Had President Obama not claimed the Democrats’ “stimulus” would keep unemployment at or below 8%, he would not “own” the jobless rate so early in his term. But, now it’s his problem in more ways than one. ABC’s Rick Klein contends: “The administration asked for this — dare we say, literally asked for this — with promises of actual job totals and new accountability and oversight mechanisms, all with Sheriff Joe Biden at the helm.” (H/t to Jennifer Rubin for Klein quote.)
Not only does the president need address the unemployment rate which has increased despite the enactment of his policies, but he must also live up to his promises of accountability and transparency. The government website created to show just where federal “stimulus” money was flowing and how many jobs it had created, showed that money going to Congressional districts which didn’t exist. And exaggerated the number of jobs created.
Even when we eliminate the exaggeration and find out how many jobs were really created (or saved) by the “stimulus,” we need ask what happens when those funds dry up. If we believe the Democrats that we wouldn’t have seen such job creation in the absence of such spending, then unemployment today would be ever higher in its absence. Recall that Lawrence Summers, Director of the President’s National Economic Council, said any fiscal stimulus would be “timely, targeted and temporary“. If it’s temporary, then the funds dry up and there’ll pay no more funds to pay for the jobs (recently saved or created).
No wonder Ed Morrissey claims that all the stimulus did was to kick the can down the road, delaying a real decision on creating permanent jobs:
Most of the jobs in their calculus are bureaucratic jobs at the state level that won’t get funded next year by Washington. States will still have to make tough decisions on employment levels that should have been made decades ago. All Porkulus did was delay that needed decision by throwing money at the states, who used it not to improve efficiency but to paper over budget gaps that will recur next year as well.
With our national debt increased, the problems persist.
And now, the President warns that if we “keep on adding to the debt,” that could lead to a double-dip recession. His very policies will thus make that second recession particularly severe. He has increased the debt to provide funds for only temporary job creation. When those temporary funds run out, unemployment will increase, deepening the downturn.