New Obama metric: “Jobs supported”

posted at 2:45 pm on October 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Old and busted: Jobs “saved or created.”  New hotness: Jobs “supported.”  In attempting to advance the argument for Barack Obama’s new jobs stimulus plan, the White House has decided to create a new term that has, er, even less meaning than their previous measure:

The American Jobs Act Will Support Nearly 400,000 Education Jobs—Preventing Layoffs and Allowing Thousands More to Be Hired or Rehired: The President’s plan will more than offset projected layoffs, providing support for nearly 400,000 education jobs—enough for states to avoid harmful layoffs and rehire tens of thousands of teachers who lost their jobs over the past three years.

How exactly did the White House come up with its new metric?  Chuck Blahous gives us a detailed analysis of exactly how they crafted this measure to be, well, unmeasurable:

To start the process of estimating educator jobs at risk, the Administration refers to a June, 2011 paper by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (a left-of-center think tank). This paper quantifies recent and projected shortfalls in state budgets.

The Administration then makes various assumptions about how the projected shortfalls would be filled. In effect, they assume first that shortfalls would be filled by a combination of tax increases and spending reductions, and then that spending cuts would be applied proportionally across all categories including education. As the Administration materials state, “These spending reduction numbers were then converted into estimates of educator jobs at risk based on estimates of average teacher compensation by state. These calculations implied that, if spending reductions had their full negative impact on education staffing, up to 280,000 educator jobs across the country would be at risk in the 2011-2012 school year.”

The Administration then points to $30 billion in spending contained in the proposed American Jobs Act. The purpose of this spending, as specified in the bill text, is to “prevent teacher layoffs and support the creation of additional jobs in public early childhood, elementary, and secondary education in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.”

Does this give readers a sense of deja vu?  The block grants in Porkulus also assumed that states would simply lay off teachers and first responders as a result of large-scale budget deficits in the throes of the Great Recession.  That’s where jobs “saved and created” originated; Obama and his team meant public-sector employees in states and local governments.  Only those organizations employ a lot more people than just teachers, police officers, and fire fighters; most states have vast bureaucracies that ended up getting “saved” thanks to the infusion of cash that allowed legislatures to put off tough decisions on the size and nature of government during the economic crisis.

Well, the acute economic crisis is over.  What’s the excuse for procrastination now?  Instead of having the states take responsibility for tough budget decisions, Obama wants to let states like Illinois and California off the hook by forcing other states to subsidize their bad budgeting decisions.  Why?  Take a look at the recent history of the Electoral College for one reason, and the fact that most of these bureaucrats belong to public-employee unions like SEIU and AFCSME for another reason.  That’s what Obama is “supporting.”  Let’s recall the extensive reporting in 2009 that showed that jobs “saved or created” were a myth, even in the public sector:

At the time, I called these “Porkulus fables,” and it looks like jobs “supported” will be the newest addition to the Obama pantheon of mythical creatures.  Blahous explains why:

First, the initial assumption made is that in the absence of these federal appropriations, states would make no effort to prioritize education spending relative to across-the-board budget cuts. Federal funding is to be credited with “supporting” any “job at risk” that is not lost, without accounting for displacement effects. In the real world, however, the presence or absence of external funding for a particular spending priority will have enormous spillover effects upon the tough decisions states and localities must otherwise make to operate within existing budget constraints.

Second, this foundational assumption clashes with empirical results like those shown in Figure 4 of the Administration paper – in which local education employment is seen to plummet virtually at the precise moment that the 2009 Recovery Act’s funds are reportedly supporting education job retention. Advocates will naturally say that “without the funds, the employment decline would have been much worse.” This could well be true to a significant extent, but just as with the “jobs created or saved” claims this is essentially being assumed rather than demonstrated.

