Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The big story on the stimulus

Business - Image -_1266424126226.jpeg

The day-to-day stories on the stimulus are mostly very small and very political. Republicans hypocritically attacking the bill while taking credit for the spending. Conservatives charging that some mayor in some town spent an infinitesimal fraction of the money on a project that sounds funny if you say it in an arch tone.

But the correct story is the big story. The macroeconomic story. According to private forecasters -- we're not talking Obama administration folks, but private firms that are paid by other private companies to accurately analyze the market -- the stimulus worked. "Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody’s Economy.com," reports David Leonhardt. "They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative."

You have to sympathize with the Obama administration: It has done more to save and create jobs than any White House in recent memory. It stabilized a financial system that was teetering on the edge of collapse, and that would have sent unemployment skyrocketing if it had fallen. The administration passed an $800 billion stimulus bill that has already created more than 1.6 million jobs and is likely to create 2.5 million by the time it ends. And still it's hammered, on the one hand, for not doing enough to create jobs, and on the other hand, for high deficits, which are a direct product of how much the administration's doing to create jobs.

But it is operating amid an economy that's much better at shedding jobs than any economy since the 1930s. Better, even, than the administration is at passing legislation to create jobs. The fact that the captain is uncommonly good at bailing out his boat does not mean he outmatches the ocean around him. Meanwhile, half the crew is blaming him for the fact of the waves and telling the passengers that they should never ride this cruise line again.

The president is judged against the state of the country, not against the counterfactual of the state of the country in his absence (and, luckily for the Republicans, not against the counterfactual of the state of the country under the minority's expressed agenda). That's all politics, and that's all how it goes. But people still need help, and the pity is that the Republicans can't see a way forward to helping them because doing so might help the other party in the midterm elections. Republicans opposed the stimulus -- which was one-third tax cuts -- as part of a gambit to leave Democrats holding the bag for an economy that was sure to be weak in 2010, even if their policies had made it stronger than it otherwise would have been. They can't abandon that strategy now.

By Ezra Klein  |  February 17, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Economic Policy , Stimulus  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tom Toles is worth a thousand words
Next: Evan Bayh: The evidence for the defense

Comments

Until the economy starts creating jobs on a monthly basis instead of losing them, no one will believe this report.

Obama recently predicted that job growth will soon be positive. If he is wrong, he will be punished for that. If he is right, he may be rewarded.

Posted by: Lomillialor | February 17, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Long time reader, first time commenter, love your little slice of the WaPo, Ezra.

The worst part of it is Republicans wanting it both ways: voting against the stimulus and railing against it in Washington, only to turn around back in their home state and/or district and PERSONALLY claiming credit for the stimulus funds received there, as if they personally fought to wring them out of Democratic hands.

Posted by: kryptik1 | February 17, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I've been heartened by all the defense of the stimulus recently. It saved my job - a tiny personal piece of all the good it's done. Not just at saving jobs, but doing so while also making improvements where they are needed. Transportation, education, clean energy investment, not to mention all the state and local aid that's kept people working, or receiving unemployment, or COBRA.

I agree with the opinion that it should've been larger, but it was a damn good bill. I track the sudden barrage of info about the stimulus to when Plouffe took back the reins officially at OFA. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Posted by: roquelaure_79 | February 17, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

And the Democrats blamed Republicans for the recession during the 2008 election even though their party was in charge of half of the Congress. Also, I love how you give Obama credit for saving the financial system. Wasn't TARP proposed by Bush and passed during his tenure? Other than the boondoggle stimulus (that 1.6 million jobs created must have come right off the White House web site, what exactly has Obama done to fix the economy? Spend a bunch of money on credit? Employment wasn't supposed to go above 8% according to Obama if you passed the wonderful stimulus and yet here we are.

Posted by: RobT1 | February 17, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

you're right in most everything you say Ezra but the problem with the stimulus spending is that too much of it was for infrastructure that while needed is a job that generates very little tax revenue. We've needed for a long time job growth that stimulates the private market enough to pay taxes to pay to make future stimulus' less necessary and less strong. The end result I fear will be teacher, fire, police layoffs throughout the coming year to two years that will allow liberals to complain that the stimulus wasn't enough and thus blame Republicans for that.

How's the old saying go? "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime" unfortunately we just gave and didn't teach.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

visionbrkr - Isn't that completely opposite? The infrastructure was meant to make a solid foundation for the future so we couldn't have such a drastic bleed of jobs like we did here, but little tangible, immediate job renewal. The lack of immediacy is what's caused such a backlash. It's not that we gave but didn't teach. It's that we taught but didn't give enough in the meantime.

Posted by: kryptik1 | February 17, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr,

Great point, but I think the problem here is that we're just not sure how to do that. I've heard good theories that something like "Cash for Caulkers" could have a tipping-point effect, given that studies show that people could already profit from greater energy efficiency, but "irrationally" avoid the investment. I'd disagree on infrastructure, given that we're not just looking at construction jobs. Those jobs are extremely procyclical and will persist once the economy recovers, but the real effect is that now you've built a bridge that reduces transmit times/costs or built a power plant earlier so that you will have excess funds in the future to use in both the economy as a whole and in the state/federal budgets.

That's all marginal though. So far it seems like there aren't any experts you can go to for fishing lessons, just experts who can design great fish distribution programs.

Posted by: etdean1 | February 17, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Conservatives charging that some mayor in some town spent an infinitesimal fraction of the money on a project that sounds funny if you say it in an arch tone."

You say that as if it isn't a legitimate criticism. The fact is, projects that sound funny if said in an arch tone are always uniformly bad, no matter what. Otherwise, why would be say them in an arch tone?

"They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs."

While this may be true, given unemployment numbers and most people's anecdotal experiences, this would seem to be a wildly counter-intuitive claim. Just taking a look at the help wanted ads suggest the job market was much more robust during the bad old Bush years.

