John Boehner’s office is highlighting this exchange on This Week on ABC yesterday:
STEPHANOPOULOS: The other substantive point that Boehner makes, he circulated a fax sheet, he says, if you look at $825 billion piece of legislation, 3 million jobs, that’s $275,000 a job. Is that the most efficient way to create jobs?
AXELROD: George, he’s missing the fundamental point. We’re not just spending money to create jobs, we’re investing money to strengthen this economy. We’re investing in areas like energy independence. We’re investing in creating the classrooms of the 21st Century for our kids to give us the kind of education system we need.
We’re investing in computerizing the health care records of this country so that we can reduce costs and improve care. These things will pay long-term dividends to this country. And we’ve been very careful about that.
We’re not being frivolous. We’re being thoughtful about how we make these investments.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you would concede, $275,000 a job is a high price to pay, isn’t it?
AXELROD: Well, I’m not signing on to that particular figure. I think preventing this country from sliding into as deep an economy emergency as we’ve seen since the Great Depression, preventing double- digit unemployment, and laying the groundwork for the future in these areas that mention and others I think is a worthy thing to do.
Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith notes, “While Axelrod may not want to ’sign on to that particular figure,’ the math is very simple. $825 billion in Democrat stimulus divided by 3 million jobs they plan to create is $275,000 in taxpayer dollars per job.”
Yes, but remember, Kevin, there’s some talk that the stimulus could go as high as $1.3 trillion.