Third, there are some conspicuous gaps in the chain of reasoning. The basic logic is that teacher layoffs are driven by state budget shortfalls; funding provided to states/localities under the jobs bill would therefore prevent future layoffs and allow rehires of those previously let go. But the Administration’s state-by-state projections of education jobs “supported” doesn’t fully comport with this representation. For example, the original CBPP paper shows no shortfalls for either Montana or North Dakota in any of fiscal years 2009-13. Yet the Administration document shows a (small) number of jobs “supported” in each of those states under their proposals. This makes little sense if state budgeting shortfalls are indeed the source of all of the education “jobs at risk.”

The biggest problem is that even if numbers of “jobs at risk” were correct, this would tell us nothing about the desirability of the Administration’s proposed policy response. The figures presented effectively describe a set of assumptions about state budgets; they carry no hard information about the efficacy of the AJA.  And so we are left with a number that draws no clear connection between the policy advocated and the results claimed. By this same standard, virtually any advocate could reasonably claim that an opposing approach to funding education at the state level would “support nearly 400,000 jobs” – almost irrespective of the specific policy. For evaluating the relative merit of policy alternatives, this is not illuminating.

The cost per job supported comes in right at $75,000 per job, too — which sounds like about the average compensation level for public-sector employees when counting overhead.  This presumes that the program has no overhead costs of its own, and I suspect it will resemble the “saved or created” metric in that the only proof of the jobs being “supported” will be the fact that the money got spent.  As the series of Porkulus fables proved, that assumption failed badly with “saved or created,” and there’s no reason to believe it will work any better with “jobs supported.”

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Like they say in Brooklyn, I got yer support right here..

Face it El Presidente Downgrade, it’s your Recession (or Depression) you Boned it, you own it!

Chip on October 13, 2011 at 2:49 PM

It’s the great liberal way of meeting goals by lowering the bar instead of rising to meet the goals.

reaganaut on October 13, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Does this give readers a sense of deja vu?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa6J7-6PlK0

mankai on October 13, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Wow! All we needed was a new catch phrase? Creating jobs is way easier than anyone ever thought. Why, oh why didn’t they try this before?

Oh, wait…

Lily on October 13, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Obama wants to let states like Illinois and California off the hook by forcing other states to subsidize their bad budgeting decisions.

Pay up suckers. We have a balanced budget amendment in the IL constitution that must be adhered to (right tea partiers?). So Uncle Sugar needs to pony up to make IL budget balance.

WashJeff on October 13, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Too bad those GOP’ers don’t know how to “support” a job – (whatever our new troll’s name is).

lorien1973 on October 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM

“These spending reduction numbers were then converted into estimates of educator jobs at risk based on estimates of average teacher compensation by state. These calculations implied that, if spending reductions had their full negative impact on education staffing, up to 280,000 educator jobs across the country would be at risk in the 2011-2012 school year.”

What a pile of dog doo-doo.

peski on October 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM

This guy is truly amazing in his arrogance. He said “if you elect me, I will create millions of jobs”. Then when he couldn’t do that, he said, “I’ve saved or created millions of jobs”. NOW, he’s been relegated to a job “support” role. If I changed my work objectives like this and reported back to my bosses, well, I guess I’d be doing something else. BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE FIRED ME FOR GROSS NEGLIGENCE, DERELICTION OF DUTY, AND GROSS INCOMPETENCE.

HomeoftheBrave on October 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM

So,Hopey is now in Teacher Crisis Mode!!

canopfor on October 13, 2011 at 2:55 PM

The only job Barry is interested in supporting is his own.

Christien on October 13, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Jobs envisioned.

John the Libertarian on October 13, 2011 at 2:57 PM

The Axeltards of Chitown copiously focus-group-tested the “mutual support” meme by watching the unwashed Occutards on Wall Street.

Western_Civ on October 13, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Does this give readers a sense of deja vu?

More like a sense of f_ck you…

karl9000 on October 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

I’m surprised they haven’t counted a job as supported if they calculate a teacher heard one of his speeches and liked it.