We are being told things are getting much better, and are much better than they would have been (but you can never prove a negative: just as the Bush admin about how easy it was to take credit for no new terrorist attacks after 9/11). But until that's a visceral reality for most people, it's going to be a question of who are you going to believe: us, your maximum leaders, or your own lying eyes?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 17, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans opposed the stimulus -- which was one-third tax cuts"

I prefer the word "tax-relief" as one-time tax credits and two-year tax reductions aren't really tax-cuts in the classic definition, but "temporary tax relief". Not bad, as far as they go, but not nearly enough for us rock-ribbed conservatives.

Three year reduction of the capital gains tax to 5%? Now, that'd be something to crow about.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

etdean1,

I agree its mostly marginal and that's the problem. We're also going to get a marginal at best jobs bill I fear that's about 9 months to one year too late. It needs to be much stronger and more targeted towards small businesses but part of the problem is that we're getting some liberals complaining that money is being wasted because those small businesses would have hired anyway. No they necessarily would not have but again polarization rears its ugly head and we're all worse off for it.

Polarization is bad no matter who does it and it affects us all. The sooner we all realize it the sooner we'll all be better off.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"but you can never prove a negative: just as the Bush admin about how easy it was to take credit for no new terrorist attacks after 9/11"

Tell that to those killed by Anthrax.

Posted by: slag | February 17, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Does someone have a breakdown of the leftover stimulus funds handy? I'm wondering how much overall is still to be spent, and more importantly, on what. I know it is out there but I am multitasking hardcore right now.

Posted by: gocowboys | February 17, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you can really claim a precise number for how many jobs were created due to the stimulus. Running a model of the macroeconomy to determine the additional employment generated by the stimulus is bound to be plagued with omitted variables. Remember, the same forecasting models used to estimate the impact of the stimulus were the same ones that said unemployment would peak around 9% in absence of the stimulus and at 8% with the stimulus in effect - when what actually occured was 10% unemployment with the stimulus. Similar models are now run to suggest that unemployment would have peaked at just over 11% without the stimulus (as 1.5 million jobs ~ 1% of the labor force). Consider that if you asked these guys for GDP forecasts during June of 2008, in all likelihood none of them would have shown a 3.6% real output contraction over the following 9 months. They would have said important information was missing - Lehman, AIG, Fannie/Freddie etc etc - and I would have replied with 'exactly'. Important information (such as how stimulus impacts the behavior of the Fed) is always missing.

That all said, did the stimulus help? I agree that it did. The stimulus probably increased the velocity of money and had positive impacts on output, prices and employment. In theory, an inflation targeting Fed offsets the effects of all fiscal actions, although I'm guessing Bernanke didn't try to offset the effects of the stimulus package (in any case precisely offseting fiscal policy in the real world even when you want to is tough). Without the counterfactual though, I repeat that it's difficult to say with any degree of precision how many jobs were created or saved. It might have been 3 million, or it might have been 500,000. So the question to me is not whether the stimulus helped, but was it the best way to spend the money? Even assuming the number of jobs is 2.5 million higher than it otherwise would have been, that's still $300,000 per incremental job. With that much cash, we could have (as an example) amped up unemployment insurance so that it rivaled Denmark's system in terms of generosity for the 2009-2011 period, or done any number of other things.

With regards to the charts, recessions do end naturally. In addition, even the sequential improvement in jobs and GDP would have happened anyway - just not as rapidly (visualize the employment chart, but with values after the stimulus 140,000 lower than currently shown, per the 1.7 million jobs created by the stimlus - same trend, slightly lower levels). I'll admit those charts are great for Democrats... they'll certainly need them with mid-terms approaching and unemployment still near 10%.

Posted by: justin84 | February 17, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@slag: " 'but you can never prove a negative: just as the Bush admin about how easy it was to take credit for no new terrorist attacks after 9/11 '

"Tell that to those killed by Anthrax."

Which speaks to my point. Very hard to prove a negative. Tell the guy who just got laid off after working in the same job for 20 years about how the Obama stimulus saved or created eleventy-billion jobs. Tell the woman whose husband just had his hours slashed in half about how successful the stimulus has been. Tell the guy who has three or four talented friends who do good work but can't find a job about how well the stimulus bill worked. Tell those people how much worse it would have been, without the stimulus bill.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 17, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I was making this argument back in October. Looks like Obama is reading my blog:

http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/10/how-is-obama-doing-on-stimulus-more.html

Posted by: akent07 | February 17, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The lies just keep coming and coming. WAPO and Klein must feel that if they keep reinforcing the same lies, they will miraculously become the truth. Keynesian economics has already shown its falsity given the situation in Europe. The PIIGS potential defaults after years of overspending on entitlements without the funds to pay for them are proof enough that Progressive Socialism and its economic shills like Krugman are false prophets.

Posted by: apberusdisvet | February 17, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, the reason why some people are skeptical about the stimulus spending is a matter of simple mathematics.

Let's say Obama is right and that we spent 780B (or was it 840B?) and saved 2M jobs.

Thinking this through, even if we found every unemployed person and gave that person $60,000 to get a job writing comments on internet forums staying at home for a year, we'd have saved more than 13M (or 14M jobs at 840b). And that's not even counting the sales taxes and income taxes that these employed people have to remit back to the treasury.

Taking that 2M number, and assuming that between government jobs and some temporary road and public works, 780B/2M = $340,000! That's a very expensive way to create jobs. If we take some estimates of < 800k jobs created, that spedings/job number balloons to almost 1,000,000 a job! The numbers itself : that's why many were incredulous at the negligible results of this massive spending.

The private sector on the other hand, doesn't need $340,000 to create a job. Many people would be very happy with even 1/10 of that, new graduates will gladly take $34,000 a year for their first job.

So between the two, who do we trust more to create jobs?

The government at 340,000 each (and that's being generous, since some estimates showed < 800,000 jobs in total were 'saved'/'created')?

Or do we trust in the private sector? If each business owner is able to get 100,000 in tax breaks for each NEW job he/she creates, I expect he'd create a lot more jobs and these jobs would last a lot longer than one or two years.

The real problem now is that with debt:GDP around 87% ( http://www.usdebtclock.org/ ) today, we can't afford another 800B in stimulus spendings via the private sector. Which means the anger at the missed opportunity of that first 800B is what is making people not trust in how government directs spending.

