Free Markets, Free People

Beware of the new Obama job creation claims


he NY Post reminds us that the Joe Biden/Christina Romer dog-and-pony show now currently touring and touting some amazing "magical" job creation numbers are the same crew that gave us other estimates of job creation in the past:

Last year, when they touted their jobs figures, they wound up backtracking — after it turned out that hundreds of jobs were included from congressional districts that didn’t even exist.

Biden later admitted the data were flawed, noting that "further updates and corrections are going to be needed."

Then he and Obama bragged about new job numbers for May — some 430,000 of them. Except that 411,000 were temporary, part-time positions created by the Census Bureau.

Now the claim is that somehow, despite the unemployment numbers, they’ve managed to “create” or “save” anywhere from 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs with their excellent management of the financial and economic crisis.

Of course no one can put a finger on what jobs were “created” or, really, what jobs were “saved.”  Says Romer, apparently trying desperately to keep some shred of professional integrity in tact:

"There’s obviously a lot of uncertainty about any jobs estimate," Romer acknowledged.

Really?  That’s certainly true of the estimates this administration has put forth.  However, as the Post points out, the timing of this estimate is perfect.  This estimate shows an increase of 20% over the last estimate that was found to be based in fraudulent numbers.  As the Post notes, this estimate arrives just as Obama’s poll numbers are down.

All that anyone really needs to know is that this all started within the administration when it promised that the massive pork bill of nearly a trillion dollars it passed early in its tenure would keep the unemployment rate under 8%.  It didn’t.  In fact it didn’t even come close.  And the figure is now around 9.5% and shows no indication of falling anytime soon.  Where these magic jobs are and why they haven’t had any impact remains a mystery.

Of course the entire point is to understand that they can (and are) claim whatever they wish and it’s pretty hard to check.  But skeptics, like myself, aren’t going to be convinced by mere claims.  Hard numbers that can be checked and verified will have to follow.  And it is my contention that when they do, we’ll see a repeat of the previous two attempts at pulling the wool over the eyes of the America people for political reasons – something this administration shamelessly attempts pretty consistently on a number of fronts.



[tweetmeme only_single=”false”]
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

23 Responses to Beware of the new Obama job creation claims

  • Labor Department Overstates number of working Americans by 3 million
    and why shouldn’t I believe it ? It came from DU.
    (2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs) – 3 million jobs = 50,000 ± 550,000 jobs

  • “There’s obviously a lot of uncertainty about any jobs estimate,” Romer acknowledged.
    Ho, NOooooo, hunny…!!!  No uncertainty at all.  I’m absolutely certain they are a pack of lies!  Like the ones before, and the ones to follow!
    And, see, I just saved or created another 10,000 new jobs…!  It is THAT easy when you are using Obamic unicorn power!!!

    • There are presently 237 million Americans working.  I fully expect Obama to claim he saved each and every one of them.  So by that measure, any number between 0 and 237,000,000 is possible.

      • I think you’re a little HIGH there on your employment numbers, Neo.   Not quite an order of magnitude, but close…

      • A little trick I’ve seen this crowd try to pull is to claim that a job FUNDED by Uncle Sugar is a job “created or saved”.  In other words, if it can be claimed, no matter how tenuously, that even $1 of federal money went to an employee, then The Dear Golfer counts that worker as one who owes his job to Porkulus.

  • 430,000 new jobs, but weekly, 425,000 job losses equals unemployment drops from 10% to 9.7%?
    Now there is some VOODOO economics.