GardenGnome on October 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Next up: “jobs imagined”

Chuck Schick on October 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

If I changed my work objectives like this and reported back to my bosses, well, I guess I’d be doing something else. BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE FIRED ME FOR GROSS NEGLIGENCE, DERELICTION OF DUTY, AND GROSS INCOMPETENCE.

HomeoftheBrave on October 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Not if you had a goonion job.

Western_Civ on October 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

What a Jock-Strap…

PatriotRider on October 13, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Next up: “jobs imagined”

Chuck Schick on October 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Winner

faraway on October 13, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Aw, hell, we’re wasting time here!
Let’s just cut to “Duuhhh” and be done with it!

AllBS News:
“Mr. President , what will your Jobs Bill® do?”

Prezdint Toonces:
“Duuhh”

AllBS News:
“Dreamy! The Bestest Preznit Evah!”

VelvetElvis on October 13, 2011 at 3:07 PM

This won’t work. “Jobs supported” is such a vague phrase, it’s meaningless. It’s not exactly catchy or memorable.

INC on October 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM

A pack of lies.

forest on October 13, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Oh gads now they will have to change all the signs on the highway that has no one working to ‘jobs supported’? What a total crock!
L

letget on October 13, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Next up: “jobs imagined”

Chuck Schick on October 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

That pretty much summarizes Obama’s Green Energy initiatives, for starters. The very notion of “jobs supported” is so ridiculously phony I can’t believe even Obama is going for it.

jwolf on October 13, 2011 at 3:12 PM

I love the new terminology because it more accurately represents what this administration is all about. It supports certain kinds of jobs and doesn’t support others. So, Mr. President, congratulations for supporting 400,000 jobs. With about 200 million people in the work force in this country, it’s nice to know just how few of those people have your support.

Selkirk on October 13, 2011 at 3:14 PM

But wait…there’s more:

The American Jobs Act will also support healthy prostate function and help with that stubborn belly fat.

trapeze on October 13, 2011 at 3:19 PM

‘Jobs supported’ is at least getting closer to the truth.
Perhaps soon, they’ll just come right out and say ‘unions supported’ and get it over with.

pambi on October 13, 2011 at 3:20 PM

New Obama metric: “Jobs supported”

So, it’s confirmed. Government stimulus is nothing more than life support for jobs and programs that would otherwise be dead under a free market system.

UltimateBob on October 13, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Gotta give ‘em credit, they arealways thinkin’.

Tim Zank on October 13, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Liberal/Democrat/Progressive/Socialist policies may have different names, but the results are always the same.

Right, Carter/Obama?

VibrioCocci on October 13, 2011 at 3:28 PM

For all the taxes we pay we deserve better propaganda that this.

GaltBlvnAtty on October 13, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Next metric: Jobs Imagined.

Paul-Cincy on October 13, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Reminds me of when Obama was bragging about how his policies will enable business’s to take out loans so that they can finance their payroll…..

….just more Keynesian failure from President downgrade.

Baxter Greene on October 13, 2011 at 3:37 PM

“than this”. Sorry

GaltBlvnAtty on October 13, 2011 at 3:39 PM

American Dream Jobs Act of 2011

Lily on October 13, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Next up: “jobs imagined”

Chuck Schick on October 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

If they get enough “jobs imagined” there will be 100% employment. Brilliant!

Vince on October 13, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Oh Ed.

You know full well that Jesus (insert The One) spoke in parables so that the “common people” (insert union members) could understand Him while the Pharisees (insert millionaires and billionaires) were completely flummoxed.

Mr_Magoo on October 13, 2011 at 3:55 PM

This is the classic example of how temporary spending becomes permanent entitlements.

djaymick on October 13, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Next step: “Hobbies acknowledged.”

SickofLibs on October 13, 2011 at 3:58 PM

This is the classic example of how temporary spending becomes permanent entitlements.

djaymick on October 13, 2011 at 3:55 PM

True dat! That and limitless unemployment benefits. Why? Because we like you! M-O-U-S-E!