Posted by: mapledragon | February 17, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I just took a quick look at Mr. Klein's background. While it didn't mention his education, it did list his past employers and we can put him in the liberal camp. Does that help explain why a successful stimulus caused unemployment to increase? Curious to know why when the stated goals of the stimulus were not met, what part of the English language we are missing. Sounds like the public education lobby: "it would have been worse if we didn't spend all that money".

Posted by: vitaglubet | February 17, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah! Private forecasters and analysts eh! How infallible. So, these would be the same private analysts that were responsible for putting the AAA investment grade imprimatur on all those dodgy securitised NINJA mortgages then.....

Ha ha ha. Changing private debt idiocy into socialised debt idiocy doesn't make the debt idiocy go away. The jury is still out on your US stimulus and our even more idiotic UK stimulus. Maybe we will avoid the mother of all sovereign debt crises, and then again, maybe not. Even then, it still has to be unwound folks.

Posted by: BritishGed | February 17, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I did a 780B/2M and got 340,000. It should have been $390,000 a job. Which made it a much more incredible cost to create a job.

Posted by: mapledragon | February 17, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

President Obama did everything in his power and authority to put a clamp on our disintegrating economy, and he should be given the credit for that. GOOD JOB!

Unfortunately for all of us, the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are filled with politicians who better represent Big Business than the Voters who elected them.

They're in such a turmoil that they cannot get ANYTHING constructive done for this country! Democrats and Republicans alike. Their only difference is where they bank, and how large their deposits are.

It's time for some political housecleaning in this country. Hopefully, the new politicians will get the message of how upset the voters are in this country.

Posted by: bwshook1 | February 17, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Klein: don't you ever tire of flogging for Obama?

The economic system was saved by Paulson/Bush and TARP. The "stimulus" was a conglomeration of all the pork that Dems couldn't get past Bush. We were told that if it was passed, Unemployment wouldn't go above 8%. How's that working out?

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | February 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Keynesian economics has been proven right repeatedly.
The problem is that most politician are only quarter Keynesian: Maynard Keynes espoused the common sense idea that governments (like individuals) need to run surpluses during good times, and deficits during bad times.
Politicians like the idea of stimulating a bad economy with deficit spending so much, that they also try to stimulate the economy with deficit spending during the good times!
The PIGS in Europe are a prime example of short-sighted pseudo-Keynesians.
Ironically, perhaps the nation with the best Keynesian creditials is China: they've run up tremendous surpluses, and now they're starting to invest it on new infrastructure (which will not only keep their economy afloat in the short term, it will stimulate their economy in the long term).
Republicans have proven worse than the Democrats at this, with a solid track record of spend and borrow to finance tax cuts for investors and wars overseas.

Posted by: Denswei | February 17, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts cost nothing while it increases government revenues, is for the long term, doesn't increase taxes, deficit isn't passed on to our children, increases profits then adds jobs because of expanding investments. Econ 101.

Posted by: kdieck | February 17, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The stimulus hasn't done much at all for anyone in the middle classes or below. Those whose jobs were saved were among the fortunate few. I suggest that you hit the interstate in the heartland at what used to be peak times, and see for yourself where the economy is headed...down the toilet. I have traveled up and down Highway 5 in California for decades. My last trip was Monday, at the end of a three-day weekend. Gas stations were nearly deserted. The only full motels were the cheapest in town. The rest had one or two cars in front of them. No break on capital gains tax is going to help regular hard-working folks keep a roof over their head. Watch out, folks, here comes the Second Great Depression. We need help now in the form of jobs programs. You can't help people by setting up programs that DON'T help them. Even a conservative ought to admit that.

http://hypatiaofcalifornia.blogspot.com

Posted by: debocracy | February 17, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I just did the math.

$785BB(stimulus)/1.6MM(jobs), only $490,625 per job.

What a DEAL.

Posted by: paulpindar | February 17, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

800 billion divided by 2.5 million jobs is $320,000 per job created. We could have given 8 million people $100,000 over the next year just to stay home and be further ahead. Then next jobs bill is offers employers $5,000 to employ a person for one year to encourage employment. The stock market and corporate recovery has not been by increased sales or higher volume but by cutting excess workers and inventory. Most of the stimulus ended up going to state and local governments to shore up their deficits. Follow the money and see who benefited. Surely not many private citizens who are out of work. In my small community alone we have had two companies close up business in the last month. One outsourced overseas and the other just went out of business putting 155 people out of work. We are still bleeding jobs and when politicians pat each other or themselves on the back you can be assured that it is usually not the complete truth.

Posted by: jcupp | February 17, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Lets see. If we use 1.6 million jobs its $500,000 per job. If we use 2.5 million jobs its $320,000 per job. If this is such a good use of money in these circumstances, why did the Chinese just dump a load of U. S. Treasuries? By the way, where are these jobs? Could they be new members of the SEIU? What a shock...government workers.

Posted by: 4noone | February 17, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Nice piece, Ezra.

The economically incoherent arguments from the right find fertile ground in the American center. One sympathizes with our president. When you're explaining, you're losing.

Say the Repubicans: "The answer is a giant tax cut! ...and what was the problem??"

Economic literacy is in short supply in both houses of Congress. Its even more scarce in the electorate. Sadly for the president, in addition to vindicating the stimulus, independent economists also pointing to another seven years or so of elevated unemployment. "Morning in America" will be a tougher sell in 2012 than it was in 1984.

Roosevelt benefited from 3+ years of Hoover incompetence before taking the reins during the Great Depression. He also inherited a country with a healthier balance sheet. He had more headroom.

Obama took over as the economy was still flying apart at the seems. He's unlikely to get the broad credit that you rightly point out he deserves. You put it SO WELL:

"The president is judged against the state of the country, not against the counterfactual of the state of the country in his absence (and, luckily for the Republicans, not against the counterfactual of the state of the country under the minority's expressed agenda)."

Posted by: sdavis3398 | February 17, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, Ezra, Ezra.

This story should be called "Washington Post's Big Story''.

More spin. Play it again Sam.

480,000 intial claims per week average.