  • Just as any administration would, they are going to make claims about their success. There are two problems here. One is systemic and the other is one of methodology.
    Second point first. Since they lack Hayek’s “perfect information” they base their claim on the same model they used to predict the effect of stimulus. Their model says that spending xxx gazillion dollars creates or save yyy jobs. Since z% of the stimulus has been spent then they’ve created or saved yyy jobs times z%. And it’s inarguable, since they set the terms of the equation. Since most of us live in the real world we can at least evaluate their claims against our own observations and other data. Which is why I kind of question why any rational person would actually attempt to make this argument. But then I’m not a politician.
    First point. We have somehow come to accept that actions by government create any form of economic growth and job creation. This is inarguably false, at least to me. Can the President go to one business in America and say without fear of contradiction that he created or saved any one job? No, he can’t. The direct link between any one job and any government policy is so tenuous as to be invisible. I’m sorry, I just can’t accept the justification that it’s all complicated. If we can point to specific government policies that reduce employment, for example the loss of jobs on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, then we should be able to point to the opposite case. I’m tired of reading columns by economists who can’t be specific. What good are they if they can’t predict anything? I agree, it is all very complicated. That’s why some humility is in order. Here’s what we do know, bad policy stifles economic growth. Regulations inhibit adaption and increase costs. Those are the issues the administration should be addressing. It’s not sexy,  it would be more effective.

    • I’m hardly unique in saying this, but I’ve long held that it’s silly to speak of any president “creating jobs”.  You still hear it about Reagan, and it isn’t literally true for him any more than for anyone else.  A president can very effectively destroy jobs, as you point out with the Gulf situation.  They CAN help create conditions conducive to job creation, as did Reagan.  That is the best they can do, and the opposite of what every act of this administration has done.

      • Even without cutting spending, they could de-regulate wisely. I would suggest something like the Kansas idea of an office that only looks at taking out dumb laws and regulations.

        • For about two decades, I’ve advocated a law (even an amendment) that provides that every law is sunsetted within a few years of passage.  That would have several salutary effects; it would allow the legislators a chance to review their handiwork, clean it up, clarify court misapplications, etc.  It would also mean a lot of stinking crap just died.  It would keep them busy, preventing passage of new piles of stinking crap.  If you think about how abused the Voting Rights Acts have been, that would be a great argument for my idea all by itself.
          It is one of those things we ought to push for, IMNHO.

  • “But skeptics, like myself, aren’t going to be convinced by mere claims.  Hard numbers that can be checked and verified will have to follow. ”
    These numbers aren’t for YOU, they are for the faithful, that they may remain faithful.   They are for those who believe, and who will be sure and tell their friends that the racist tea party, and the evil Republicans and the vast racist right wing conspiracy are lying about the Messiah and his works – his ‘successful’ administration and the promises like health care and jobs and financial reform that he has delivered unto us.   How his very successful administration has done all manner of wonderful things.
    They lied to get him elected, how could they possibly think they will suddenly lose by lying to secure the mid terms?  Eventually you know they’ll save us in spite of our best efforts not to be saved, they’re only lying to us for our own good, to gain the time necessary for their works to become evident to the country, that we may love him and his works as he deserves.
    Mmmmmmmmm…..Kool Aid.  Have a sip.

    • I think they secretly want to lose mid-terms. Then they can do their lame-duck laws that can’t be retracted due to Obama veto, and until 2012 they can rail against the GOP, probably with some success. If the GOP passes some good bills to help the economy, Obama will take credit and sweep towards re-election.
      My hope is that the GOP does not take the house or senate – its pointless to do this until the media is defeated. Otherwise we get the same voters who think the GOP ran the Congress from 2006-2008. They can only grasp presidential politics (or more likely, its due to the media dumbing them down.)

      • I’m with you on leaving the Dems in charge of Congress till 2012 with such a slim majority they can’t get anything done. A GOP victory in either chamber (or both) would be Pyrrhic at best and may actually end up being a positive result for the reelection prospects of Obama in 2012.

      • But they still need the faithful to keep spreading the message of the unicorn empire.  Those who will fight back against  the sheet wearing  hordes of knuckle dragging tea party savages and their evil goblin Republican masters who want to plunge us all back into an age of darkness.
        Speaking of the Unicorn Empire – (other than the Ott simulacra), haven’t seen the ambassador in a while, perhaps he’s delving into Hindenburg’s Uncertainty Principle or alternate universes where the Unicorn Emperor has already saved us all.

