I think I’ll check, but I’d guess that if you ever looked up the definition of the term “gas bag” you’d be likely find the picture of ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi next to it. She’s much more illustrative of the term than say some generic bag filled with hot gas.
“But I’ll tell you this,” said Pelosi, “if President Obama and the House congressional Democrats had not acted, we would be at 15 percent unemployment. Again, no consolation to those without a job, but an important point to make."
At her Oct. 6 briefing, Pelosi said: “Without the Recovery Act and accompanying federal interventions, whether from the Fed or ‘Cash for Clunkers’ or other initiatives, this unemployment rate last year at the time of the election would’ve been 14.5 percent, not 9.5 percent.”
Between her and Debbie Wasserman Shultz, you could compile a book length list of the groundless claims they’ve made. And this is right up there in the top 10 for Pelosi. Of course she doesn’t cite any basis for this claim but there it is nonetheless.
So what about her numbers? Well, lets look at the numbers an agency which at least ran some came up with:
A report published by the Congressional Budget Office in August estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the stimulus signed by President Obama in 2009 would have the impact of reducing the national unemployment rate between 0.3 points to 1.1 points from what it otherwise would have been. The report also said that although CBO initially estimated that the stimulus would cost $787 billion, CBO had subsequently increased its estimated cost to $825 billion.
It was on the basis of these numbers that Barack Obama made the claim that spending this money would keep the unemployment rate under 8%. It went to 9.5% from about 4.8%. In real math, that’s 4.7 points. So essentially Pelosi is just adding the two (9.5 and 4.7 and adding a few tenths) to get her "14.5%” number. There is obviously no backing for this claim.
Oh and cost per job? Well, pick your number but whichever you choose, these were expensive jobs:
According to the CBO report, 600,000 to 2 million people have jobs as of now that were "created or retained" because of the $825 billion stimulus. If the maximum number of 2 million is accepted, that works out to a cost of $412,500 per job. If the minimum number of 600,000 is accepted, that works out to a cost of $1,375,000 per job.
So any way you slice it, expensive. But back to Pelosi. Even if you accept the higher number of 2,000,000 and add that into the unemployed while subtracting it from the employed total and divide it out, you come up with roughly 10.5%. Even if you accept the projection’s top end estimate that 2,000,000 more jobs would have gone, you can’t get to her number from there.
Also note the “points” the CBO report claims might have been shaved by the so-called stimulus. They are nowhere near the 4.7 Pelosi wants you to believe in.
Yeah, I know, typical political nonsense. I just have to wonder, and the question and her answer are on video at the link, whether anyone in the press even challenged the numbers? Since she’s used them twice recently, I’d guess not. Also note her attempt to again blame Bush and the Republicans with her “300 days the Republicans were in power” and claim they did nothing to create jobs at that time. And then look at the unemployment rate at that time (mentioned above). Duh. Again, I doubt that was challenged.
Typical of the “watchdog press” of today I’d say. And very typical of Nancy Pelosi and the “lets make numbers and claims up out of thin air” crowd.