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Obama's Job Numbers Don't Add Up

Politics / US Politics Sep 10, 2011 - 07:02 AM GMT

By: Barry_Elias


Nearly 32 months after taking the oath of office, President Obama implied his administration failed America during a speech to a joint session of Congress last night concerning jobs.

Despite his repeated claims as a candidate and president to focus on job growth as his number one priority, the president elected to wait until his next campaign to address this issue.

After taking the oath of office at his inauguration, the president essentially ignored the issue of job creation.

Consider his major agenda during that time frame:

1. Stimulus Program: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
2. Healthcare: Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

Regarding the Stimulus Program:

The stated intent of this program was to create and/or save 3 million new jobs.

Fact: employment fell by nearly 7 million jobs through the end of 2010.

In January 2009, Christina Romer (Chairperson, Council of Economic Advisors to President Obama) and Jared Bernstein (Chief Economist and Economic Policy Advisor, Vice-President Joseph Biden) co-authored the $800 billion stimulus program (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009).

Proponents of the administration currently claim unemployment would be much higher today if the stimulus program was not enacted.

However, this statement contradicts the premise upon which the stimulus program was presented.

In 2009, the administration claimed by now unemployment would rise to 8.1 percent if the stimulus program was not enacted.

However, after enacting the stimulus program two-and-a-half years ago, unemployment is actually higher — today it is 9.1 percent.according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The administration projected this figure would be 6.8 percent (20 percent less) if the stimulus program was enacted.

Prior to her departure in June 2010, Christina Romer testified before the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee. At that time she proclaimed the stimulus program would contribute little growth by the end of 2010 and unemployment would remain near 9.6 percent through 2010.

This statement undermines the stated policy objective as well.

The policy analysis and recommendation provided by Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein contained a crucial error in the assumption of an economic multiplier. They believed every $1of government expenditures would generate $1.55 of total economic income (a multiplier of 1.55). Analysis provided by Dr. John Taylor of Stanford University suggests this multiplier may be 80 percent less, or close to 0.3.

Recently, the president stated in jovial fashion that the “shovel ready” projects contained within the stimulus program may not have been as “shovel ready” as he would have liked. This statement suggests disingenuous undertones.

The priorities demonstrated by the president signal an economic, social, and political proclivity, which is anathema to meritocracy, equal opportunity, and productivity. His vision lacks an adequate focus and strategic plan to realize his stated objectives. Moreover, his credibility concerning prudent economic policy has been seriously eroded.

My sense: the probability of a 2012 victory for the president has been strongly diminished.

Read more: Obama's Job Numbers Don't Add Up

By Barry Elias,

Barry Elias provides economic analysis to Dick Morris, a former political adviser to President Clinton.

He was cited and acknowledged in two recent best-sellers co-authored by Mr. Morris: “Catastrophe” and “2010: Take Back America - a Battle Plan.” Mr. Elias graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Binghamton University with a degree in economics.

He has consulted with various high-profile financial institutions in New York City.

© 2011 Copyright Barry Elias - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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