Falsely presenting statistics to fit the molds in varying ways. Words and statistics. ''Some say'', ''many say'', ''some suggest'', ''up to'', ''nearly''...it's all bunk your fellows report.

One media accomplice company supplying another what they ''need'' for the mold.

You are the reason the Dems are about to lose it all into the Democrat Black Hole in November and why Dems are leaving and retiring early.

Better stary looking for another publisher if I was you.

Posted by: Accuracy | February 17, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

the main problem with ALL of these reports is what would have happened had there been NO STIMULUS at all and NOBODY can predict what could have happened. We do know that recessions end on their own, so how much can be attributed to Porkulus and how much to the economy on its own. The fact that BO Claimed unemployment would NOT rise above 8% and it still QUICKLY went to 10% and may stay there the rest of this year, tells VOLUMES about how accurate economists and forecasters are!! NOT!! Just depends on which political party is selling the story.

Posted by: morphy | February 17, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Show me the jobs...Where are they? Not in SC!

Posted by: jhowell8 | February 17, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

You have to sympathize with the Obama administration: It has done more to save and create jobs than any White House in recent memory

Apparently Ezra's memory is very short, only goes back 2 years...

Posted by: SanAnton | February 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS WHY I LOVE THE WASHINGTON POST.
You are right, Ezra. This is the first COMPETENT thing I have heard a reporter say in years. Keep up the good work Ezra. Obama did an AMAZING job and the republicans can't stand it. This is why congress' approval ratings are in the toilet. When are we going to come together as Americans and solve our problems? The last time I remember unity was on 9/11.

Thank you Ezra and the Washington Post for THOUGHFUL, TRUTHFUL reporting.

Posted by: vkbailey | February 17, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Maine's Dem. regime(30+ years of profligate spending swallowed up nearly all of the stimulus money and spent in on...TAH DAH..themselves!...see Gov. Baldacci's report on where the money went.

The education dept. and dhhs got most of it to cover cutbacks because of lost revenue; DOT spent it on summer road projects that were already scheduled.

The report glosses over the types of jobs created(merged with jobs saved, so you can't tell which is which.

Maybe in Ezra's bubble, there were jobs created, but outside mine are ever growing numbers on food stamps, more and more 'for rent/for sale' signs on commercial property, and mobs of people showing up at job fairs.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | February 17, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Only $444,444 per job not including interest? Man, whatta deal.

Btw, as far as he 'stabilized a financial system that was teetering on the edge of collapse', I didn't think he was in office yet. He's even more amazing than we thought :)

And has done nothing to regulate it properly after a year.

Pete

Posted by: Obaama | February 17, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Those that are "math" challenged. You can't simply divide the stimulus cost by the 2 million jobs. It was 1/3 unemployment( and payments to help out states), 1/3 tax cuts, and 1/3 infrastructure (most of which hasn't gone out yet. If you build a bridge, you must include the cost of that bridge as well. I am convinced that the stimulus saved this economy from tanking and that it has set the groundwork for recovery. Stay tuned.

Posted by: pgmichigan | February 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm in awe on this article by Ezra Klein - where has he been and the authorities posted are nothing more than Obama playmates.

Doesn't Ezra realize that just here in Arizona, no jobs created, homes still being foreclosed on, fuel prices higher, many school districts without enough money to see them thru 2010 and we're in a "Recession" a dangerous one!

So Ezra, my advice to you - although you obviously are one of those who enjoy change, any change, do your homework.

Without a doubt this is one of the most scrambled up, non factual articles I've seen on the 'Net."

Even the Obama Administration can't come up with the jobs created and Ezra, the HAMP, TARP, Harp, Cash for Clunkers, and the Stimulus Bill have been defunct, poorly orchestrated programs.

Just call me if you want to know about the HAMP program and some of the others; these programs have been literally blood suckers and have harmed our Nation.

Your article would be frowned on by the President and his gang - in fact he would hang his head in shame if he read it.

May God Bless America

Posted by: annie21 | February 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

As GROUCHO would say; 'OF COURSE IT'S TRUTHFUL; IT SAYS SO RIGHT AT THE TOP'...or was that Larry King?

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | February 17, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The sad thing about youth in 2010 Ezra, they'll write about anything because they love to banter and argue - if you want the truth go to any major city in the USA stop in and talk with owners of small and big businesses, ask the working class what is really happening and check on the families who are homeless and without jobs.

Granted we have freedom of speech, but there must be something in your heart that requires honesty, integrity and professionalism before writing an article such as this...

As Always, Annie

Posted by: annie21 | February 17, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

roquelaure_79

As I told Ezra, don't right just to be writing - it's time you do your homework. There are two sides to every story and you don't even have the OBAMA side correct.


As Always, Annie

Posted by: annie21 | February 17, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I know there is a lot of frustration right now but the economy will recover. The Republicans think Obama can just walk over and flip a switch on the wall and all of a sudden, jobs appear for everyone? He is working at it and it is slowly developing (as he said it would). The real question is: Will the Republicans vote against the jobs as they have everything else Obama has suggested?

Posted by: pgmichigan | February 17, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

That's interesting but as always the proof is in the pudding. Midterms this November will indicate whether or not the Public believes this silly story. 2 million jobs wow I've heard that number so many times I'm just about beginning to believe it myself and even visualise it!
I can see it now 1 million public sector jobs digging holes and 1 million filling them in! Now lets see can we expand that sector?

Posted by: sarah4pres | February 17, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Certainly stimulus activity blunted aspects of the financial collapse, and some intervention as begun under Bush was appropriate. However job creation hasn't been one of the strong points and macroeconomic bang for the buck seems questionable. Obama sympathizers propose how awful things would have been...clearly an unprovable postulate, and critics suggest that deficit spending was unfocused, pell mell pork...probably easier to verify, if some ambitious graduate student chooses to tackle the matter. Does government do an efficient job of disposing of almost $800 billion? I think not.

Posted by: ecrutle | February 17, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

My God, Mr. Klein must be living in the same alternative universe that Obama lives in. What foolishness, what lies, what distortions, Mr. Klein must think that everyone is stupid but himself and Obama.
Is there no end to this Obama madness? This guy Obama will go down as the worst President in US history.

