Stimulus = $278,000 per job
[T]he White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama…reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.
In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.
Of course, that would have removed the ability of bureaucrats and friends of “O” to skim off the top.
ADDENDUM: There was a second part to this post that got “lost” in the interwebs. Honest, I included it first time around. Here it is:
Jake Tapper tweeted that the White House isn’t happy with the way the report is being framed, quoting Liz Ozhorn, “a White House spokesman for the stimulus bill”:
[T]he Weekly Standard report “is based on partial information and false analysis. The Recovery Act was more than a measure to create and save jobs; it was also an investment in American infrastructure, education and industries that are critical to America’s long-term success and an investment in the economic future of America’s working families. Thanks to the Recovery Act, 110 million working families received a tax cut through the Making Work Pay tax credit, over 110,000 small businesses received critical access to capital through $27 billion in small business loans and more than 75,000 projects were started nationwide to improve our infrastructure, jump-start emerging industries and spur local economic development. The nonpartisan CBO has confirmed that the Recovery Act delivered as promised, lowering the unemployment rate by as much as 2 percent, boosting GDP by as much as 4 percent and creating and saving as many as 3.6 million jobs.”
Countering this, Reuters blogger James Pethokoukis tongue-in-cheek tweeted “But what about multiplier effect?” (reference) .
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty notes that, taking the White House “corrective” into account, and using higher employment estimates, then it comes out to $185,000 per job. So much better! Geraghty also notes that the White House is following a new rounding standard:
Also note that the White House does some convenient rounding of their own. In their defense, they state, “The nonpartisan CBO has confirmed that the Recovery Act delivered as promised, lowering the unemployment rate by as much as 2 percent, boosting GDP by as much as 4 percent and creating and saving as many as 3.6 million jobs.”
Actually, that stretches what the CBO actually said. Their report puts the maximum impact on the unemployment rate at 1.8 percent and as low as .6 percent, and that it boosted “(inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.1 percent and 3.1 percent.”
I’ll stress it again: if it was all good, they wouldn’t have released it on a Friday afternoon before the holiday weekend. It would have been a prime time speech on July 4th right before the fireworks!