Posts Tagged ‘saved or created’

Obama Stimulus Actually Raised Unemployment

February 25, 2010

An Investors.com article entitled The ‘Stimulus’ Actually Raised Unemployment should be required reading for every American:

By ALAN REYNOLDS Posted 02/19/2010

President Obama seized on the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as an opportunity to take credit for the belated and tenuous economic recovery.

But the economy always recovered from recessions, long before anyone imagined that government borrowing could “create jobs.” And we didn’t used to have to wait nearly two years for signs of recovery, as we did this time.

A famous 1999 study by Christina Romer, who now heads the Council of Economic Advisers, found the average length of recessions from 1887 to 1929 was only 10.3 months, with the longest lasting 16 months.

Recessions lasted longer during the supposedly enlightened postwar era, with three of them lasting 16 to 21 months.

Keynesian countercyclical schemes have never worked in this country, just as they never worked in Japan.

The issue of “fiscal stimulus” must not be confused with TARP or with the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates and pumping up bank reserves.

One might argue that those Treasury and Fed programs helped prevent a hypothetical depression, but it’s impossible to make that argument about ARRA.

The “fiscal stimulus” refers only to a deliberate $862 billion increase in budget deficits. Importantly, only 23% ($200 billion) was spent in 2009, with 47% in 2010 and 30% in later years (according to the Congressional Budget Office this January).

How could the initial $200 billion have possibly had anything to do with the 5.7% rise in fourth-quarter GDP?

The Keynesian fable presumes that faster federal spending and consumers spending their federal benefit checks were the driving forces in the rebound.

Yet the GDP report clearly said the gain “reflected an increase in private inventory investment, a deceleration of imports and an upturn in nonresidential, fixed investment that was partly offset by decelerations in federal government (defense) spending and in personal consumption expenditures.”

Since federal spending accounted for exactly zero of the only significant increase GDP, how could such spending possibly have “created or saved” 2 million jobs?

The bill was launched last year amid grandiose promises of “shovel ready” make-work projects.

In reality, as the CBO explains, “five programs accounted for more than 80% of the outlays from ARRA in 2009: Medicaid, unemployment compensation, Social Security … grants to state and local governments … and student aid.”

In other words, what was labeled a “stimulus” bill was actually a stimulus to government transfer payments — cash and benefits that are primarily rewards for not working, or at least not working too hard.

First of all, believe it or not, America actually recovered from every single recession in its history without Barack Obama.  And the longest recessions we’ve had have occurred during the period when elitist big government liberals were frantically pulling levers and pushing buttons.

UCLA economists have calculated that FDR’s policies actually prolonged the Great Depression by 7 years, a conclusion validated by Roosevelt’s own Treasury Secretary in his remarks to the House Ways and Means Committee:

“We have tried spending money.  We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.  And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job.  I want to see this country prosperous.  I want to see people get a job.  I want to see people get enough to eat.  We have never made good on our promises…  I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!” – Henry Morganthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, May 1939 (Morganthau Diary, May 9, 1939 entry, Franklin Presidential Library)

For the record, the unemployment rate the month before this mea culpa had been a sky-high 20.7%.  More than six years after FDR’s New Deal, more than 1 out of every five workers was unemployed.

Obama’s own expert (Christina Romer) pointed out that pre-FDR, pre-New Deal, pre-stimulus, and pre-Obama, recessions only lasted an overage of 1o.3 months.  This one’s going to last a helluva lot longer in the age of Obama.

The next thing to consider is that the $24 trillion in TARP and other federal programs makes the $862 billion Obama stimulus – with only some $200-plus billion having been spent so far – look laughably puny in comparison.  Obama’s claim that his stimulus saved the day is rather like the gnat telling the elephant, “I was pushing too.  And it was my efforts that saved the day, not yours.”

Obama’s claim is laughable.  And so is the mainstream media that has largely allowed Obama to continue making such a claim.

A third point is that it is simply a fact that all the Obama and Democrat claims of “shovel ready jobs” is just a lie.

