in a deep hole has no credibility on economic projections at all.

The belated admission that their joblessness projections, which were hardly corrected in the White House’s political arguments, won’t help Obama make an argument for economic stewardship. However, that’s been obvious during the last 30 months with or without Bernstein’s confession.

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So we can’t expect any economic recovery unless/until Obummer is ousted? Wow, what a revelation.

…or not…if you know anyone running a business.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM

The Tea Party terrorists are causing this.

faraway on August 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM

“Sorry about that, now will you taxpayers pay the $850 billion tab, I need to get home.”

Bishop on August 16, 2011 at 12:49 PM

I would love nothing more than to have every prediction that the economy is going to just crater and keep on digging be thrown completely back with the election of a new president. It would definitively hang this garbage on Obama for good.

John_Locke on August 16, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Law of diminishing returns.

technopeasant on August 16, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Bernstien, the original GoldmanSach’s hack.

upinak on August 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Former WH economist is unexpectedly stupid and out of touch with the real world.

search4truth on August 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Why does Bernstein hate America?

Doesn’t he know Obama inherited a recession?

Good Lt on August 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

“At the time, we simply didn’t have good information.”

Oh, hey. So let’s just throw out some random-ass number.

nickj116 on August 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

This why public opinion of Congress is so bad. There is a growing perception that these guys literally don’t know what they are doing when they finally DO get something done. A trillion dollars in borrowed money for nothing at all.

Mord on August 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

welcome to the real world…

cmsinaz on August 16, 2011 at 12:51 PM

The Stimulus package was not big enough and we need to pass another ASAP.

…….my crazy libtard neighbors

Knucklehead on August 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM

at a time when the most recent information about the economy was ….

W’s administration was saying basically the same about about WMD but the lsm wouldn’t take it as an answer…no way, no how…now, they’ll acccept it as gospel….

cmsinaz on August 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM

It never would have gone above 8% had we borrowed $800 Quadrillion dollars and given it to the unions.

/krugman

mankai on August 16, 2011 at 12:54 PM

stimulus proposal asking for $775 billion

Grand Theft Zero

faraway on August 16, 2011 at 12:54 PM

The only people who make a living predicting the future accurately are bookies.

Let that sink in.

Akzed on August 16, 2011 at 12:54 PM

at a time when the most recent racist information about the economy was that…

 
FIFY

rogerb on August 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM

OH I SEE. . .

They had bad information about the economy when they made the projection about unemployment and Porkulus.

So now, we can say that “they lied”, right? Isn’t that how it works?

Bernstein lied, 401k’s died!?!?

FTR – There were WMD’s in Iraq, we confiscated literally tons upon tons of them.

Jason Coleman on August 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

The only reason he didn’t say “it’s Bush’s fault” was because Obama has copyrighted that phrase and he didn’t want to have to pay royalties.

Extrafishy on August 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

But, but, Barry has a plan…. He says so… He’s going to drop it on Congress when they get their lazy ass.s back… He will save us all..Jobs for everyone…

sandee on August 16, 2011 at 1:01 PM

8%? They keep throwing out that number. Let’s get real…I doubt unemployment will be below 10% anytime soon.

It’s like the 12 million illegal aliens we have in this country or the 40 million without healthcare. Lies Lies Lies!

Ditkaca on August 16, 2011 at 1:05 PM

“At the time, we simply didn’t have good information.”

Oh, hey. So let’s just throw out some random-ass number.

nickj116 on August 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

There’s never good information from the government. It’s why central planning fails every time.

Not that this was about turning the economy around, anyway. They thought they could pay off their base with the $800 Billion reward and take credit when the economy turned around on it’s own, like it always seemed to do before. Oops.

Greg Toombs on August 16, 2011 at 1:06 PM

The Obama Recession, you bone it you own it.

Chip on August 16, 2011 at 1:06 PM

ONE PERSON needs to be fired.

PappyD61 on August 16, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Now according to crr6, Ed is promoting the lies\misinformation.

You have a low level of expectations. Even Obama said we would be below 8 percent unemployment.

Nice work./

CW on August 11, 2011 at 5:53 PM

CW,

That’s news to me. Would you mind sharing a link where Obama said that?

Thanks.

crr6 on August 11, 2011 at 5:55 PM

WashJeff on August 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Well, he was, um, wrong once…He COULD be wrong twice, no?

