The Declarational Power of the O
“O” continues to stand for “audacity”:
President-elect Obama countered critics with an analysis yesterday by his economic team showing that a program of tax cuts and spending such as he has proposed would create up to 4.1 million jobs, far more than the 3 million that he has insisted are needed to lift the country out of recession.
Of course, in the AP style book, “showing” apparently means “insisting based on data and plans that remain secret”:
Obama has provided few details of his $775 billion plan so far. This fresh report does not include the specific construction of his tax cuts, the amounts dedicated to state aid or public works — key questions that Obama aides have closely held.
Yesterday, economic aides and advisers wouldn’t lay out even rough estimates for the plan’s components. They said they worked with broad instructions from Obama but didn’t want to limit negotiations with congressional leaders by outlining their limits in public.
In other words, there’s more than a little showmanship involved in the declaration that the plan will now “save or create” an additional million jobs. This is a telling tidbit, though:
If Congress fails to enact a big economic recovery plan, Obama’s advisers estimate that an additional 3 million to 4 million jobs will disappear before the recession ends.
It’s conceivable that the Obama team revised its analysis upwards because updated economic indicators suggested another million jobs might be lost, and they’re operating under the assumption that pumping a bunch of borrowed federal dollars into the economy will halt the slide. It’s difficult enough to tell whether a particular action helped to create jobs; promises to “save” them on this scale are meaningless.