In January 2009, economists Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer (Boskin’s Obama administration counterpart) predicted that if Obama’s stimulus passed, “the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0%, which is well below the approximately 8.8% that would result in the absence of a plan.”
In fact, Obama signed his $840 billion stimulus . . . and unemployment rocketed upward anyway. It peaked at 10.1 percent and now seems stuck at 9.1 percent. Boskin calculates that this 2.1 percent gap between Team Obama’s 7 percent fantasy and the cruel 9.1 percent reality that they perpetrated equals 16 billion foregone work hours. Even if one accepts the White House’s argument that the stimulus somehow “created or saved” 3 million jobs, that equals $280,000 per position — nearly quintuple the $58,510 that an average private-sector employer spends to hire a new employee.
This stagnation now finds 51 percent of Americans too poor to pay federal income tax (a modern record) while 47 percent of Americans receive at least one form of federal transfer payment (an historical high), as dependency on the ever-expanding state expands.
Obama’s stack of bills, Boskin predicts, means higher taxes — and soon. To underwrite Obama’s deficits (as well as those racked up by free-spending, left-wing Republican Baby Bush), top California earners, for instance, could see combined federal and state income and payroll taxes total 70.8 percent of income by 2016. Those earning just $60,000 could pay 52.4 percent to Washington and Sacramento. Non-Californians also should anticipate higher taxes.
“A CEO who got it wrong this many times would be gone by now,” Michael Boskin concluded. Instead, Obama barnstorms campaign events, barks at the rich, and bellows for further federal outlays.
While Americans are stuck in the employment minor leagues, Barack Obama is bound for the Unlimited-Government Hall of Fame.
— New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.
editor’s note: This article has been amended since its initial publication.