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Who to Believe?

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April 26, 2010 – Comments (8)

Well, let's see, on the one hand we have a survey from the National Association for Business Economics (link).

NABE conducted the study by polling 68 of its members who work in economic roles at private-sector firms. About 73% of those surveyed said employment at their company is neither higher nor lower as a result of the $787 billion Recovery Act....

That sentiment is shared for the recently passed $17.7 billion jobs bill that calls for tax breaks for businesses that hire and additional infrastructure spending. More than two-thirds of those polled believe the measure won't affect payrolls, while 30% expect it to boost hiring "moderately."

On the other hand, we have the Obama administration saying (link):

The report, from the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, says the $787 billion economic stimulus is on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.

"From tax cuts to construction projects, the Recovery Act is firing on all cylinders when it comes to creating jobs and putting Americans back to work," Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement.

I don't pretend to know what the actual numbers are, and frankly, I don't think anyone can ever or will ever know precisely.  There are just too many things happening in our economy at the same time to be able to make any such determination.  Sure, we can guess, but that's all we can do.

That said, I'll confess that I do not know much about the NABE, or about what if any political axes they have to grind might be.  But I do know that the Obama administration does, indeed, have a political axe to grind here.

Does that necessarily mean that the administration's portrayal of the success of the stimulus package is incorrect?  No, it doesn't.  I don't personally have the data to try to ferret this out one way or another.

I do, however, have an inclination as to who I am more likely to believe here, and sorry, but...  it isn't the administration.

Regards,

Russell (a.k.a. TMFEldrehad)

8 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM, Option1307 (29.99) wrote:

The report, from the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, says the $787 billion economic stimulus is on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.

These kind of statements have always killed me b/c they are so vague and essentially impossible to prove one way or the other. What exactly constitutes a "saved" job? I know this is typical economic/poltical speak, but it honestly drives me nuts. 

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#2) On April 26, 2010 at 2:00 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.94) wrote:

I agree.  

Of course, I don't think it takes anything more than common sense to suggest that spending a bunch of money on (essentially) pet projects for Congresscritters is an inefficient usage of resources.  Very little of the money went to actual infrastructure (as TMFDeej has pointed out before) and amongst the infrastructure portion of the stimulus seemed to be nothing more than a stealth Highway Trust Fund-bailout (since Congress refuses to raise the gas taxes so that the Fund will be solvent, as it was designed --- they never should've left it up to Congress in the original act --- should've been automatic based on expenditures).  

Honestly, I feel a bit insulted when the Obama Administrations tries the 'it created 3.5 million jobs' nonsense.  I feel like I'm being slapped in the face and called "stupid".  

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#3) On April 26, 2010 at 2:29 PM, oldfashionedway (36.08) wrote:

When an incumbent politician gets re-elected, it counts as a job "saved".  Let's see how well the "Recovery" is doing come November.

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#4) On April 26, 2010 at 4:11 PM, USNHR (33.91) wrote:

When an incumbent politician gets re-elected, it counts as a job "saved".  Let's see how well the "Recovery" is doing come November.

_________________________________

On the other hand, if he/she is voted out and someone replaces him/her, then that is a job created.

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#5) On April 26, 2010 at 4:15 PM, devoish (97.27) wrote:

Within the accuracy of any such estimate I believe both of them.

According to the US census via the SBA, in 2008 there were 6 million business's in the USA with employees (29 million over all - wow). Let's say each of the 27% of the business's that say  the stimulus has affected their hiring (not the 73% that say it as not) each hired 2 people. That equals 3,240,000 hires. Not counting non-profits, single employer jobs that might have been saved and of course public sector jobs.

It is more like two seperate sources, with possibly seperate political agendas (I know nothing about NABE's political leanings either) that independently verified each others numbers. It is not two seperate sources with different answers to the same question.

Possibly an honest administration? I can smell the heast coming before it arrives now that I wrote those four words together.

 

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#6) On April 27, 2010 at 12:19 PM, caterpillar10 wrote:

I know for a fact that I'm back to work due to the MHA - Making Homes Affordable program as I've been up to my neck for the past 6 weeks matching underwater mortgages to available modifications.  

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#7) On April 27, 2010 at 12:52 PM, devoish (97.27) wrote:

caterpillar10,

That makes 3,240,001. Only 10,000 more and I can round up to 3,500,000 before counting the public sectors and non profits. :-)

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#8) On April 27, 2010 at 4:02 PM, caterpillar10 wrote:

hey i said underwater:) - i only speak of what i know.....all i know for 3.5 mil anything right now is that would be a nice # in my bank acct. but that isn't going to happen real soon either....about 2 yrs in my opinion before we'll be telling youngsters 'hey squirt, ya know back in the day we were lucky if we had a bag of broken glass to play with.....'  

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