President Obama just told us that the economic stimulus plan has “already saved or created” 150,000 jobs and that another 450,000 will be “saved or created” by the end of the summer, including 125,000 summer-only jobs for students. It’s hard for us to see how this will be the case—we hope it is—but, more important, there’s a huge difference between a job that is saved and one that is created. Just ask the 30.2 million workers who are already unemployed.
Obama has spoken forcefully about laying a new foundation for the economy, one that creates good jobs and rising incomes and that moves us from an era of borrow-and-spend to one where we save and invest and are able to produce more at home than we consume. And we agree these are the right goals for the nation. However, we do not believe that the policies the administration is pursuing will get us there, nor is the administration’s economic stimulus plan likely to move us toward anything approaching full employment.
By the administration’s own estimate, the stimulus plan will “save or create”—there’s that phrase again—just 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. But this amount represents less than 30 percent of the unprecedented 14.5 million jobs that have been lost since the recession began in December 2007, and it is just 12 percent of the workers already unemployed ... more