Anyone who remembers his campaign pronouncement that a Kansas tornado had left “ten thousand dead” and “an entire town destroyed” (the 2007 storm actually killed twelve people) knows that President Obama hasn’t been one to worry about playing fast and loose with a few facts or numbers.
However, Mr. Obama’s dogged refusal to deviate from his “150,000 jobs created or saved” by the $787,000,000,000.00 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is beginning to lend itself to more than a little head-scratching.
Mr. Obama and his administration have been making the claim for several weeks now. On May 27, “White House economic advisers” announced the “stimulus” had “created or saved 150,000 jobs” since its inception 100 days before — an average increase (or savings) of about 1,500 jobs a day.
Twelve days later, on June 8, Vice President Joe Biden made the same proclamation on a conference call with reporters: the stimulus had “saved or created 150,000 [jobs]” to date.
Theoretically, there should have been about 18,000 more jobs than that, given the twelve day interval between the May 27 announcement and the June 8 call. But never mind that.
Just for good measure — and despite the fact that economists and simple observers who had the virtue of being awake were throwing up their hands in disbelief that an administration would actually make such a claim about something as obviously incalculable as a “saved” job — Biden added that there had been “no reasonable challenges to the estimates.”
Last Wednesday, July 8 — a full 30 days after the Biden conference call and 42 days after the initial 100 day claim of “150,000 jobs created or saved” — Obama’s deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget announced the stimulus had (you guessed it!) “created or saved 150,000 jobs since its inception in February.”
Judging by the administration’s own claims alone, that’s one package that seems to have lost its, well, stimulation.
Interestingly, Obama himself said in early June — just after he first made the 150,000 job claim — that he was “not satisfied” with the package’s progress. Then this past Saturday, July 11 — after a full month of no job creation or savings, according to his administration’s claims — he suddenly declared that the stimulus had been a success and that it has “worked as intended.”
So the intent of this $787,000,000,000.00 legislation, which the president claimed would “create or save 3.5 to 4 million jobs,” was actually to “create or save” 150,000 jobs in the first 100 days, then hold fast at that number?
That seems like a wise investment — only $5.25 million of taxpayers’ dollars per job!