Uh, sure, just like Christine Romer predicted that Porkulus would prevent unemployment from hitting a stratospheric 8.8%. And, of course, it did — it’s now up to 9.4% and rising and we have $800 billion more debt on our hands. Never mind the earlier missed predictions, Barack Obama says, and get ready for Stimu-Jobs!
Eager to show action on the ailing economy, President Barack Obama promised Monday to speed federal money into hundreds of public works projects this summer, vowing that 600,000 jobs will be created or saved.
Surrounded by his Cabinet, Obama emphasized what has become a dominant issue of public concern — an economy that keeps bleeding jobs — on the day after returning from a week of diplomacy and sightseeing in the Middle East and Europe.
He concentrated in his remarks on the billions of dollars from a taxpayer-funded plan that will be disbursed this summer, although much what he was described was already in the works, spurring new debate about just how much the $787 billion stimulus plan is helping so far.
When Nancy Pelosi locked Republicans out of the Porkulus drafting process, the GOP instead told the media that massive government projects would not create jobs in the near term, nor would it stimulate the economy quickly enough to keep unemployment from skyrocketing. In response, the Obama administration and the Democrats promised that they would expedite the cash to the projects, and that Republican tax-cut proposals would not work as well to get private industry hiring, presumably because employers would sit on the sidelines while the economy tanked. They insisted on pushing through the massive spending plan in February instead of focusing on keeping capital in the market.
Give the AP’s Brett Blackledge some credit here. He at least wonders aloud whether the stimulus has worked as promised. The employment numbers should have proven that it hasn’t, since joblessness has far exceeded the White House predictions with a stimulus in place. The US is heading for double-digit unemployment, and thus far the only significant hiring the Porkulus bill has produced is several thousand temporary Census workers.
Mike Pence, meanwhile, points out in a press release that Obama has already run through $112 billion with no job creation in sight:
Fiction: When he signed the stimulus, President Obama said that the legislation “will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.”
Reality: According to the Administration, $112 billion from the stimulus has been spent or obligated so far. Assuming that the President’s unsubstantiated claim that the legislation has saved 150,000 is correct, each job saved by the first $112 billion in stimulus spending cost $746,600. At that rate, the entire stimulus would “save” 1 million jobs—far less than the 1.6 million lost since the stimulus was signed. At a total cost of $787 billion, that is a net loss of at least 600,000 jobs.
So a gain of 600,000 jobs at this point would just bring us to break-even — a rather expensive status quo ante, even assuming for the sake of argument that the administration’s right.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for those jobs, and certainly don’t expect the media to ask Obama to accurately document them.