On Friday the Obama administration released a report from its Counsel of Economic Advisors concerning the effects of the Stimulus bill on the economy. You figure it had to be bad news because not only was it released on Friday (bad news always comes on Friday, often after 5pm) but it was also released over a holiday weekend. It was bad news indeed. Obama’s Stimulus package has spent $666 billion and has “saved or created” 2.4 million jobs. That comes out to $278,000 per job “saved or created.”
We’ll ignore the dubious claim of jobs saved and pretend that these are all actual jobs. Obama’s own economic advisors acknowledge that the Stimulus has actually reversed itself over the last six months. In January the administration boasted that the Stimulus “saved or created” 2.7 million jobs. Now it appears they’ve lost 300,000 of them. No wonder Obama wanted this report issued on a Friday before a holiday weekend. As Jeffrey Anderson of the Weekly Standard pointed out, the Federal government could have just cut a check to 2.4 million people for $100,000 and taxpayers would be over $400 billion ahead of where we are now.
Those on the far left from Bill Clinton to Paul Krugman have argued that the Stimulus wasn’t big enough. I’m sure Krugman will note that the 300,000 lost Stimulus jobs over the past six months is absolute proof that the Stimulus wasn’t big enough. In fact the opposite is true, the Stimulus simply didn’t work. The cost to taxpayers for each job has been extreme. No private sector employer would shell out $278,000 for each $40,000 a year job they create. Only the government would think that’s a great deal.
The fact is the Obama administration has so far spent $666 billion that our country doesn’t have on jobs that were largely not new. Let’s be honest, the jobs saved is more or less a fictitious number. The Stimulus created very few jobs that didn’t already exist and likely would have existed without the Federal government spending more money. So not only did the Stimulus not create anything but it put the country further in debt. This is debt that our grandchildren will be stuck paying off.
The Stimulus was a failure, just like most massive government programs. The Stimulus was filled with waste and abuse. It didn’t create the jobs Democrats and Obama claimed it would produce. It didn’t keep unemployment under 7% like Obama and the Democrats claimed it would. It cost taxpayers more per job than it would have to cut yearly salaries to 2.4 million people for two years. Most importantly, the Stimulus did nothing to help the economy. It didn’t create jobs and it didn’t create residual jobs. Like nearly all of Obama’s economic policies, the Stimulus was an abject failure.
I surely cannot blame the administration for trying to hide these dismal numbers. If I had wasted $666 billion (it will be $800 billion once all the Stimulus funds are spent) that didn’t achieve what it was promised to achieve, I would want to hide the failure as well. The Stimulus is not only a failure of government and the administration, it’s yet another failure of the philosophy of big government. Government cannot create jobs just by spending money. It takes a private sector with profit motive to create real, lasting jobs.