The Associated Press’s Spin Meter feature reports today that: “Politicians announcing stimulus jobs faster than stimulus can (maybe) create them.” How true. President Barack Obama’s Organizing for America website claims to show jusr how many jobs have been “Created or Saved” by Obama’s stimulus package already.
This despite the fact that the American economy has shed 1.3 million jobs since Obama was inaugurated. How can President Obama claim to be creating jobs when Americans know unemployment is rising under his regime? The AP explains:
For economists, it’s far too early to discuss job creation, said University of Chicago economics professor Steven J. Davis, the author of a book and several studies on the subject. Meaningful data won’t be available for years, he said. Compounding the problem, Davis said, is that Obama has invented a new standard to measure success: Jobs saved.
Measuring job creation is complicated but possible. Counting jobs saved by the stimulus is, if not impossible, murky.
“How do you know what a saved job is? How do you know what jobs would have been lost without this?” Davis said. “That was a clever political gimmick to make it even harder to determine whether this policy has any effect.”
Do the Obama numbers have any basis in reality? Barely. Again from the AP:
Most of the numbers being tossed around, including the 900 figure Obama cited, come from a transportation formula estimating the number of jobs “supported” by government spending. It doesn’t count new or saved jobs, and the Transportation Department has cautioned against applying the formula to the stimulus.
But even those DOT numbers are highly suspect. Heritage analyst Ron Utt explains:
As this paper demonstrates, most of the alleged economic benefits are based on grossly exaggerated claims made by a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) computer simulation conducted in 2000 and 2002. In fact, the vast majority of independent academic and federal government studies on the relationship between infrastructure spending and economic activity have found that the impact is very modest and long in coming.