Sincerely,

President Obama

GoodSamaritan on August 16, 2011 at 1:14 PM

In this guy’s defense, no one could have predicted Obama’s bad luck…

BlueCollarAstronaut on August 16, 2011 at 1:14 PM

How about we have a moratorium on the EPA enforcing any new regulations until after the unemployment rate drops below 6%.

agmartin on August 16, 2011 at 1:14 PM

8%? They keep throwing out that number. Let’s get real…I doubt unemployment will be below 10% anytime soon.

Ditkaca on August 16, 2011 at 1:05 PM

I just applied for 7 jobs I am eminently qualified for. I get a callback for about every 20 I submit.

Lanceman on August 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

ONE PERSON needs to be fired.

PappyD61 on August 16, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Or resign…

That is, IF he really cared about the people and the country.

Chip on August 16, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Now according to crr6, Ed is promoting the lies\misinformation.

WashJeff on August 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Oh, come on! The curdog ain’t never was really all ‘there’.

You might say there’s no ‘there’ there.

Lanceman on August 16, 2011 at 1:19 PM

I just applied for 7 jobs I am eminently qualified for. I get a callback for about every 20 I submit.

Lanceman on August 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

You’re lucky. My ratio is 1/30, and that’s for jobs that a decently-programmed robot could do nowadays.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM

You might say there’s no ‘there’ there.

Lanceman on August 16, 2011 at 1:19 PM

There is comedy there, though.

WashJeff on August 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

this is rachel maddow’s favorite economist whom she lovingly refers to as professor.

and of course, he goes on and on about how cutting spending now would be a catastrophe.

stuck on stupid.

DrW on August 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Doesn’t this sound familiar?

We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work … After eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started … And an enormous debt to boot!

Henry Morgenthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary

Chip on August 16, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Well, I guess it’s time for the Department of Better Information, then.

SlaveDog on August 16, 2011 at 1:29 PM

That’s such old news!

Get over it.

We have NEW promises to sustain us…

PatriotRider on August 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

I just applied for 7 jobs I am eminently qualified for. I get a callback for about every 20 I submit.

Lanceman on August 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Good luck!!! I hope you get something good soon! Don’t give up!

Ditkaca on August 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Count It!!!!!

–crr6

UltimateBob on August 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

“was the consensus forecast of the economics community”
Is this the same consensus group think that got us global warming…I mean climate change. If you can’t dazzle with your brillance baffle with BS….

jimwesty on August 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM

“We had no idea how bad the economy was, and we constantly have to revise our picture of that, but we have no trouble at all saying very precisely that the stimulus created 3.5 million jobs!”

Yeah, right.

Chuckles3 on August 16, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Give him a break; he couldn’t have known there would be a tsunami in Japan which has, of course, caused our modest little recession.

Dhuka on August 16, 2011 at 2:08 PM

What he is admitting is this: They cannot possibly fake the numbers down that far in time to make Failbama appear to have succeeded.

We all know the labor force is not actually contracting. We have in fact more and more people every month as the population grows.

It is not reasonable to arbitrarily remove people from the labor force because they have become politically inconvenient, that is they haven’t found work in nearly two years. The administrations definition of those in the labor force does not match that of the American People. Ours is an apolitical definition. Theirs is not.

There are no jobs and we have fewer and fewer every week, thanks to the Man of Fail and his clown posse.

Youngstown State University puts the actual unemplyment rate at 29%

Shadowstats has it at approximately 25%

http://cwcs.ysu.edu/resources/cwcs-projects/defacto

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/06/unemployment-during-great-depression.html

dogsoldier on August 16, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Everyone was wrong.

Yeah, sure. “Smartest administration, evah! We’re going to hit the ground running!”

Yeah.

GarandFan on August 16, 2011 at 3:06 PM

However, that’s been obvious during the last 30
months with or without Bernstein’s confession.

It has been obvious to some of us since the summer of 2008 when it became obvious that Obama would be elected.

burt on August 16, 2011 at 4:09 PM

I’m more curious what the gainfully employed number will be…

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

We’re at 58.1% right now; lowest number since the 1983 recession… or a 25+ year low point for employment.

And it’s much harder to “trick” the number when you’re looking at employed people instead of picking which unemployed you’ll count and which don’t really count.

Of course the government doesn’t use this number; you can’t fake a “recovery” when the employed percentage keeps dropping. You need a number you can gimmick into looking higher so you can claim things are better… so some people will fall for it.

gekkobear on August 17, 2011 at 1:47 PM