A Mega High Ratio of Stimulus-Money-Spent-To-Jobs-Created But Did the Dire Economic Crisis Even Exist?
At the bottom of the June 15 article (“Stimulus-funded jobs appearing”) are numbers that should truly frighten anyone who still believes that the government is equipped to put the unemployed back to work.
For $46 million, the state essentially bribed 86 employers to open 270 positions, of which only 32 were filled from a pool of over 800 applicants. Some simple division shows that the cost per job created so far is over $1.4 million. Even if the program succeeded at placing every single qualified applicant, the cost would be over $225,000 per job created, which far exceeds any sort of reasonable return on investment for taxpayers.
It would have been far cheaper to place the applicants on welfare and pay for them to attend GED or community college courses for the duration of their unfortunate circumstances.
Programs like this one (with 4 percent success rates and massive costs financed by public debt) will postpone, not hasten, true economic recovery.
Encouraged by the first wave of such dubious spending launched by his predecessor, President Bush, President Obama insisted that we were justified in saddling future generations with large amounts of our debt because there was a dire economic downturn lurking that absolutely had to be averted by the creation of jobs via lots of government spending. (We’re going to pretend for this discussion that much of the stimulus money didn’t go to many, many other unrelated “projects”.) Yet while all of this government spending was occurring, the vast majority of jobs maintained were in the private sector without a dime of stimulus money. The result has been that the economy continues to stink, though not crash. In fact, despite all of the wild spending (our debt will equal 97% of our GDP next year) Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke observed this week that
financial conditions have become less supportive of economic growth on balance
All that spending. Comparatively few jobs created. Was there ever really an economic disaster about to unfold as President Obama foretold?