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Obama on jobs – ‘saved or created’ the new double-speak

The Executive Branch has gotten quite fond of saying their policies have “saved or created” x-number of jobs. Can someone tell me why the media is allowing this to happen? The numbers are pure fiction and the main stream media who’s mostly in love with President Obama is happy to report the data.

It’s kind of like your kid coming home from school and reporting that he got an A in English, and not providing you with any documentation.

That’s great dear.

William McGurn over at the Wall Street Journal has an interesting opinion piece on the saved or created political phenomenon. It’s pure genius – if we and the media let them get away with it – since the Obama administration has created a new standard that guarantees their policies will never be wrong.

If the economy looses another one million jobs next month, the administration can come out the next day patting themselves on the back and report that they saved or created one million jobs.

“Hey, look on the bright side, without our decisive action, the economy would have lost two million jobs… we’re moving in the right direction!”

Remember Obama’s visit to Caterpillar in February? He said that once the stimulus bill was passed, Caterpillar would be able to hire back some of the employees they laid off. Of course, the CEO of Caterpillar said the opposite the next day, implying more layoffs were probably coming.

The Obama administration would tell you without that stimulus package, Caterpillar would have laid off even more people! They can’t prove it, and the CEO of the company does not agree with them, but that doesn’t really matter.

Back to McGurn…

Mr. Obama’s comments yesterday are a perfect illustration of just such a claim. In the months since Congress approved the stimulus, our economy has lost nearly 1.6 million jobs and unemployment has hit 9.4%. Invoke the magic words, however, and — presto! — you have the president claiming he has “saved or created” 150,000 jobs. It all makes for a much nicer spin, and helps you forget this is the same team that only a few months ago promised us that passing the stimulus would prevent unemployment from rising over 8%. …

During a March hearing of the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Max Baucus challenged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the formula.

“You created a situation where you cannot be wrong,” said the Montana Democrat. “If the economy loses two million jobs over the next few years, you can say yes, but it would’ve lost 5.5 million jobs. If we create a million jobs, you can say, well, it would have lost 2.5 million jobs. You’ve given yourself complete leverage where you cannot be wrong, because you can take any scenario and make yourself look correct.”

Now, something’s wrong when the president invokes a formula that makes it impossible for him to be wrong and it goes largely unchallenged. It’s true that almost any government spending will create some jobs and save others. But as Milton Friedman once pointed out, that doesn’t tell you much: The government, after all, can create jobs by hiring people to dig holes and fill them in.

Ugh…

Stimulus … Throw it from helicopters

Why not … Jonas Max Ferris  on “Cashin In” may have found the best way to distribute the cash. At least we could pick it up and spend it … maybe even stimulate some businesses. The consensus of this panel; the stimulus ain’t stimulating.

These panel members all run investment funds and they are all there because they are successful and they do disagree politically but the majority of the panel seemed to agree with Wayne Rogers … “SLUSH”

The Boss to Cavuto … 10% + Unemployment

Not exactly what I wanted to hear from the primo media mogul in the world … Read more

Unemployment estimates – with and without recovery plan Update: Video

This is the kind of research the main stream media does not seem able to do. Let’s say I told you we needed to spend $1 million dollars to keep unemployment from rising 2 percent next month. You agreed, we spent the $1 million, but unemployment still went up 2 percent. What would your reaction be? Read more

Balancing The Recession On The Backs Of … Men?

My guess is this won’t garner much sympathy from inside the beltway … not a protected class. Too bad its not whales, dogs or glaciers. (H/T Instapundit)

The proportion of women who are working has changed very little since the recession started. But a full 82 percent of the job losses have befallen men, who are heavily represented in distressed industries like manufacturing and construction. Women tend to be employed in areas like education and health care, which are less sensitive to economic ups and downs, and in jobs that allow more time for child care and other domestic work.

From the NY Times no less … but wait … there’s more:

The reason has less to do with gender equality than with where the ax is falling.

Come on you knew they had to get that in there. Glenn also points to this story.

Waiting For Bad News

I found the White House Press briefing just a little disturbing today. Reporters continued to note throughout the presser that public opinion is turning against the Porkapalooza … as we have noted here. But when it came to the question of changing the bill substantially (perhaps cutting tax rates for people and business or at the very least cutting the size of the stimulus package) Gibbs sounded like a man holding his ground on the Porkapalooza. Why? I think the following bite may explain it all. More than once he told reporters … just wait. The American people will be whistling a different tune on Friday. The key phrase is toward the end.

Here’s what I think they are betting on, a worsening of the economy, which seems to be a pretty safe bet. Congress in the meantime will make token attempts to pare down the bill and some kind of Porkapalooza will pass.

And on a different note. In order to get their policies passed, whether it be the war or the economy, why do Democrats always root for failure?

Nothing To Fear?

With thousands getting pink slips in Connecticut … from WTIC to CIGNA and United Technologies, it’s a pretty easy question to answer. The economy is receding and if you are on that end of it … its not good. But how bad a recession depends on how long you go between jobs.

As for those people who still have jobs … it hasn’t been a bad four years despite what major networks and newspapers report. And even without government … no especially without government … the economy will come back. It always does. Hat Tip to Instapundit.

It’s the way the modern world works. Things improve. Incomes rise, work hours fall, the quality of goods improves.  Few things in economics are as consistent as the growth of real GDP per capita over the past 200 years:

Right now when you head off to Mall as I did today to upgrade my computing and TV recording equipment for the show I was a little stunned at how difficult it was to find a parking space. Much of that, were I trying to explain it in an economics paper, I might attribute to severance packages still available? Or those who still have jobs are still shopping. Or people still have savings and money to spend, wisely, and are not as afraid as the media would have us believe. Or .. they are looking but not spending.

I dismiss the last. The people I saw were spending, but not wildly. Could it be we are just beginning a period of responsible economic behavior after two decades of a drunken stupor?

Take A Pay Cut … Save A Job

Governor Rell has told Connecticut Prison Guards  the state can’t afford the pay raise the state has agreed to pay them and wants them to pass on it. It’s not likely to happen.

Legislators say it’s unlikely to happen this year because Democrats, who traditionally support state-employee unions, hold two-thirds of the seats in the Senate and more than two-thirds in the House.

But it’s not just Connecticut. I never got to this piece of sound this week … so let’s do it now. In Feyette County, Georgia, officials are asking teachers to take a pay cut to avoid layoffs. More here.

I am not a fan of this kind of budget cutting. But maybe you are. Maybe you can convince me it’s the only way. Take the poll and leave a comment.

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