The Campaign Spot

Actually, Mr. President, We Are Talking About Numbers

Obama, speaking at a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana, just now: “We’re not just talking about numbers, we’re talking about people like Ed,” who has lost is job, is having trouble paying the bills, etc.

I’m getting a little irked with this argument that those who are worried about the cost and size of this stimulus–financed by borrowing, remember–are somehow forgetting about people, and are somehow obsessed with cold, bloodless, numbers. Would the president prefer that we kept citing Ed the Taxpayer (must be related to Joe the Plumber) who spends his spring over his kitchen table, punching numbers into his calculator or computer, wondering how he’s going pay his tax bill, and ignoring the temptation to just not pay the way Tom Daschle and Tim Geithner did?

No one was more shameless in this than John Edwards, constantly invoking a nameless, unknown girl who didn’t have a coat.

Obama says again that the stimulus will “save or create” four million jobs in the next two years. Of course, how do you determine when a job has been “saved” by the stimulus bill? If unemployment stays exactly where it is two years from now, were all the four million saved? If unemployment increases by one million in the next two years, won’t the Obama administration just be able to argue that unemployment would have increased by five million otherwise?

UPDATE: A reader asks, “What’s w/ the strategic placement of military personnel for this ‘non-political’ townhall Obama’s got going?”


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