First, we had this chart which made things pretty clear:
Then we have this study by The Weekly Standard which claims that jobs created by the stimulus actually cost up to $278,000 each. In yesterday's daily briefing at the White House, Jay Carney took issue with this, discounting it simply because it came from The Weekly Standard:
A Weekly Standard analysis that says the jobs created in the stimulus cost $200,000 each is “based on false information,” Carney said, reading a response he had prepared on a piece of paper. “The Weekly Standard did this analysis, and we should view it through that prism, I suppose," he said.
James Pethoukoukis puts it all together:
The centerpiece of Obama’s plan to “push the car out of the ditch” was the trillion-dollar (including interest expense on the borrowed money) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A recent article in The Weekly Standard determined that it may have cost as much as $278,000 for each job created. But that’s generous. Respected Stanford economist John Taylor, perhaps the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, has analyzed the actual results of the ARRA. Not what the White House’s garbage-in, garbage-out models say happened, but what actually happened as gleaned from government statistics. Taylor, simply put, looked at whether consumers actually consumed and whether government actually spent in a way that produced real growth and jobs. His devastating conclusion:And that's not all. It gets worse. Add in Obamacare and then Obama's decision to ignore his own debt commission findings (which Pethoukoukis contends led directly to the debt crisis we now face) and things are worse than ever.Individuals and families largely saved the transfers and tax rebates. The federal government increased purchases, but by only an immaterial amount. State and local governments used the stimulus grants to reduce their net borrowing (largely by acquiring more financial assets) rather than to increase expenditures, and they shifted expenditures away from purchases toward transfers. Some argue that the economy would have been worse off without these stimulus packages, but the results do not support that view.Indeed, the results are horrifying. The two-year-old recovery’s terrible tale of the tape: A 9.1 percent unemployment rate that’s probably closer to 16 percent counting the discouraged and underemployed, the worst income growth and weakest GDP growth of any upturn since World War II, a still-weakening housing market. Oh, and a trillion bucks down the tube. Oh, and two-and-a-half years … and counting … wasted during which time the skills of unemployed workers continue to erode and the careers of younger Americans suffer long-term income damage. Losing the future.
Read the whole piece here.
Ed Morrissey is absolutely spot on when he says:
In order to accelerate growth in a real and sustainable manner, the US government has to create an investor-friendly environment. The Obama administration has done everything but do so. Obama’s class-warfare rhetoric, including the ridiculous new war on corporate-jet owners, as well as his legislation (ObamaCare, financial reform) and regulatory expansion all signal a determined hostility to capital. Moreover, the White House refusal to acknowledge the obvious deficit and debt crises with its insistence on trillion-dollar annual red ink shows that the leaders of its economic policy simply have no clue as to the damage they are doing to America’s financial standing. In that kind of environment, who would want to invest their capital and take risk in the US if they had the opportunity to use it elsewhere?
Steve Benen criticizes Mitt Romney for saying that Obama has made things worse and offers two questions for Mr. Romney:
1. When Obama took office, the economy was shrinking. Now it’s growing. In what way is that “worse”?
2. When Obama took office, the economy was hemorrhaging jobs. Now it’s gaining jobs. In what way is that “worse”?
I'm not sure those questions even make sense, but they certainly show the "rainbows and unicorns" world in which Benen lives. I'd like for him to explain to me how jobs that cost taxpayers over $200,000 is a good thing? Or how an unemployment rate that is at least 25% higher than when Obama took office shows that things are better?
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was right: Democrats own this economy.