Friday, November 06, 2009

Innocent Bystanders: The Employment Picture and the Current Administration's Stimulus Defense

The President and his economic team have claimed that the plan is working as intended, that they’re on track to save the original goal of 3.6 million jobs, but somehow, despite practically drowning in success, we’re going to have to live with high unemployment for years to come. Oh, and that everything is still Bush’s fault.

These claims have been debunked by a variety of sources, including the AP (and here), the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and blogs such as Political Math (H/T d3ft punk).

But forget the quantitative treatment for a moment and consider what the Obama team’s graph said on a qualitative level. The graph says that within a couple of quarters, the stimulus package will stop the increase in unemployment and reverse the employment trend. That was the real mission of the stimulus. Stop job loss. Get the private sector hiring again.

So no matter how convoluted and fanciful the “jobs created or saved” numbers get, we just have to remember what the point used to be, and realize how far short we’ve fallen. And whose fault that really is.

Read it all and look carefully at those graphs.


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