Posted by: walterndebby | February 17, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Dear Sirs,
Since Rush Limbaugh is a shill for GM, ,doesn't he have a conflict of interest?
Clifford Spencer

Posted by: yankeefan1925 | February 17, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

This story should be a headliner. After months of negative reporting the media needs to step up and give us accurate information and stop repeating right-wing propaganda or vague negative predictions about the presidental election in 2012 or the future of our country - please talk about today instead of dire, unsubstantiated predictions. I saw a story today about Glenn Beck (on another news site) that reported his wild accusations that progressives caused the Alabama college professor to become so detached from reality she shot people. That story is just another example of the news organizations complicity in spreading ludicrious misinformation and accusations made by many on right. I call on the Washington Post to stop printing the most sensational 'news' (just to sell papers) and begin to follow the tradition of responsible, informative journalism. The public needs the media to give us accurate information and to debunk the inaccurate. - just the facts please. Paula Hannah

Posted by: phannah | February 17, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

This is is pure hogwash. Two million jobs added? And the unemployment rate rising to 10%? Hundreds of thousands of new UC claims were filed for months on end last year. From what I read, most of the first batch of money went to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of in the existing workforce, like teachers, police and firefighters. None of that amounts to new jobs. At best the claim of "new jobs" is a wash with the number of layoffs and terminations last year.

Posted by: OnkelMax | February 17, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

How is it that the U.S.Bureau of Labor, which keeps real statistics on things like jobs lost, reports that a net 2.0 million jobs were lost since Obama took office? So, from where does Lionheart and/or Klein get their numbers....Joe Biden? Maybe they've simply confused a (-) as a (+). After all, politics is the art of the possible.
Here is another question. If the stimulus has done such a great job, why is the People's Republic of China (as well as other USA debt holding countries) dumping U.S.Treasuries?
Ezra, keep drinking the kool-aid like a good little Obamaphile!

Posted by: rtpetrick | February 17, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, you (and those analysts) haven't been to Detroit. Even VP Biden couldn't find his way to Detroit this week, only made it to Saginaw, where they really like him.

I'll agree, Michigan's unemployment (those that are still looking, anyway) has come down... from 15% to 14.7%, but in the city of Detroit, those numbers are much higher, and for African Americans they are much higher. It isn't even just a matter of hourly or salaried workers, they're all having it rough. Those of us who do find jobs end up accepting lower pay and doing more of the work, to make up for the employees that the company can't yet afford to call back. State taxes are too high, and the stimulus money was used to HELP reduce the deficit from last year.

So your analysts can say what they want, but Mr. Obama's stimulus program doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot of good here. We can't afford to move because we can't sell our houses, and we can't afford to pay our bills because WE ARE NOT WORKING.

I paid my own way through a 4-year degree and am now hoping that something other than McDonald's comes my way. Even our hospitals have been laying people off, just in time for the baby boomer run.

Hooray for Obama. I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: whisperonthewind | February 17, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

To respond to pgmichigan. If the stimulus is part pork part union reward and part stimulus, then just say so. Don't pretend that the whole 800B was a stimulus.

Yes, yes, yes, there's a lot of overhead involved here, but that's the nature of everything the government puts its sticky fingers on isn't it? The facts are that whether it's 390,000 a job or 1,000,000 a job, all those other raw materials, are also supposed to create jobs as well.

Out of (lets pick a round number) $400,000, let's say joe gets 50,000, then there's still 350,000 unaccounted for. So lets suppose $50,000 of that was to buy raw materials, maybe bags to put the dirt in, extra special gold plated shovels, $50,000 to buy a nice pickup truck to cart it away. $50,000 to buy new dirt to fill in the holes that joe dug, $50,000 for coffee.

That still leaves $150,000.

So is that $150,000 for the new government stimulus inspector to supervise ensure that joe dug the holes and filled them in again according to government regulation 2009-02-01-4-9-15.B:12 ? But that means 2 jobs are created right? So that $400,000 example is really one job for every $400,000 of taxes that the government has collected. In most places in the US, the taxpayers could have paid $50,000 a year and kept a family fed and clothed.

Even with that $200,000 spent on bags, the pickup, dirt, coffee, you'd think some of that has to create a portion of a job somewhere.

So I ask again. The government is claiming it can create one job for every $390,000 or ($1,000,000) spent.

Given that track record, I say the private sector can do a much better job. It's time for the government to move aside and let the people show how real jobs are created. Return the taxes back to the people before they waste more of it.

Posted by: mapledragon | February 17, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

To pgmichigan: Actually, it was Harry Reid who took unemployment out of the jobs bill, and of course our illustrious governor (may November please get here faster) has used up the stimulus plan balancing our PAST budget, with only new tax ideas to balance the next one. So don't go all fuzzy on this thing. YOU may have gotten a job, but there are a whole lot of us, from manufacturing to nursing and everything in between, who are still searching job sites, still submitting resumes, and even looking for jobs in other states (those of us who don't have to sell a house first, anyway).

This is not over. It's not even close.

Posted by: whisperonthewind | February 17, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The really sick part in all of this is that if the government instead of spending that $800B of stimulus spending and just gave everyone of the 10M unemployed $10,000 a year in welfare, every unemployed person would be fed and clothed for 8 years.

It would have destroyed the country's future, but even that would have been better than what happened here.

Under the best best most optimistic scenario, $800B will create 2.5M jobs. Just do the math --- that's $320,000 a job. And this is how we measure success?

Posted by: mapledragon | February 17, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

We cannot continue to measure the health of our economy based on consumer spending, when it is so deeply rooted in credit, creditcard debt and escalating personal debt. If Obama's Sangrala is to resemble Europe why can't we as Americans save more and spend less as they do?? We need to learn to live within our means. First Obama needs to create jobs.

One thing could turn around our flat-lining economy, but the Washington Status Quo has not seriously adressed it in quite some time. Because it is not in their best interests.

We need a rebirth of Domestic Manufacturing. We need to start NOW. Jobs for Americans in America-- not Mexico, not China.

