The Corner

Today’s Questions for the President

Before passage of the $814 billion stimulus bill your administration claimed the package would “save or create” 3.6 million jobs. Immediately upon passage of the stimulus your administration began touting the number of jobs purportedly “saved or created” by the measure. The unemployment rate at that time was 7.6 percent.

Two-and-a-half years later, the unemployment rate is 9 percent, the stimulus money has been drained, and you stopped using the phrase “saved or created” more than a year ago.

Does this mean that no more jobs will be “saved or created” by your administration? If not, could you please cite your specific non-stimulus policies designed to improve the job creation environment for employers? Isn’t it true that if any jobs were “saved or created” by the stimulus, they were public sector jobs, many if not most of which will fade with the exhaustion of stimulus money because financially-strapped state and local treasuries won’t be able to sustain the cost?

Bonus questions: Do you dispute the findings of some economists that the stimulus, rather than “saving or creating” private sector jobs, actually resulted in approximately 1 million private sector jobs being “forestalled or destroyed?” If you do dispute the findings, since you promised that if the stimulus bill was passed today’s unemployment rate would be 6.5 rather than 9 percent, shouldn’t you bear the burden of proof?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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