      • Do bear in mind – IF the Dems don’t lose control of either or both portions of Congress in November, they WILL take it as affirmation their policies are what America wants, that their economic recovery plans work, that the country wants HCR and Cap and Trade, and Financial Reform, and their fawning media lackeys, will ONLY trumpet that message the more loudly.
        This has gone way past the point nationally of being any sort of a gentleman’s disagreement and by 2012 the disastrous policies of today and tomorrow will be in full force.    For the Republican party, which I have little faith in in the first place, they can choose between between risking Obama blaming them, and/or gaining credit for their fixes after the midterms and then producing a candidate that can kick his butt in 2012, or watching the country be thoroughly destroyed.
        There’s no good option, so they need to pick the one that produces the least amount of damage for the country.  Taking the House and Senate and stopping the Unicorn Emperor now in 2010 is more important, look at the damage Reid/Pelosi/Obama have done done in less than 2 years, and ask yourselves if you’re prepared for 2 more years of this.

        • I agree.  It is too much of a gamble that the Democrats will simply claim any losses are normal off year losses and continue on with the same policies.  Any of those policies they Republicans manage to block will still get the excoriated by Obama for blocking his programs.  So, better to be in charge and be able to craft the legislation.  If the Republicans do get control, they need to create, for example, a health care bill that repeals the current one, but addresses the hot buttons of people without health care and  preexisting conditions.  The idea would be to present Obama with a bill that eliminates what people hate, but takes away his humongous government control and bureaucracy.    If he vetoes it, he will have to defend the veto.

      • HarunMy hope is that the GOP does not take the house or senate…

        I agree.  My level of trust and confidence in McConnell, Boehner and Co. is only VERY slightly higher than my level of trust and confidence in Reid, Pelosi and Co.  Two major problems:

        1.  Politicians on both sides who look at the federal treasury as a personal slush fund;

        2.  Politicians on both sides who believe not only that it is Uncle Sugar’s job to take care of EVERYTHING, but that they are competent to pass laws to that effect.  “There’s a problem in the country!  I gotta pass a law to fix it!  Who cares if it’s neither something I really understand or even a constitutional power of the federal government?  I gotta DO SOMETHING!”

        We need to throw ALL of them out.

  • Romer lost all credibility and integrity when she endorsed the stimulus when her own research showed tax cuts worked better than spending. Oh, I guess she could have been told that tax cuts were “politically impossible” (HA HA = yep, voters hate getting money back.) but they could have cut payroll taxes instead. Or maybe she believed that they could  build useful infrastructure with the stimulus funds…ha ha, as if there are all these great infrastructure projects, pre-approved and shovel ready, that were just languishing. In reality they were the plans that did not pass muster during the good years – so why are they suddenly a good idea now? She should have stood up to the pols and resigned if they did not compromise enough for her. Come one, if you were a scientist who found a better drug to cure cancer, but the other doctors refused to use it because their cousin owned the company that made the less powerful drug, would you be okie dokie with that?
    The Dems should have came into office and on day one cut the payroll tax for all non-government jobs under US$ 60,000. Then they could have played with health care and cap and trade and at least showed something that they did for employment. Sure the deficit would have been big – but it is anyways.

    • It is hard to understand why someone like Rohmer is so enamored with government that she would contradict her recent paper.  There is no new information here, so either she was lying when she wrote the paper or she was lying when she defended the stimulus.

  • I heard part of Ms. Romer’s testimony yesterday. Aside from her nauseatingly perky style there was no substance. She didn’t answer one question directly or clearly. She isn’t an economist  she is a political hack, an advocate posing as a scientist, using her credentials and assumed ‘expertise’ to sell a political point.

  • According to Bloomburg, Greenspan will advocate letting the Bush tax cuts expire.  He does acknowledge it will have a negative effect on the economy.  His reasoning is this will reduce the deficits.   The question is how much influence he will have.  he did support the Bush tax cuts and is universally acknowledged as the architect of the housing bubble.  He also said nothing about government spending.