Obama could score a Trifecta if he really pushed for it:

1) Create training programs (machinist, technicians,assemblers, laborers electricians etc.) so they can be prepared for positions in the skilled trades and bring them out of the ranks of the working poor, AND DECREASE OUR WELFARE SPENDING. **Stimulus Money ????**

2) Create Domestic Mfg. Jobs centered around "green technology."I recently read that 69% of stimulus $$ going into this sector was paid to foreign companies, using foreign components!!!.....that is obscene and unacceptable. We should all be outraged!!!! **Stimulus money????**

3)If We take the lead in these technologies, we will be building a future of increasing independence from foreign and Middle East Oil...increasing our national security in energy matters.This could pay big dividends down the road.

Win, Win, Win situation....Comments???

Posted by: Exiledpatriot | February 17, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

What is chilling is that these evil men can stand up there and bold face lie to the American people with this phony contrived number! This Stimulus was not a jobs bill and was not designed to be a jobs bill. This was a payoff to special interests at the expense of our nation. These evil greedy men thought nothing of laying all this debt at the feet of our children. So they can puff and they can huff but they are blowing down their own house and ours too.
When I look at my single parent daughter who lost her job of ten years as well as the three little children that depend on her, I see first hand what these evil of all men have done. It was the wrong bill for the cruelest of times that hurt so many for the wrong reasons. Shame on the shameless.

Posted by: greatgran1 | February 17, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of crap. Tell the lie over and over and maybe some sap will believe it. You show your total lack of understanding when you tell your lie and brag about how good that is, without ever doing to math to figure out that the 1.6 million for a cost of $800 billion works out to $400,000 each. When you consider that the jobs you are claiming are probably $10 to $15 per hour temporary jobs, you see that you could have supported some nicely for 20 years by simply handing them the money. Nothing ever really makes sense with the fairy tales you apologizers tell. Here is the actual truth: if there had been no "stimulous" the world would have straightened out in 6 to 8 months. There was never any danger of a depression (without government help.)

Posted by: MITmike65 | February 17, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Sure it worked! That is why unemployment and under-employment has continued to escalate over 20%.

Two direct questions:
1. What will happen to the economy when we increase taxes to pay for all the trillions in deficit spending?

2. What will happen to the economy when the price for EVERYTHING we import (oil for example) as inflation runs rampant as a result of printing money with no substance behind it?

OR
To avoid the inflation, the Federal Reserve raises interest rates (like in the Carter presidency) to 20%?

Get a life Ezra and stop coning your readers.

Posted by: PRRWRITER | February 17, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody do the math here? Hmmmm let's see, $800 billion creates potentially 2.5 million jobs . . . hey, that is about $320,000 per job. We would have been better off just cutting taxes and tax rates by $800 billion (same effect short term on the deficit as the stimulus package). Put money in the pockets of those still working and we would have had a real kick to the economy and created real jobs in the real economy . . . not short term stimulus jobs that will evaporate after the program is over. This program has to be the most grossly inefficient use of taxpayer dollars on record.

To make matters worse, to fund their leviathan spending plans, the Democrats and Obama want to take over our 401ks and convert them to government treasury backed annuities . . . Confiscating our hard earned savings to fund their profligate deficit spending!

I so regret having voted for Obama . . . he is true to his record and not his rhetoric.

Posted by: DerKnecht | February 17, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

It shouldn't take several dozen independant think tanks to analyze whether or not the stimulus worked. Any time you pump $787 billion into the economy, it better work or someone is massively diverting funds. The real question should be is $787 billion for 2 million jobs saved (or $393, 500 per individual job saved) too much per job saved? I challenge anyone to argue that. Anytime the federal government steps in to stimulate the economy, look out for a lot of excessive waste as occured once again with this stimuls.

Posted by: scott16 | February 17, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry ... why do I need to feel sorry for him? He *chose* a stimulus that every expert said was way too small, half what it needed to be. He *chose* to incorporate mostly tax cuts, mostly invisible, even after it became clear that no Republicans would be enticed into joining him. He has *chosen* to be mostly silent on health care legislation.

When he chooses to be a damn leader, then I'll feel sorry for him.

Posted by: pj_camp | February 17, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Bull bleep.

Posted by: Rotbart | February 17, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

This is at best a weak arguement for the sucess of the stimulus. If one decides to agree with the assertion that the 800 billion stimulus creating 2 million jobs, this is 400,000 per job. Since very few of the people who recieved a job via the stimulus are making anything close to that I would say that this was an extraordinarily bad investment.

If I had made such an investment I would be broke, loose my house, and probably my wife would leave me because she could do better on her own.

It would have been much cheaper to hire 2 million americans to directly do a job. This job could be fixing the roads/highways that I and other americans drive on. Building other infrastructure such as refurbishing/repairing/extending the energy grid. Or perhaps directly paying businesses to do this provided they hired workers/trained people to do these jobs etc etc.

We should all be ashamed of this lack of stimulus. During the great depression, Roosevelt's adminstration/government spent much to create many jobs for unemployed americans. It was done much more efficiently than this.

I don't feel that I can support any more silly spending ideas from this government. I know that our country can't.

Posted by: jamesbutlerjr | February 17, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Here we go with the Monday morning quarter back posters again. If you don't believe the economists or the government and now even the private business sector when they say the stimulus is working, maybe the problem is with you.

MITmike65 wrote:
"There was never any danger of a depression". Wow, what good actors we are and what a global conspiracy!

scott16:
What a mathmetician! On here figuring out how we spent the 787B when it HASN'T ALL BEEN SPENT YET. Boy, we sure can't pull one over on you huh? You're just too smart for this scheme.

You guys have it all figured out so maybe the President should be asking you instead of all the experts.

Posted by: MaggiePi | February 17, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe your statistics and neither do most of the American people. The latest poll indicates that only 6% of Americans believe that the stimulus has done any good. Next to the 7% of Americans that believe Elvis is alive, that's a pretty poor showing.

