Over the past two years, our nation borrowed $123 billion to pay for unemployment insurance extensions, our national debt increased by almost $4 trillion, and Democrats passed a $2 trillion health care bill and a stimulus bill now estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cost $860 billion. In spite of all this spending, people are asking, “Where are the jobs?”
There are two numbers in this paragraph that fit the point Voinovich is making: The $123 billion in unemployment insurance extensions and the $860 billion in stimulus. Estimates put the jobs created by those bills near 3 million. But that's 3 million jobs amid more than 150 million workers, and that's about $1 trillion or so in stimulus spread over three years of the American economy, which is to say it's about $1 trillion against more than $40 trillion. So you could ask, "Where are the jobs?" but you could also ask, "Where is the spending?"
Meanwhile, the "$2 trillion health care bill" doesn't start spending until 2014 and then cuts and taxes elsewhere so that the next increase in government spending is ... negative. The increase in national debt reflected a massive drop in revenues, not $4 trillion in spending over the past two years (which is why you can't get the other numbers in this paragraph to add to $4 trillion).
And what's weirdest about this op-ed is that Voinovich isn't against stimulus: He wants more of it. Meanwhile, Voinovich is arguing for highway investment, which he sells using a Transportation Department estimate that "for every $1 billion the federal government invests in highways and bridges, 34,800 jobs are created or maintained." And it's true: Tens or hundreds of billions spent on transportation infrastructure conceivably creates tens or hundreds of thousands of jobs. But even so, Americans will still be asking, "Where are the jobs?" If you want them to stop asking that, you need policies as big as the problem, not numbers that make them think your policies were bigger than they were.
Photo credit: Boris Grdanoski/AP.
August 5, 2010; 11:19 AM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Who overturned Prop 8?
Next: The conservative effort to undermine health-care reform
Posted by: leoklein | August 5, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: FastEddieO007 | August 5, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: FastEddieO007 | August 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rmgregory | August 5, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ciocia1 | August 5, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JoeJeffersonn | August 5, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: donopj2 | August 5, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse