Krauthammer on the CBO “recovery”: Phony numbers vs hard facts

As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air said so many months ago , “if your are going to make up a number, why don’t you just say the stimulus created or saved a gazillion jobs?” Indeed … and Charles nails it. Say whatever you want, make up whatever you want, the hard numbers tell another story.

The subject at hand is both the economy and the CBO report released yesterday which claimed that the stimulus had created or saved between 1 million and three million jobs.

In a report published the same day as Minority Leader John Boehner’s criticism of President Obama’s economic policy, the CBO said the stimulus law boosted the economy by between 1.7% and 4.5%, lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million.

But Krauthammer says … who ya gunna believe the CBO’s made up numbers or the facts on unemployment, 500,000 new claims for unemployment, 27% drop in home sales, and now meager growth, .3%, in durable goods orders?


9 replies
  1. scottm
    scottm says:

    The numbers that come out change constantly, one day the world is ending and the next day everyone is sitting on top of the world.  Yes housing dropped in July after the incentives stopped because people rushed out to buy before it stopped, and because of that it temporarily filled the pipeline, one month is not enough of a sample, the buyers will be back. 

    • TomL
      TomL says:

      Families rarely buy at this time of year. They wait till April and May so they can close late June beginning of July so the kids don't change schools mid year. They will start to look mid February but they are kicking tires. Nobody wants to move from November till the end of January because of the holidays and its to cold. Getting a mortgage done in December is nearly impossible because nobody wants to work because of Christmas parties.

      • winnie888
        winnie888 says:

        I moved the family a week before Christmas one year…what a nightmare, what a mistake, what regrets! I have no fond memories of that house from the very beginning til the day it was sold.

        I see  condo in my future. hahahahahaaaa!

        And what's wrong with phony numbers if they make you "feel good"…something's gotta make us feel better.  Can we resurrect Carter's Misery Index?  I think it's time.

  2. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    "On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act added from 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of 2010.

    In addition to $288 billion in tax cuts, the Recovery Act funded all sorts of worthy projects that created jobs, backstopped a number of safety-net programs, and made huge investments in infrastructure, energy independence, mass transit and other public goods." from Dan Froomberg

    Love the way the repubs either tout or diss the CBO depending on their needs.


    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      I love the way the CBO can be alternately correct or wrong based on what it is fed by Congress…  Your reference was a nice read, but showed that there were both high and low estimates of the effects, all of which were dependent on historical extrapolations and mathematical models.  The operating word is "estimate", not to mention "extrapolate".  Mathematical models are just presumably educated guesses.  Remember the phrase "past performance is no indication of future results"?  Time will tell.


      Also, if ARRA is working so well, why are they holding onto about half?  Why not buoy or boost the economy and jobs NOW by spreading it everywhere without too many strings (I've seen some of the paperwork, and it is both onerous and arbitrary).  Most of the work it is creating involves people trying to figure out the paperwork and meed deadlines that the feds keep changing because they can't handle the flood of paperwork that they created and insist on.

  3. WagTheDog
    WagTheDog says:

    I don't really understand why people constantly look to the CBO for answers.  All the office does is perform as a giant calculator.  They take the numbers given to them and output a result.  If inaccurate data is put in, bad data comes out.  This isn't a slam on the CBO, but rather on the people supplying the data.


    I saw on Fox & Friends this morning a story on how PBO's White House has been counting "save and created".  If someone's life has been touched by the stimulus plan, if they just worked 1 hour fo that week, that's counted as a saved or created job.  It's this type of bad data that is fed into the CBO, and thus the erroneous output.  The sad part is, it's in plain sight, and when called on it, someone is called a racist, mean spirited, angry tea party person.  I'm fed up with these people.

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