Mr_Magoo on October 13, 2011 at 4:00 PM

it’s so laughable, it’s sad.

holiday dinner is going to be a slaughter this year.

bloghooligan on October 13, 2011 at 4:05 PM

In one sense, the terminology is very accurate though.

We are supporting those jobs, when the only jobs Obozo can “create” are public sector.

KMC1 on October 13, 2011 at 4:11 PM

How about “Jobs Thought About”? We could come up with a whole list of Obamisms

TulsAmerican on October 13, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Old and busted: Jobs “saved or created.” New hotness: Jobs “supported.”

In Soviet Russ…er, Soviet ObamiNation, every worker works for the sta…er, feds.

I love the new terminology because it more accurately represents what this administration is all about. It supports certain kinds of jobs and doesn’t support others. So, Mr. President, congratulations for supporting 400,000 jobs. With about 200 million people in the work force in this country, it’s nice to know just how few of those people have your support.

Selkirk on October 13, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Comment of the Day™. In the ObamiNation, no kicky, no washee.

Steve Eggleston on October 13, 2011 at 4:49 PM

The American Jobs Act Will Support Nearly 400,000 Education Jobs—Preventing Layoffs and Allowing Thousands More to Be Hired or Rehired:

It will do nothing of the sort. Every school system is now in session and have the teachers they need to get the job done. Lay off notices, if any, don’t come generally until Feb – Apr time frame depending upon the state. So this won’t change the dynamic any in terms of lay offs.

chemman on October 13, 2011 at 5:41 PM

“My administration has saved, created, supported, conceptualized, nurtured, projected, anticipated, contemplated, planned, predicted, or envisioned over 50 million jobs.”

Not only can they take credit for any number of jobs in this manner, it makes them sound busier, too. It works perfectly as long as they don’t mind looking like liars and idiots – and the evidence suggests they don’t.

Cara C on October 13, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Are you f-ing kidding me?

LOL, c’mon, can they be more pathetic? Please, someone – anyone – defend this as reasonable. Where are the usual libtards; crr6, bayam, dave rywall, etc?

*Please* tell us this is perfectly sane so I can laugh in your f-ing ridiculous face…

Midas on October 13, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Hey guys….
Remember the old days when teachers, firemen and police were hired and paid by the local community, or at most, at the state level?

Yeah, those were good times, Good Times.

LegendHasIt on October 13, 2011 at 11:14 PM

this country has been supporting this racist moron for way to long.
And BTW. Does anyone know what this jackass does for a hobby?

pat on October 14, 2011 at 2:07 AM

He supported Jobs. He bought an iPhone.

{o,O}

herself on October 14, 2011 at 4:50 AM

Somewhere, George Orwell is having a hearty laugh.

What will the Government Advertising Department, er, Obama White House think of next?

dissent555 on October 14, 2011 at 9:06 AM

And of course if the media questioned him on the silliness (not that they ever would), he’d call them “Mitt Romney’s spokesman.”

The guy is the biggest disaster in American political history.

kevinkristy on October 14, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Looky here… Unicorn Stylist. Must have own invisible shears… Oh man, I had to pawn my invisible shears to help pay for the elfin teachers union pancake breakfast. Now I’ll never get work in this kingdom.

2Tru2Tru on October 14, 2011 at 1:18 PM

And another obama slogan goes down the cr@pper. Are we ‘winning the future’ yet?

maryo on October 14, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Jobs “supported”. lol. and by September of 12′ if not sooner, it’ll be “jobs hammocked or uh..”, I didn’t know you were the spokesperson for (?), Jake. So PLEASE keep on sniping at the Msm, Barry, because they make you, to break you. Just ask Senator John “my friends” McCain.

Teddy on October 14, 2011 at 5:19 PM

How many jobs can dance on the head of a unicorns horn?

hepcat on October 14, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Sounds pretty close to jobs saved….almost like they are admitting they didn’t create a single job.

clement on October 14, 2011 at 6:04 PM