From an Associated Press article:

Even within the construction industry, which stood to benefit most from transportation money, the AP’s analysis found there was nearly no connection between stimulus money and the number of construction workers hired or fired since Congress passed the recovery program. The effect was so small, one economist compared it to trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it.”

Which is to say, the only thing that was ever “shovel ready” about the stimulus was bull crap.  And the Democrats shoveled it high and deep.

Virtually all of the nowhere near 2 million jobs that were “saved or created” were government jobs.  And government jobs are parasitic upon the private sector which taxes PAY for those government jobs.  In other words, the government sector doesn’t produce; government jobs exist ONLY because of the productive output of the private sector, and the private sector taxes that provide the money for the government sector and all the bureaucrats on the payroll.

And what we have here is a case in which $862 billion plus interest has been sucked out of the private sector which actually creates the jobs that produce and given to the government.  Which means less wealth for the private sector.  Which means fewer private sector jobs.  Which means less productivity.  Which means lower tax revenues which fund the government payroll.

Which means we are in a vicious cycle.  Obama is going to need to keep borrowing to pay the government workers on the government payrolls, which means less money for the private sector, which means fewer private sector jobs and less private sector productivity, which means lower tax revenues, which means more borrowing to fund the government sector jobs.

Which is why “Keynesian countercyclical schemes have never worked.”

Let’s look at the gigantic mess that Obama left Illinois in as an example of why this crap doesn’t work, and how Illinois has an $85 billion black hole of unfunded public employee pension obligations which it can never possibly hope to repay.

First of all, the government has a way of rewarding itself at the expense of the private sector over and over again.  Thus:

“The level of pension benefits provided by the state’s plans generally exceeds those available in the private sector — i.e., available to taxpayers who pay the state’s bills,” the Commercial Club’s Martin contended in his report.

But at the same time government sector union benefits dwarf those of the private sector employees who pay for those massive benefits, another thing happens: the government, being an inherently amoral and short-sighted enterprise, can’t help but constantly rob Peter to pay Paul in a neverending attempt to eat their cake, and have it, too.  Hence the Pension Modernization Task Force investigating the black hole of Illinois pensions was forced to conclude:

“Not wanting to implement dramatic cuts in spending on essential services, the legislature and various governors elected to instead divert revenue from making the required employer pension contribution to maintaining services like education, health care, public safety and caring for disadvantaged populations,” the center argued. “Effectively, the state used the pension systems as a credit card to fund ongoing service operations.”

Which is to say that first the government makes impossible promises, and then it engages in unsustainable and frankly insane policies to play their equivalent of budgetary Whac-a-Mole in order to juggle all the impossible competing spending priorities they’ve been insane enough to commit themselves to.

Which is exactly what happened in the case of the Obama stimulus.  It was advertised as a “shovel-ready” package to create jobs, but instead it was “actually a stimulus to government transfer payments — cash and benefits that are primarily rewards for not working, or at least not working too hard.” And so money that was supposed to fund job creation instead went almost entirely to “Medicaid, unemployment compensation, Social Security … grants to state and local governments … and student aid.”

And jobs got sucked out of the economy.

To the extent that the Obama stimulus actually did any good, any benefit will be entirely consumed by the far greater harm it will do to the economy shortly down the road.

Fortunately, the claims that the Obama administration and the Democrat Party have made have been so inherently contradictory and so over-the-top fallacious that only six percent of Americans believe that Obama’s stimulus has created any jobs at all thus far.

Obama Job Numbers, And Why Won’t The NBA Believe Me When I Say I’m 25 Feet Tall?

February 21, 2010

Obama keeps saying he’s created 2 million jobs.  And I keep filling up barf buckets.

