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!

How’s That Trillion Dollars In “Stimulus” Working Out?

What does a trillion dollars in wasteful deficit spending on Democrat pet pork projects buy, besides record deficits and the most unsecured national debt in American history? Well, lets see, 2.7 million jobs lost since the “stimulus” just had to be passed immediately, without anyone even having read it, and the highest unemployment rate in 26 years, with no net job growth in sight. Hip, hip, hooray, you go Obama and the Democrats (hopefully starting in 2010)!

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Job losses accelerate to 263,000 in September

The nation’s job losses accelerated in September, driving the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8% and casting a cloud over the incipient recovery, economic data showed Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls fell by a greater-than-expected 263,000 in September, the Labor Department reported. It marked the 21st consecutive month of job losses.

Since the recession began in December 2007, 7.2 million jobs have been lost and the unemployment rate has doubled.

While disappointing, the September numbers were not catastrophic, economists said.

“We are more inclined to view September as a temporary setback than as a signal that the decelerating trend in job losses has stalled out,” wrote Stephen Stanley, chief economist for RBS Securities. “It is far too early to be pulling the alarm on this nascent recovery.”

But another economist sounded the warning.

The “weak employment report lessens hope for a sustainable recovery,” wrote Harm Bandholz of UniCredit Research. “Once the impact of the inventory cycle and the fiscal stimulus has run its course, gross domestic product growth will slow down substantially again.”

The employment figures also carried a political dimension, as Republicans said the continued job losses proved the stimulus had failed, while Democrats said they proved that government support is essential.

“Today’s job report is a sobering reminder that progress comes in fits and starts — and that we’re going to need to grind out this recovery step by step,” said President Barack Obama. “I’m working closely with my economic advisors to explore any and all additional options and measures that we might take to promote job creation.”

“We are headed for what appears to be, at best, a jobless recovery,” said Rep. John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who leads the GOP in the House. “That is not what the American people were promised.”

Details of the report were almost universally dismal, with the number of unemployed people rising by 214,000 to 15.1 million.

And of those, 5.4 million have been out of work longer than six months, accounting for a record 35.6% of the jobless.

Stimulus Spending Doesn’t Work

The global recession and financial crisis have refocused attention on government stimulus packages. These packages typically emphasize spending, predicated on the view that the expenditure “multipliers” are greater than one—so that gross domestic product expands by more than government spending itself. Stimulus packages typically also feature tax reductions, designed partly to boost consumer demand (by raising disposable income) and partly to stimulate work effort, production and investment (by lowering rates).

The existing empirical evidence on the response of real gross domestic product to added government spending and tax changes is thin. In ongoing research, we use long-term U.S. macroeconomic data to contribute to the evidence. The results mostly favor tax rate reductions over increases in government spending as a means to increase GDP.

. . .

The bottom line is this: The available empirical evidence does not support the idea that spending multipliers typically exceed one, and thus spending stimulus programs will likely raise GDP by less than the increase in government spending. Defense-spending multipliers exceeding one likely apply only at very high unemployment rates, and nondefense multipliers are probably smaller. However, there is empirical support for the proposition that tax rate reductions will increase real GDP.

Gee, who would have ever figured that tax cuts were more effective at stimulating the economy and creating jobs than massive government deficit spending on Democrat pet pork projects that do nothing to create sustainable jobs. Just a thought, maybe the Democrats should have passed more tax cuts instead of wasting most of a trillion dollars in taxpayer money on incredibly stupid crap like frozen sliced ham, turtle tunnels, and outhouses in national parks.

See also:
US unemployment at 26-year high
Jobless rate reaches 9.8 percent in September
263,000 Jobs Lost, Worse Than Views; Jobless Rate 9.8%
Unemployment rate rises to 9.8% as employers cut more jobs than expected
UPDATE: Fed’s Rosengren Sees High Unemployment Next 2 Years
2.7 Million Jobs Lost Since “Stimulus” Bill Enacted
Stimulus can’t ease job pain for U.S. states and cities
Biden on Unemployment: “Less Bad” Isn’t Good
Republicans Seize on Jobs as Proof Obama’s Policies Have Failed
Job Numbers Released, GOP Pounces
As Biden lays out stimulus goals, GOP demands specifics on new jobs
Romney: Stimulus Not Working, Time to Fix It
Stimulus: New Research on Government Stimulus Spending and Tax Cuts
How Bad Does The “Stimulus” Suck?
Where’s The Stimulus And Why Do We Need Any More Of It Anyway?

/so, Obama and the Democrats have lost 2.7 million jobs, the U.S. unemployment rate is the highest in 26 years, and their trillion dollar “stimulus” has failed miserably, I guess there’s only one thing left for them to do, blame Bush!