"Saved" jobs is a fantasy of the sycophants that Obama has surrounded himself with. The Dept of Labor keeps hundreds of statistics, but "saved jobs" is certainly not one of them. And when I read one definition of a "saved" job as one where an employee got a raise, it's even more ludicrous. I think the only people in the U.S. that have received raises of any significance are those that work in Obama's White House - I believe they all got 14% raises, which is incredible, considering that the inflation rate is 0%. This President and this Congress are absolutely ruining the future of this country with their complete disregard for the unsustainable debt that they have expanded exponentially since Obama took office, and which will likely result in our economic collapse. (And we wonder why there are tea parties...)

Posted by: L80bug | February 17, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Talk about people with problems in comprehension.

Posted by: MaggiePi | February 17, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry but I have to disagree with you.

We were told that a stimulus had to be passed, today, could not wait.....now over a year later...still 1/3 of it has been spent, why? if it was needed so badly why is it still in the bank?

The polls show that 6% of America agree it has been good.

You sir are lying about the jobs created.

Obama said today ...jobs "saved"

Those jobs were federal union jobs and their vendors.

I would like to know what "vendors"?

I heard today that Obama's Weather Czar's husband who has a window company got a contract.....I hear John Stossel got a free ele. golf cart.

I guess if you had a "green" project you got "MONEY"

How much did Al Gore make on this deal?

I'm sorry, but too much has happened to open our eyes now.....we no longer believe anything Obama or his staff has to say..

This latest appointee "Rashad Hussain" is just another "terrorist" protector ....

Do we feel safe?? NO, NO, NO, NO,

HE even had the nerve today to say NO "earmarks"......did you hear that??

Son, if you really are believing this administration.....you need to go to your doctor for a check up.

What I witnessed today hearing his speech was laughable.

Especially the "target" on Biden's forehead.....did Obama do that for Dick Cheney??? Biden was not laughing so much this time..

***

***

Posted by: paulann1 | February 17, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

L80bug:

And I do not believe your statistics and you do not speak for MOST of the American people. You can always tell when a Republican is trying to spin some rhetoric by the way he tries to include "all" the American people. And it's always "my" America, and "my" freedom.

Got news for you guy, there's a whole bunch of people who are just watching. The majority were silent before the last election, and we are pretty silent now, for the most part, but we are still here. Unlike you we can read, learn and see what is going on for ourselves. We do see Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin for what they are. We understand that the GOP leaders are just letting the tea baggers scream to try and rally their base. Only problem is they are losing their base with all of this hyperbole. Even Joe Scarborough said this morning on "Morning Joe" that they have lost their base. He may be the only Republican I have seen in the last year who garners any respect at all. So you go ahead and try and blame Obama and the democrats for the Bush's debt, the depression and the wars and everthing else you can think of but it aint going to stick.

Posted by: MaggiePi | February 17, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

paulann1:

You seem to be one of the ones who lacks comprehension on how the stimulus works.
The first part of it was used for emergency funds to keep things going. Yes there were jobs saved. One of those jobs happened to be my daughters, she is a teacher and is very grateful.

Part of the stimulus is for creating jobs long term, which is where we are now. Why one year into this President trying to save us from a depression are you so critical? Is there some other problem that is bothering you? Like the fact you didn't vote for him in the first place?

You seem to have a lot of questions about what he is doing, but I have one for you.
Are you worse off than you were this time last year? I would really like to know if there is anyone on here that can say he is facing worse than he was a year ago.

You gave GWB eight years to destroy this country but President Obama has to fix all this country's problems in one year?

Posted by: MaggiePi | February 17, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Every morning when I take the freeway offramp and head to my office, I drive past a group of highway construction workers who are widening the freeway overpass that I drive across. Alongside the offramp is a Reinvestment and Recovery Act sign, announcing that this construction work is being paid for out of those funds...those STIMULUS funds. So I asked one of the workers one morning if he thanks President Obama each day for the paycheck he's now earning, and he declared, "Damn right I do!"

Jobs. That's what the stimulus is creating. And that means a stronger economy. It's really that simple.

As for all those Republicans in Congress who voted no and followed up that vote by declaring over and over that the stimulus "hasn't created a single job," and then sought stimulus funds and handed out checks in their districts, posing proudly for photos and talking about all the NEW JOBS "their" checks would help create: let's make those hypocritical behaviors the subject of campaign commercials for their Democratic opponents this fall!

Posted by: marcywrite | February 17, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

P.S. To all those who divided the stimulus funds by the number of jobs created and then declared the program a failure because the jobs "cost so much" -- you need to recognize that the funds didn't just pay their salaries...they also paid for the supplies and equipment that the companies being paid to do the work had to buy to DO the work...which money went into the coffers of the suppliers from which they bought said supplies and equipment.

Further STIMULATING the economy. The impact can't be measured just in terms of the number of jobs the stimulus created.

THINK people, PLEASE!

Posted by: marcywrite | February 17, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

"But people still need help, and the pity is that the Republicans can't see a way forward to helping them because doing so might help the other party in the midterm elections."

A profound truth. Way to go Ezra!

Posted by: willsCA | February 18, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Klein,

How do you manage to find your way to work?????????????

Posted by: hallsgibbs | February 18, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

marcywrite: Good post. I love it when people actually can state what they are basing their beliefs on. Reality.

Posted by: MaggiePi | February 18, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! There is so much "Negative Information," and attacks against what President OBama and his "Forces" have implemented and continues to try to implement. Many should take the time and read about Congress Woman, Born and how she had identified Fraud and Corruption at the highest level in lending practices, starting with the ARM, that would lead to the Economic Difficulties and turmoil that faced us as Americans, before President OBama took office. She identified this MESS and tried to have President Daddy Bush and President Clinton understand the direction the MESS was headed in during the late 1990's and early 200's. "The Powers That Be," criticized her and made her feel I am sure worthless in her attempts to head off the disaster. To see those she tried to reason with, tell her they were sorry they did not listen was nothing but BS from my point of view. Especially, looking at the number of homes foreclosed on,businesses shut down, jobs lost,and lives lost who could not face the devastation of the losses. Those who implemented the MESS, still got their profits, held onto their fine homes and luxuries, except a few like Madoff who just plainly robbed people of their life savings. This is clearly, lesson that we must hold all levels of government accountable, from the small town mayors to governors, state Congressmen and women, and Senators, to the US Congress and Senate.They have played with the American Dollars for self profits too long, so People Get Involved in your local politics and hold the politicians accountable.If they had listen to Born, we would not be in this mess and please take notice to what the OBama Force has done and understand that they are working for the "Masses of the People" and not just "Big Business" that helped to land us in this MESS!!!