One of the biggest Big Lies of the Obama administration was the invention of the never-before-seen category of “saved or created” jobs.  Simply put, it is a giant load of rotting baloney.  Harvard economics Professor Gregory Mankiw has said, “There is no way to measure how many jobs are saved.” Allan Meltzer, professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University has said “One can search economic textbooks forever without finding a concept called ‘jobs saved.’ It doesn’t exist for good reason: how can anyone know that his or her job has been saved?” If George Bush had EVER tried to use this same “saved or created” shenanigan, he would have been simultaneously mocked as a complete moron and attacked as a criminal who was trying to deliberately deceive the American people.  But a liberal Democrat did it, so the mainstream media has merely duly reported the totally-made-up and self-serving “statistic” as though it weren’t a complete fabrication.

Why does Obama keep lying to the American people about jobs?

A couple of weeks ago, his three senior advisers trotted out with wildly disparate job numbers that Obama had ostensibly “saved or created.” On the very same day, David Axelrod said we had saved or created more than 2 million jobs.  Robert Gibbs said we’d saved 1.5 million jobs.  And Valerie Jarrett said we’d saved thousands and thousands of jobs.

Valerie Jarret would have to say, “thousands and thousands” a thousand times to get to Axelrod’s “2 million.”

The numbers are arbitrary bullcrap.  The Obama administration has “saved or created” as many jobs as they think they can get away with before they think the American people will realize they are liars.

We can go back and look at how shockingly deceitful Obama’s job claim numbers have been.  I never thought an American president could get away with so many shockingly transparent lies.  You have to be a hard-core lie ADDICT to tell these kind of lies.

We can go back and look at all the bogus congressional districts and phony zip codes that have been “saving or creating” job after job.

Why, you can almost believe Obama’s claims when just one lawnmower was all it took to “save or create” a whopping 50 jobs (and that as reported by the New York Times).  I mean, if we produce just 6 million lawnmowers, we can have total employment of every single man, woman, and child in America.

And even given Obama’s OWN INFORMATION, he has only “saved or created” 595,263 jobs as of February 20, 2010.  Which amounts to $456,941 per job given how much of the porkulus slush fund otherwise known as stimulus dollars have been paid out.

595,263 can become more than 2 million if it’s stretched long enough.

I tried Obama’s tactic.  I called up every single team in the NBA and told them I was 25 feet tall.  Only nobody believed me.  I really hoped my six foot body could be out there on the floor with Shaquille O’Neal, and I could simply tell any skeptic who doubts my 25-foot status that “they just aren’t looking at the full picture” or something similar.

Senator Evan Bayh, in announcing that he would not run again as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate, had this to say to convey the truth:

“[I]f I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months.”

[link] [Youtube]

That’s an awfully far cry from 2 million, isn’t it?

According to a recent New York Times/CBS poll, a whopping 94% of the American people agree with Bayh. Only 6% of Americans believe Obama’s massive porkulus has created jobs a full year after going into effect.

Only SIX PERCENT of Americans believe that Obama’s porkulus has created any jobs at all.  That means more Americans believe that space aliens have anally probed them than believe in the stimulus.  It also means that 94% think Obama and his entire administration and the entire Democrat congressional leadership are completely full of crap.

So why does the mainstream media keep reporting that Obama has saved or created 2 million jobs, when 94% of the American people – even according to CBS and the New York Times!!! – don’t think he’s created ANY jobs?

I have an even better question for you: why on earth do you keep watching or reading the mainstream media when they keep reporting flagrant lies as if they were facts?

Do you like being lied to?  Were you told so many lies as a child that you now need a constant stream of lies to stay in your little happy place?

Meanwhile, even as Obama falsely tells us that he gave us 2 million jobs this year, and that we are “clearly” emerging from the recession – which means even MORE job growth in future years – his own numbers are telling him that he will leave office in 2012 with unemployment higher than it was when he came in.

If you’re willing to believe that Obama saved or created 2 million jobs, please send me $99.99 for my miraculous elixir that is guaranteed to make you 25 feet tall.  And for an extra $99.99, I will send you a ruler that will prove that you have grown fourfold.

And please ignore the fact that the contents of the bottle look and taste rather like urine.