« "I proclaim the end of the world." | Main | How the Massachusetts Democrats can Cheat Their Way to a Coakley Victory »

Stimulus - What's It Good For?

Not much, according to the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON - A federal spending surge of more than $20 billion for roads and bridges in President Barack Obama's first stimulus has had no effect on local unemployment rates, raising questions about his argument for billions more to address an "urgent need to accelerate job growth."

An Associated Press analysis of stimulus spending found that it didn't matter if a lot of money was spent on highways or none at all: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless. And the stimulus spending only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, the analysis showed.

... "My bottom line is, I'd be skeptical about putting too much more money into a second stimulus until we've seen broader effects from the first stimulus," said Aaron Jackson, a Bentley University economist who also reviewed AP's analysis.

For the analysis, the AP reviewed Transportation Department data on more than $21 billion in stimulus projects in every state and Washington, D.C., and the Labor Department's monthly unemployment data to assess the effects of road and bridge spending on local unemployment and construction employment. The analysis did not try to measure results of the broader aid that also was in the first stimulus such as tax cuts, unemployment benefits or money for states.

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.

"As a policy tool for creating jobs, this doesn't seem to have much bite," said Emory University economist Thomas Smith, who supported the stimulus and reviewed AP's analysis. "In terms of creating jobs, it doesn't seem like it's created very many. It may well be employing lots of people but those two things are very different." (emphasis added)

It seems that the only "shovel-ready" aspect of the Obama Administration's stimulus plan is the ongoing effort to hide the scope of its failure. And it's not hard to figure out just exactly what the Obama White House will be shoveling:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Now we'll never know just how many jobs were funded by the $787 billion stimulus program.

Until a policy change last month, Obama administration officials had said they would keep a running count of the number of jobs created or saved by the massive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Going forward, the White House will only tally jobs one quarter at a time and not attempt to determine a total.

On top of that, the administration has directed Recovery Act recipients to report all jobs funded with stimulus money - regardless of whether they were new jobs or existing ones. That change gets rid of the controversial "jobs saved" designation, which asked recipients to determine which positions would have been eliminated were it not for stimulus.

... Administration officials decided to change the reporting guidelines after meeting with funding recipients, federal agencies and economists. The shift is in line with recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office, which also raised concerns about the accuracy of the jobs tally released in October.

One of recipients' main complaints about the reporting process concerned the "jobs saved" designation.

"The recipients were telling us they were having trouble determining whether a job was saved or not," said Yvonne Jones, a director on the GAO's strategic issues team. (emphasis added)

President Obama's defenders regularly point out that economic recovery takes years, and that even the spectacular "Regan Recovery" of the 1980's got off to a poor start, with a recession that spanned most of 1981 and 1982. True enough, but President Reagan never made the same kind of rosy promises offered by the Obama White House, which assured us that unemployment would not rise above 8.5% if their stimulus spending plans were enacted.

I'm fairly certain that we won't see any more detailed predictions about economic recovery coming from the White House, until a recovery is well under way.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/37923.

Comments (17)

President Obama's ... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:
President Obama's defenders regularly point out that economic recovery takes years, and that even the spectacular "Regan Recovery" of the 1980's got off to a poor start, with a recession that spanned most of 1981 and 1982. True enough, but President Reagan never made the same kind of rosy promises offered by the Obama White House, which assured us that unemployment would not rise above 8.5% if their stimulus spending plans were enacted.

Obama never "promised" either. It's a lie. Bullshit - bullshit - bullshit.

We've heard it from House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., as well as conservative talk show host Sean Hannity, to name a few. They all called it a "promise."

They are referring to a Jan. 9, 2009, report called "The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" from Christina Romer, chairwoman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, the vice president's top economic adviser.

Their report projected that the stimulus plan proposed by Obama would create between three and four million jobs by the end of 2010. The report also includes a graphic predicting unemployment rates with and without the stimulus. Without the stimulus (the baseline), unemployment was projected to hit about 8.5 percent in 2009 and then continue rising to a peak of about 9 percent in 2010. With the stimulus, they predicted the unemployment rate would peak at just under 8 percent in 2009....

What we saw from the administration in January was a projection, not a promise. And it was a projection that came with heavy disclaimers.

"It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error," the report states. "There is the more fundamental uncertainty that comes with any estimate of the effects of a program. Our estimates of economic relationships and rules of thumb are derived from historical experience and so will not apply exactly in any given episode. Furthermore, the uncertainty is surely higher than normal now because the current recession is unusual both in its fundamental causes and its severity."

There's also a footnote that goes along with the chart that states: "Forecasts of the unemployment rate without the recovery plan vary substantially. Some private forecasters anticipate unemployment rates as high as 11% in the absence of action."

That sure doesn't sound like a full-fledged promise to us.

We think it's a big stretch to call an economic projection a "promise." The administration never characterized it that way and included plenty of disclaimers saying the predictions had "significant margins of error" and a higher degree of uncertainty due to a recession that is "unusual both in its fundamental causes and its severity."

There's a good reason why bloggers who are dutifully repeating the Republican lie never link to a quote where the "promise" was made...

It's because there was no promise.

The even bigger scandal sho... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The even bigger scandal should be the $787 billion "stimulus" which was sold to the public as "infrastructure investment" in "shovel-ready projects" was a near-total fraud. Only $21 billion even went for roads and bridges, less than 3% of the funds spent in record time. Where did the rest go?

Heh. Take a wild flying guess, maties . . .

s green ...how doe... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

s green ...

how does it feel to realize you've been had by Obama ?

Must suck to see the mask come off the Chicago con man and expose his true nature ... all the while you try to defend him ...

