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"Stimulus" Fact of the Day: Told You So - "Saved or Created Jobs" Claim Can't Be Substantiated


Posted by Sandra Fabry on Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 4:27 PM PERMALINK


This would be the second post for today in which we can say: "Told you so!"

Today, the Associated Press finally acknowledges that the Obama administration’s “bold claims of stimulus jobs can’t be measured.”
 
No promise from President Barack Obama is more important to the wounded economy than his vow to save or create some 3.5 million jobs in two years. In support of that bottom line, the government even tells states how many jobs they can expect to see from the spending and tax cuts.
 
But precise trajectories are impossible to plot and even approximations can be wildly off, as the authors of these forecasts acknowledge, usually more readily than the policymakers who use them to promote the plan.
ATR and CFA have long been critical of the “saved and created jobs” claims made by the Obama administration, and were even joined by in their skepticism by finance committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) who on March 4 stated:
You created a situation where you cannot be wrong. If the economy loses 2 million jobs over the next few years, you can say yes, but it would've lost 5.5 million jobs. If we create a million jobs, you can say, well, it would have lost 2.5 million jobs. You've given yourself complete leverage where you cannot be wrong, because you can take any scenario and make yourself look correct.
Sen. Baucus apparently learnt this the hard way, as this news story from Montana, which ran the day prior to his statement:
A joint press release from Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester claimed that $1.3 million in federal recovery funding would create 40 new jobs for the Flathead City-County Heath Department.
 
However the actual employment plans at the Flathead Community Health Center – adding only two more jobs during the next fiscal year – paint a different picture. Both Senators’ offices attributed the jobs claims to the Administration, and could not elaborate on how these employment estimates were generated.
Says ATR president Grover Norquist:
It’s about time the establishment press realizes that all this talk about ‘jobs saved or created’ is bogus. The AP story hits the nail on the head when it says that ‘if space exploration were conducted like the job forecasts under the government’s new stimulus law, man surely would have missed the moon.’ Absolutely they would have!

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