February 17th 2012 marks the 3rd anniversary of the president’s failed $1.2 trillion “stimulus” bill (CBO estimates the cost of the stimulus will reach $825 billion and interest on the debt for the stimulus will be at least $347 billion). President Obama promised the stimulus would “save or create 3.5 million jobs.” In reality, since the stimulus was enacted: America has shed 1.1 million jobs, poverty has reached an all time high, food stamp recipients have reached an all time high, the percentage of Americans even trying to find work is at a 30-year low, and the debt has increased by nearly $5 trillion. The president told us that if we spent more money, unemployment would be at six percent today. He got the trillion dollars of spending he asked for, but the American people didn’t get the jobs they were promised.
We Can’t Keep Spending Money We Don’t Have
President Obama’s unprecedented spending and borrowing began with his failed stimulus. After four years of trillion dollar deficits and more than $15 trillion of debt, the president still hasn’t learned his lesson. We can’t keep spending money we don’t have on jobs we never get.
And what did we get for all of that new debt (other than fewer jobs)? While the American people suffered, the federal government boomed. From 2008 to 2009, federal agencies experienced unprecedented growth in the first year under President Obama.
A Date the President Wants the American People to Forget
While the president and his Democrat allies sold the stimulus as vital to keep unemployment below 8 percent, three years later the American people are still suffering from an unemployment rate that has been above 8 percent for a record 36 straight months. The president’s policies have failed and made the economy worse. Below are some results that President Obama purchased and the American people want soon forget.
Stimulus Charge and Response
In December 2011, as the 3rd anniversary approached, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released its eighth quarterly report on spending from the president’s failed $1.2 trillion “stimulus.” Unsurprisingly, the president’s appointed council touted the “success” of the stimulus, stating, “the Recovery Act has played a significant role in the turnaround of the economy that has occurred over the past two years.” White House spin aside, the facts show that the stimulus has failed to create anything except for the largest federal government in history and record debt.
CHARGE: “As of the second quarter of 2011, the report estimates that the Recovery Act raised employment by 2.2 to 4.2 million jobs relative to what it otherwise would have been.”
RESPONSE: The stimulus has not created jobs in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—the official government agency responsible for tallying employment stats—there have been 1.1 million net jobs lost since the stimulus was approved.
CHARGE: “Employment shows the same pattern of an accelerating decline before the Recovery Act was passed followed by a significant improvement after.”
RESPONSE: The Obama Administration said that unemployment would never reach 8 percent if the “stimulus” was enacted. Unemployment (8.3 percent in January) has now been above 8 percent for 36 consecutive months, the longest span since the Great Depression. The percentage of able Americans working or even looking for work fell to a 30-year low of 63.7 percent in January 2012. If the labor force participation were at the same level today as it was before the recession started, unemployment would actually be 11.4 percent.
CHARGE: “Many other economists and forecasters have estimated the impact of the Recovery Act. Most of those estimates are based on formal macroeconomic models…The estimate from the CEA model approach is within the CBO range and is similar to private sector estimates.”
RESPONSE: The White House determines the impact of government stimulus spending by plugging numbers into a Keynesian “Multiplier Model.” This system simply multiplies the amount of dollars spent by the number of jobs the administration thinks the money should produce. This selective math does not consider actual employment statistics, and thus allows the White House to claim that the stimulus has created jobs even though the number of employed Americans is less than when the stimulus was approved in 2009.
CHARGE: “Following implementation of the ARRA (stimulus), the trajectory of the economy changed significantly.”
RESPONSE: Rather than seeing a dramatic positive change in the nation’s economic trajectory, Americans are experiencing a slow lurch out of the recession that has been made worse by President Obama’s disastrous economic policies. Under the economic policies of President Obama, the United States economy has been growing at its slowest rate since the Great Depression. According the Bureau of Economic Analysis, quarterly growth since President Obama took office has averaged an anemic 1.4 percent. By comparison, quarterly growth averaged 5.6 percent in the three years following the recession that ended in 1982.