Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Friday evening dump

One in a series that takes a look at unsavory news that is jettisoned from the Capitol just ahead of the weekend.

We haven't mentioned anything about Porkulus, the $780 billion stimulus plan passed back in February of 2009, in a while. With unemployment at 9.1% vs. the 7.3% when Porkulus kicked in, one would surmise the White House picks and chooses it spots to bring it up in polite conversation as it did this past Friday.

When the Obama administration releases a report on the Friday before a long weekend, it’s clearly not trying to draw attention to the report’s contents. Sure enough, the “Seventh Quarterly Report” on the economic impact of the “stimulus,” released on Friday, July 1, provides further evidence that President Obama’s economic “stimulus” did very little, if anything, to stimulate the economy, and a whole lot to stimulate the debt.

The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it chronicles the alleged success of the “stimulus” in adding or saving jobs. The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.

In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.

We've heard administation officials including the President himself bandy about the "2 million jobs saved or created" and now that number has ticked upward to 2.4 million. Given the disparity between the unemployment figures between now and nearly 2 and half years ago, it remain curious to us just how the administration arrived at that 2.4 million figure.

One could not be blamed for assuming then that paying people to dig holes and then go back and fill those holes with the same freshly-dug dirt would count as a job created and then saved according to the accounting methods employed by the administration.

We noted the following in the administration's report:

The Recovery Act was designed to be temporary. The amount of stimulus outlays and tax reductions has begun to decline and, as discussed in previous reports, as it does so the impact on the level of GDP and employment will lessen over time
(italics, ours)

For everyone's sake, we can only hope this will be true.

1 comment:

Harrison said...

I can't wait to hear what Libs will say about this one.