Alternate headline: This is what we are getting for all those Ivy League degrees.
Everything you need to know about the folly of Keynesian gimmickry summed up in a few short paragraphs:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner didn't dispute a Harvard economist's estimate that each job in the White House's jobs plan would cost $200,000, but said the pricetag is the wrong way to measure the bill's worth.
And he also pointed out, in an interview today with ABC News' David Muir, that there is no other option on the table for getting the economy moving and putting more people back to work.
"You've got to think about the costs of the alternatives," Geithner said when asked about Harvard economist Martin Feldstein's calculation that each job created by President Obama's American Jobs Act would cost taxpayers about $200,000.
"If government does nothing, it does nothing now because they're scared by politics or they want to debate what's perfect, then there will be fewer Americans back to work, the economy will be weaker," he said.
"We can borrow money for 10 years as the government of the United States because people have confidence in this country at less than 2 percent," he said. "The responsible path now is to take advantage of the unique position we're in as a country. People have a lot of confidence in us. Let's take advantage of that now to do things that help growth in the short-term."
Well... we suppose one of the alternatives for this debt-racked country would be to not spend $200,000 per job on jobs that most certainly won't generate $200,000 salaries.
Then again, when you are part of a brain (and jobs!)trust that throws around figures like 1:1 and 1:1.84 as multiplier effects for government spending, you really aren't all that concerned with what jobs will cost, in fact, given the logic that's employed with respect to their presumed multiplier effects, why even appear apologetic for a mere 200 large? Why stop there? Is $300, 400... 500 thousand per job a problem, now?
And dig the assumption that the government must do something is the assumed creator of jobs and wealth in this country. Again, when you buy into the multiplier effect argument, this is your default position.
Please re-read that last paragraph from the article - we did, several times - because it makes zero sense. No, Tim, people don't trust you and that's part of the problem. You've been at this for well over two years now and selling the same crap that you pitched back in the initial stages of this administration. It didn't work then and it sure as hell isn't going to work now. It's all just a simple re-hash of this administration's triumphant "I won" campaign back in Jan/Feb 2009 when the $800 billion Porkulus jobs package was being pushed through.
What's changed? Not much. 2-1/2 years and only a few more trillion in debt combined with chronic un/under-employment and a stagnating economy.