Happy First Birthday “Stimulus”!

The “stimulus” worked exactly as intended. What, you didn’t think it was supposed to create jobs, did you?

/Michael Ramirez

Why Defend The Failed Stimulus?

Recovery: Is the president right when he says the stimulus kept the U.S. from falling into a depression? No. In fact, too much government tinkering and spending, not too little, has given us the jobless recovery we have now.

Democrats in charge of both the White House and Congress are firing all their guns at once to tout the benefits of the $862 billion stimulus package passed a year ago this week. They’ve even planned a 35-city tour to support it. Their message?

“One year later, it is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is no longer a possibility,” President Obama said Wednesday. The stimulus act has created 2 million jobs, he claimed, predicting 1.5 million more this year from the program.

Is it just a coincidence that the 3.5 million jobs he is claiming is exactly what the White House predicted early last year? We doubt it. But whatever the case, Obama’s claims are false.

Start with this: Stimulus didn’t save us from an economic cataclysm. Obama himself said so back in March, noting that the economy was “not as bad as we think,” and that he was “highly optimistic.” It’s clear he didn’t think we were on the brink of a Depression.

He was right. In an editorial at the time, we pointed to 13 separate economic indicators signaling an imminent economic recovery — with all of them flashing before the stimulus was in place.

We knew at the time that our resilient private economy would climb out of its hole, and that politicians would try to claim credit. That’s why we wrote: “No politician who voted for these job- and growth-killing measures should claim any credit for our eventual rebound.” Following Wednesday’s fact-bending dog-and-pony show, we think that bears repeating.

The claim that stimulus has “created or saved” 2 million jobs is complete fiction. It rests on the obviously false idea that money can be taken from the productive private sector and given to the nonproductive public sector and create a net gain in jobs.

Based on the imaginary existence of a so-called “Keynesian multiplier,” this kind of thinking hypothesizes jobs that don’t really exist. Sadly, when we count actual jobs, the reality is a bit starker: 8.4 million jobs lost since December 2007, the start of the recession. And more than 4 million lost since the start of 2009.

So when Vice President Biden says Americans are “getting their money’s worth” from stimulus, it should be treated as a punch line — not a policy view.

Hey “Gordon Gecko” Obama, why do you need to wreck this country?

/because it’s wreckable, alright!

Friday Night Obama Not Good Economic News Dump

Yes siree Bob, this country’s economic future is in the very best of hands.

Stimulus Math: $533,000 Per Job Saved or Created?

With the release of some hard data, the effects of the first wave of President Obama’s stimulus program are now observable. Businesses receiving federal contracts participating in the program reported creating or saving more than 30,383 jobs in the first months of the program, based on less than $16 billion in federal contracts.

ProPublica has done some basic math on the program so far, and calculated scenarios that shed light on the value proposition as outlined by the Obama administration. Following is the ProPublica analysis by Christopher Flavelle:

On Thursday, the government released a flood of data about the stimulus, showing how 9,000 federal contractors spent their stimulus dollars — including the value of the contract, each project’s status, and how much each of the contractor’s five highest-paid officers were paid.

But when it came to presenting that data, Recovery.gov, the government’s official site for stimulus information, highlighted one number in particular, posting it on the site’s main page in large font: “JOBS CREATED/SAVED AS REPORTED BY FEDERAL CONTRACT RECIPIENTS: 30,383.” To make extra certain of getting viewers’ attention, the number itself appears in bright green.

As the economy continues to shed jobs , it’s easy to see why the administration is keen to highlight the number of jobs created by the stimulus. When the numbers were released, Jared Bernstein, the administration’s chief economist, said the job count “exceeds our projections,” adding that it supported the conclusion “that the Recovery Act did indeed create or save about 1 million jobs in its first seven months.”

But do the 30,000 jobs represent a good return? And since the federal contracts for which data was reported this week represent just a sliver of the overall stimulus package, what do they really say about the impact of the stimulus as a whole?

Let’s start with the 30,000 jobs themselves. The federal contracts in question represented $16 billion in stimulus spending. Assuming the number of created or saved jobs reported by each contract recipient was accurate—which, as we’ve reported before, is still an open question—that breaks down to $533,000 for each job. That’s more than five times the projection of the president’s own Council of Economic Advisers , which estimated in May that every $92,136 in government spending would create one job for one year.

That’s right, on your behalf, the Obama administration has “saved or created” a little over 30,000 jobs, spending over a half million dollars of borrowed taxpayer money to “save or create” each job. Oh, by the way, since Obama took office, the U.S. economy has lost 3.6 million jobs. What’s wrong with this picture?

But wait, there’s more Obama not good news! In just nine months, Obama and the Democrats have managed to triple the Bush era record deficit set last year. You go Obama, borrow that money, spend, spend, spend!

Obama team makes it official: Budget deficit hits record. By a lot.

The Obama administration has released new deficit numbers, and they are not pretty.

The deficit for Fiscal Year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, came in at a record $1.42 trillion, more than triple the record set just last year.

In addition, future deficits are currently projected to total $9.1 trillion in the coming decade.

See also:
Do Direct Stimulus Jobs Really Cost $533,000 a Piece?!
First Hard Data on Stimulus Released
Firms report 30,000 new stimulus jobs
Stimulus jobs paying $500,000 — good work if you can get it
30,000 Stimulus Jobs, Many in D.C. Area, Reported
Federal contracts show 30,000 stimulus jobs
Federal Government says Preliminary Numbers Show 30,000 Jobs Created
On stimulus jobs reporting, a big ‘Oops’
2009 federal deficit surges to $1.42 trillion
U.S. Budget Gap Hits Record $1.4 Trillion
Treasury reports record deficit
U.S. FY 2009 budget deficit a record $1.417 trln
US budget deficit hits record 1.4 trillion dlrs: govt
Record-High Deficit May Dash Big Plans
Deficit Hits $1.4 Trillion, Complicating Stimulus Plans
US National Debt Clock
Read The Writing On The Wall

/have you had enough hope and change yet?