Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Well, Our Numbers Don't Lie; They Don't Tell The Truth Either

With the table below, Political Math demonstrates how the Obama administration has been "horrifically, disastrously wrong" in the effectiveness of its "stimulus" policies.

Unemployment Rate Unemployed Population
Predicted Unemployment without the Stimulus 8.7% 13,492,000
Predicted Unemployment with the Stimulus 7.9% 12,251,000
Actual Unemployment with the Stimulus 9.4% 14,511,000

So, in effect, the "stimulus" has resulted in the loss of 1,019,000 jobs than if there had been no stimulus, at least if we use the President's promise, which was based on a hopeful army of nerds running all sorts of impressive calculations in this new age of scientific inquiry and soulless application of reason and Keynesian quantification, all of it so unlike that crafty bastard George Bush, who used old Atari 64 bit computers to run his budgets and used his complete control of the mainstream media to drown a willing populace in his Deatheater lies. Now, other eggheads will argue that we can't predict what actual unemployment without the stimulus would have been, so why take Obama to task for being rosy about government manipulation of the economy. Oh, right, he's pointing us in the right direction with his government largesse. He promised to save or create 3 million jobs with his stimulus and while the bald facts seem to suggest a complete failure to create jobs and there's no way to actually claim they "save" any jobs, let alone a paltry 150,000 and not including any additions to government worker rolls, we just have to believe the government will take care of it sooner or later. But he really means it now and we can expect 600,000 jobs to be saved or created this summer. After all, the economy can't be allowed to work these problems out on its own. That's never worked, even though it's never really been tried.

As Keith Hennessey points out:

Less than 5% of the $787 B [stimulus] is out the door, and the bulk of the cash flow will not happen until mid-2010. The administration would like to claim credit for the so-called green shoots of good news, and they deserve some praise for the stress tests, but they cannot plausibly claim that stimulus spending is helping the economy now in any significant way. No made up calculation of jobs saved can obscure that the money is not yet flowing into the economy.


In addition to being inefficient and wasteful, the stimulus was poorly timed. By deferring to congressional desires to shovel taxpayer funds to slow-spending infrastructure projects, the administration got a stimulus law that isn’t helping GDP growth now, and won’t have a quantitatively significant effect until 2010. The administration is in a tough spot — if the economy is not healing, then at some point the president will take the blame. If instead the economy is healing before the stimulus takes effect, then maybe the stimulus was unnecessary or even counterproductive.
Well, what the hell does some right wing economist know? Let's ask the people on whose behalf all this rubbing and stimulating is being done.

According to Rasmussen Reports:

(f)orty-five percent (45%) of Americans say the rest of the new government spending authorized in the $787-billion economic stimulus plan should now be canceled.
Rasmussen has some other interesting tidbits about Hope and Change in your wallet:

  • Only 31% of Americans believe the new government spending in the stimulus package creates new jobs.
  • Forty-eight percent (48%) say the stimulus spending does not create jobs, and 21% are not sure
  • Thirty-nine percent (39%) say the increased spending will be good for the economy, but 44% say it will be bad. Eight percent (8%) think it will have no impact
  • A plurality of government employees believe speeding up the stimulus will be good for the economy. [SURPRISE!] However, those who work in the private sector strongly disagree. [Really?]
  • Only 31% of U.S. voters believe the economic stimulus package has helped the economy. That's down from 38% when it first passed in February.
  • For the first time in years, voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on the handling of the economy.
  • Fifty-three percent (53%) of Americans believe that increases in government spending are generally bad for the economy.
  • For nearly four-out-of-five U.S. voters, the unwillingness of politicians to control government spending is a bigger problem than the public’s resistance to more taxes.
  • Most voters [52%] continue to worry that the federal government will do too much in reacting to the country’s current economic problems.

The chances are that Obama will review all of these bellwethers and decide that the best course of action will be to demonstrate his man of the street cred by gathering up Michelle and the kids and flying on Air Force One to a Costco in flyover country (maybe Nebraska where his buddy Warren Buffett lives) to try out the new Kirkland Signature Hot Dog in the Costco food court. He can buy a giant sized Grey Poupon Mustard to go along with it.