Obama’s Economists: ‘Stimulus’ Has Cost $278,000 per Job


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.

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This updated chart (see figure 1) shows this article’s weird point:

the council reports that, as of two quarters ago, the “stimulus” had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now.

Yes, it is true.
The worst-case scenario showed our economy would SELF-CORRECT starting in the 3rd quarter of 2010!
Obama’s ”stimulus” has managed to delay even that!
And now it looks like Obama has ”stimulated” us into a double-dip recession with unemployment heading back up, even as more people quit the marketplace as workers via early retirement.

“Furthermore, the council reports that, as of two quarters ago, the “stimulus” had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now. In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the “stimulus” than it has with it.”

Huh? Say what? A good non sequitur should at least seem to contain some logic.

The overall conclusions of the report are rather different than Jeffrey Anderson suggests. As Figure 4 and Table 4 indicate, there’s more to consider than job numbers. There’s also the GDP, which has increased significantly more than the projected levels.

Greg: There’s also the GDP, which has increased significantly more than the projected levels.

I’ll have to throw your words right back at ‘cha, Greg…. “A good ‘non sequitur’ should at least *seem* to containg some logic”. And a modicum of truth would also be handy. The GDP has been shy of the Obama projections right out of the gate, and have been revised down a couple times now.

This gets played on some commercials I see:

At the Jobs Council President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness Meeting in Durham NC
one of the members [Matt] spoke to the president about Regulatory and Infrastructure Project Permitting [Permit Cycle time, Rules and Regulations] and said he had spoken with the Business and Environmental Community regarding these issues and had some ‘feedback’. “Matt” went on to say how ‘they’ [business] can see first hand what happens when you try to [permit a project in this country], which can delay things for months, years and in many cases, cause projects to be abandoned altogether….”Matt went on to say to the President ‘I’m sure when you implemented your (the) Recovery Act [your Staff Briefed you] on the [Many Challenges of the permitting Process] and the impact of putting many Americans back to work and that is exactly what we see in American business ….

…then the President Obumbles cut in with his “infinite wisdom” and stated “shovel ready was not ahhh as shovel ready as we expected…” and everyone gets a “chuckle” out of that “very rich” statement by Obumbles… Stunning isn’t it??? Gee… makes you wonder ‘just what happened’ to all that “stimulus money ” for roads and roads and construction and ??…. doesn’t it ?

And just who were these [Advisers] to the President on the stimulus [shovel ready jobs]… I know he has little or no real world economists on his [staff] or advisers…?

Again Obama chose a fish over men making a living….

The new rules — put into place one year ago — place hard catch limits that restrict how much groundfish, such as cod and haddock, a fisherman can catch. Fishermen are given allotments of fish and can buy and sell those.

Under the old system, fishermen were allowed a certain number of days at sea.

With the height of the New England fishing season getting under way this week, small family fishermen say controversial new rules are destroying their livelihood — forcing them to sell their boats and instead search for work as laborers on larger vessels.

“It’s a death knell. It’s the beginning of the end for small fishermen,” said Rhode Island fisherman Joel Hovanesian, 54, who recently sold his boat.

Plymouth fisherman Stephen Welch, 50, a father of two, said: “We’re in a crisis right now.”

Keding, a dad of two, recently sold his boat, the Zachary Nicholas, because his allotment of 15,000 pounds of groundfish wasn’t enough. In 2009, he brought in 73,000 pounds. “It’s putting us out of business,” said Keding.

Lifelong fisherman Rich Burgess, 57, is selling two of his four boats.

“They just can’t afford to go fishing,” said Burgess, as he cleaned up his boat, the Heidi & Heather, docked in Gloucester Harbor last week. Under the new rules last year, he caught 50 percent less groundfish — cutting his income in half.


There’s also the GDP, which has increased significantly more than the projected levels.

Really Greg?


Prove it sir.

Absolute proof one way or the other is impossible. What we’ve got is what seems most likely, given the facts of the situation.

Have a look at Appendix Table A. Real Gross Domestic Product and Related Aggregates and Price Indexes: Percent Change From Preceding Period. It appears on the second to the last page of this Bureau of Economic Analysis document. The topmost line displays the real GDP quarterly growth rate from the 1st quarter of 2008 through the 1st quarter of 2011.

The GDP turned negative in the 1st quarter of 2008. The downward plunge reached it’s lowest point in the 4th quarter of 2008, when the GDP “growth” rate was -6.8%. Obama signed the stimulus bill on February 17, 2009, a month after he became President. By the 2nd quarter of 2009 the rate of GDP decline had slowed to -0.7%. By the 3rd quarter the GDP was back in positive territory, and has remained positive in every quarter since.

Also have a look at the comments regarding corporate profit growth, on page 3 of the same document. Presumably most conservatives would consider such positive growth to also be a good thing.

Republicans want to make the case that a rapidly worsening recession beginning a full a year before Obama became president was somehow Obama’s fault; that the immediate emergency actions he took to reverse the downward plunge had nothing whatsoever to do with the proximate reversal; that everything is still getting worse, when the quarterly GDP growth rates have remained consistently positive; that he’s crippling corporate America, when corporate America has in fact been pulling in record-breaking profits quarter after quarter; that he’s punishing the wealthy and corporations with excessive taxes, when they’re still in fact paying some of the lowest percentages of their actual income in recent history.

Republicans are now apparently giving serious consideration to scuttling the entire recovery by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, presumably so they can posture on fiscal responsibility, and point to the fact that things really are getting worse, in the run-up to the 2012 elections. They seem oblivious to the possibility that in addition to wrecking a still-fragile recovery, this would likely turn out to be political suicide. (To say nothing of the immediate implications regarding who is in control of the spending.)

Add to this the fact that they’ve openly targeted Social Security and Medicare, two of the nation’s most important and most popular social programs, while simultaneously pitching for even deeper tax cuts for corporations and for the wealthiest. I’m not so sure this all totals up to political success in 2012.