So the White House is touting a Bloomberg piece with the favorable headline: “Obama’s Jobs Plan Prevents Election Year Recession in Survey of Economists.” You can certainly expect to hear this line repeated as the president continues to
campaign for reelection tout his jobs package in swing-states across the country, urging Congress to “pass this bill.”
But while the White House team evidently stands by this Bloomberg survey, they are probably hoping you won’t read past the headline. In fact, according to the median estimate of the 34 economists surveyed, the president’s jobs bill would “add or keep” 275,000 jobs in 2012, and just 13,000 in 2013.
That comes out to a total of 288,000 jobs ‘kept or added’ over the next two years. That figure is far more sobering (and credible) than Democratic economist du jour Mark Zandi’s extravagant prediction that the president’s bill would add 1.9 million in 2012 alone. Obama’s bill, meanwhile, carries a $447 billion price tag, which works out to a little more than $1.6 million for every job ‘kept or added.’ Simple math, as the president would say.
On the plus side, that’s a bargain compared to the $23 million-per-job the Department of Energy has “invested” as part of the loans program that helped finance Solyndra. But it’s still hard to see how spending $447 billion to create 288,000 jobs over two years is an efficient way to foster economic growth, or even the most efficient way to “avoid a return to recession.” Either way, at this point, almost three years into the Obama presidency, when even Democrats admit they own the economy, isn’t avoiding another recession a pretty low bar?
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) has said the House is willing to consider elements of the president’s jobs bill. But as he also pointed out in a recent speech at the Economic Club in Washington, D.C., the majority of the president’s proposals “are a poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creation in America.”
Of course, Obama isn’t the only one with a jobs plan.