As Jeffrey Anderson at the Weekly Standard pointed out, the White House releasing a fiscal report on the Friday before a long holiday weekend can only mean one thing: There’s not much good news in it for the White House, and, ergo, taxpayers.
The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.
In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.
Mind you these are Obama’s own economists, so the report is like an employee’s performance evaluation that was filled out by the employee. The absolute truth is probably much more bleak.
Over ten years, the CBO says the stimulus will raise the federal deficit $830 billion — $43 billion more than originally estimated.
Which brings us to President Obama’s weekly address:
Now, it would be nice if we could keep every tax break, but we can’t afford them. Because if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or for hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, or for oil and gas companies pulling in huge profits without our help — then we’ll have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else. We’ve got to say to a student, ‘You don’t get a college scholarship.’ We have to say to a medical researcher, ‘You can’t do that cancer research.’ We might have to tell seniors, ‘You have to pay more for Medicare.’
Or how about we say to the White House, “You don’t get to spend the remaining $164 billion earmarked for a ‘stimulus’ that is clearly a failure.”
To steal a line from a military recruiting campaign years ago, “it’s a great place to start” — but unfortunately the painfully obvious options never seem to be on the table.