Posted by: vwatson25 | February 18, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

We keep hearing that the stimulis has "created or saved" jobs. Could you separate the two for us?

Posted by: green102 | February 18, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse


As Posted by: marcywrite

P.S. To all those who divided the stimulus funds by the number of jobs created and then declared the program a failure because the jobs "cost so much" -- you need to recognize that the funds didn't just pay their salaries...they also paid for the supplies and equipment that the companies being paid to do the work had to buy to DO the work...which money went into the coffers of the suppliers from which they bought said supplies and equipment.

Further STIMULATING the economy. The impact can't be measured just in terms of the number of jobs the stimulus created.

THINK people, PLEASE!

----------------------------

Thank You Marcywrite.

I would also point out to anti-Stimulus wannabe mathematical wizards that they have forgotten to subtract the $275 billion in middle-income tax cuts/relief from their "cost per job" equation.

Nor do these wizards subtract the billions in stimulus funds used to extend unemployment benefits, subsidize the cost of Cobra health insurance for the unemployed, making college more affordable for students, new technology equipment for schools, extending educational and health services for children and youths with disabilities, and tax credits to underwrite clean energy and efficiency, etcetera etcetera.

Oh yea and lets not let them forget that the estimated 1.5 to 2.5 million jobs thus far saved or created do not reflect the fact that billions of dollars targeted for infrastructure projects has yet to be spent.

And for those who claim that the Stimulus Bill has failed, please quit pretending that you are 6 degrees or more removed from knowing anyone who has directly benefited from the Stimulus Bill. Chances are that such critics are only 1 or 2 degrees removed from knowing someone who has if not zero degrees removed because they themselves have benefited even though do not realize it or are willing to admit it.

Such uninformed/misinformed critics remind me of Representative John Boenher who has the audacity to claim that he has yet to meet anyone who supports the public healthcare option.

Get Real!

Posted by: csfoster2000 | February 18, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ezra- I was impressed by your statistics quoting David Lenhardt, so I immediately went to MoodysEconomy.com to check them. The first citation I saw on point was a cross reference to an article by Farley and Jacobsen of Florida's St. Petersburg Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/a-report-card-on-the-economic-stimulus/1074055 , and it says:

"...These estimates were by the Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency that does the number-crunching for Congress, as well by three private-sector economic-analysis firms. Here's what those groups found:
• CBO: Between 800,000 jobs and 2.4 million jobs.
• IHS/Global Insight: 1.25 million jobs
• Macroeconomic Advisers: 1.06 million jobs
• Moody's economy.com: 1.59 million jobs.
So Obama has cherry-picked the most favorable estimates. ..."

This does not square with your quote of Mr. Lenhardt. Would you please post the citation you relied upon? Maybe it was a "typo" when you said 1.6, and you meant 1.06???"

Posted by: whazzupezra | February 19, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Gee!!! Using the most optimistic figures you quote here it "only" cost roughly $320,000 per job "created" and EVERY ONE OF THEM IS TEMPORARY - what happens when the funds run out???

This is why we cannot trust the liberal press. You have no ability to think and instead blindly post the propaganda of the leftist administrations.

Posted by: ConstitutionallySpeaking | February 19, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

There are too many charlatans behind the Washington economic progress reports. The deliberate omission of the following glaring facts is deception in its worst form.

The Pew Center on the States release on the 17th on a $1 trillion deficit in State Pension Plans staring the taxpayers in the face is a body blow for the economy.

The mainly undisclosed mandated but unfunded medical care costs for the states in BO's Healthcare reform are criminal. California at $2 trillion and AZ at $4 billion are two exceptions both notably Republican Governors while the Democrats remain silent about the economic damage this will cause.

The fact that oil prices have doubled in a year and we import more than half our oil is blithely ignored - more trillions out of our economy and shipped to offshore economies (& terrorists?)!

The projected deficit spending by Congress and BO of $10 trillion for last year and the next 9 years will have to be repaid by tax increases taking cash out of the US economy and is just plain stupid wildly uncontrolled spending. To date, it has created NO jobs as unemployment and UNDEREMPLOYMENT continue to skyrocket (above 20% now).

The trillions of dollars in state tax revenue shortfalls versus current expenditures are a tsunami of tax increases all coming out of the economy. $2 trillion for CA and $3 billion for AZ are examples for large population and small population states.

CAN'T ANYONE HEAR THE LOUD SUCKING SOUND? It is our economy running down to empty because self interested Washington morons are following the discredited economic theories of Keynes.

To spur the economy we need to create NON-government jobs that will last after the spending stops. Small business in the US creates 70-80% of ALL new jobs. Add up the trillions above and ask how much went to support small business? Are you going to continue to be part of the problem or will you become part of the solution by turning the scoundrels and Socialists out of office in November?

Posted by: PRRWRITER | February 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Ezra . . . Well, as long as the rules are to examine non-partisan scholastic analyses of the effect of the stimulus, here is a discussion by macroeconomist Robert Barro you won't want to miss:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704751304575079260144504040.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

Barro, who has focused his studies through his career analyzing macroeconomic policy, concludes that a fair and complete assessment of the impact of the stimulus package on the economy includes short range increases in GDP followed by much larger reductions in GDP from the path that GDP would otherwise have followed. By highlighting only the upfront "candy" and ignoring the consequent cardiac arrest, any declaration that the stimulus package is a worthwhile success is quite deceptive.

Posted by: rboltuck | February 23, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Time will tell how well the Stimulus is viewed. In my opinion President Obama did what was necessary to keep this country stable. President Obama took action to help America and it has helped many. There will be more funds for more projects made available this year.

Posted by: equalon | February 24, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company