Friday, October 16, 2009

Transparency Can Hoist Obama On His Own Petard

Republican politicians all across the country today are preparing to skewer the Obama administration with its own partial data on economic stimulus activity released yesterday on the website. The reports thus far show only 30,083 jobs created by stimulus appropriations spent to date. Obama's allies argue that the reported data represents only 5% of stimulus spending to date, and that if the other 95% of the spending is creating or saving jobs at the same rate, the stimulus actually produced 600,000 jobs directly. They further argue that these 600,000 jobs would have meant an indirect creation of a similar number, for a total job creation of about 1.2 million due to the stimulus appropriations.

Vice President Biden's Chief Economist Jared Bernstein says, "All signs - from private estimates to this fragmentary data - point to the conclusion that the Recovery Act did indeed create or save about 1 million jobs in its first seven months." Republicans point instead to Obama's failed promise that the appropriations would hold unemployment under 8%. Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, put his response this way, "After wasting taxpayer dollars to produce an unimpressive 397 jobs in Michigan, middle class families are still asking one thing: Where are the jobs?"
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