Who to Believe?
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.
Russell (a.k.a. TMFEldrehad)