I get it, your world view is constructed around The Won and you aren't about to give up easily ... still, late at night or in the morning mirror the knot of fear in your stomach must be getting pretty big ...

I suspect you are very close to losing it and coming here to Wizbang to vent may be the only thing keeping you anchored to any sort of reality at this point ...

We are really here to help ... all you have to do is ask ...

"Obama never promised..."</... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Obama never promised..."

Yeah, he never used the word promise. However he did say that if he didn't get the stimulus that unemployment would approach 10% and that if it were passed it would stay closer to 8%. He promised that the stimulus would create and "save" jobs. Well virtually no jobs have been created (unless you count the jobs in non-existent congressional districts) and "saved" is a BS designation that has no real meaning and no way to confirm that a job was saved due to any specific reason.

He also said that his administration would be transparent, yet most legislation is written behind closed doors still. No he didn't "promise" to put healthcare negotiations on CSpan, but he made it sound like he did.

He made a lot of "Promises" during the campaign that everyone understood as promises. If you have t parse a president's words so carefully to understand what he is really saying then he is not trustworthy and nobody would want to vote for a president that when his words taken plainly mean one thing, but when you parse them out they mean something totally the opposite.

Face it Steve, you were had. Obama has lied about everything other than wanting to radically remake the American way of life.

You may want it, but few of the rest of us do.

s green "Obama never "... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s green "Obama never "promised" either. It's a lie. Bullshit - bullshit - bullshit."

Yeah, you're right I smell bullshit also, but it emanates from your keyboard. As usual.

Promise... projection... parse those words all you want but the bottomline is no matter how you slice it obama and his "crack" economic advisers are full of shit.

And BTW I seem to recall you making a "promise" that a certain reporter while in Mass. was so fat that he toppled over a low fence like drunken weeble.

Whatever happened to that?

Asshole.

P.S. s green "There... (Below threshold)
Marc:

P.S. s green "There's a good reason why bloggers who are dutifully repeating the Republican lie never link to a quote where the "promise" was made..."

Funny thing, you didn't link to the quote either.

Does that make you a liar?

A fraud?

A disingenuous buffoon?

One big problem is unlike t... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

One big problem is unlike the Roosevelt-era WPA spending for roads, is that modern construction projects can be held up by endless hearings and red tape. For example, even though bicyclists aren't allowed on freeways, they have showed up at hearings to block a new bridge between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington in droves demanding bicycle lanes on the bridge, which is impossible because the freeway in Portland ends at the bridge entrance begins. Bicycli

Americans have become their own oppressors. They prevent others from working, businesses from expanding or the federal stimulus projects to be quickly started.

Steve GreenIt was ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Steve Green

It was 8% and it was in a report which was published in Jan.

BTW how are those Healthcare talks on CSpan going. Are you saying he never promised that?

He promised to close GITMO in a year. he has 2 days left. Do you think he will make it>?

How about no lobbyists in his administration?

Also how is that coakley election looking?>


Stevie Green...throwing a t... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Stevie Green...throwing a tantrum. "It's a lie, a lie, a lie"! Waaaa waaaa waaaaaaaa!

"It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error,"

Yeah, Stevie SIGNIFICANT MARGINS OF ERROR! So much for the 'best administration ever'. All we hear from them is "unexpected"...."unexpected".

You're a fucking fool Stevie! We've got a bunch of socialist asshats trying to shove their theology down our throats. A theology that's been proved wrong TIME AND TIME AGAIN!

So STFU Stevie and go back to your freaking Kool Aid! After Brown is elected, your Obamassiah is TOAST! A 3 year lame-duck, has-been. Just like Jimmah Carter.

hooson "One big proble... (Below threshold)
Marc:

hooson "One big problem is unlike the Roosevelt-era WPA spending for roads, is that modern construction projects can be held up by endless hearings and red tape."


But, but... BUT they were promised to be "shovel ready."

Just another bullshit promise.

At least we got something o... (Below threshold)
ck:

At least we got something out of that 20, the rest of the 787 went to payoffs and vote buying schemes.

"until a recovery is well u... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"until a recovery is well under way..."
*When* a recovery is underway and at the rate this Congress and President are spending might be quite some time down the road.

"Roosevelt-era WPA spending..." did more to hold up economic recovery than doing *NOTHING*.

Just WTF do you think is happening right now as 'The Won' spreads his largess amongst his friends and cronies? Do you have even the SLIGHTEST idea where any of the Stimulus I funds went?

I didn't think so.
KTNX4PLAYING, no charge.

Steve Green seems to be on ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Steve Green seems to be on the verge of a "Obama isn't what I thought he'd be" breakdown. Not living in reality will do that to you. ww

"Do you have even the SLIGH... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Do you have even the SLIGHTEST idea where any of the Stimulus I funds went?"

I thought Sheriff Joe Biden was going to be on top of all that! You mean he hasn't? How disappointing.

Nothing like putting an idiot in charge of the cash register. When asked what happened, the idiot can truthfully said "I don't have a clue."

You mean we can't drink our... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

You mean we can't drink our way to sobriety, GarandFan?

I RECON ITS TIME TO START S... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

I RECON ITS TIME TO START SLOPPIN THEM CONRESSIONAL AND SENATORIAL HAWGS AGIN BILLY BOB BUT IN MY OPINION PAWS SPOLIN THEM

"It's because there was ... (Below threshold)
920:

"It's because there was no promise."


Posted by the same dumbass as always..

O'dufus never promised 24 trillion in debt and 17% unemployment but its here you dimwitted brown holer..




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy