Obama's Ugly Record of Job Promises

Over at National Review's The Corner, Mercatus economist and Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy produces the following chart of Obama-administration jobs promises versus reality:

Explainer:

In 2009, President Obama promised that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would "create or save" 3.5 million jobs over the next two years and that the unemployment rate would not rise above 8.5 percent. By the end of 2010, he promised, unemployment would have dropped to 7.25 percent. Furthermore, White House economists forecast that without ARRA spending, the unemployment rate would increase from 7 percent to 8.8 percent. Unfortunately, the administration's estimates were wrong by a vast margin.

This week's chart compares unemployment estimates from the president's 2010 Budget — which contains the original proposed estimates for the impact of the stimulus on unemployment — with actual unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. [...]

The lesson: Beware of promises.

Whole thing here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Max||

    Someone with a rodent face should never use the word "ugly."

  • Restoras||

    I don't think Matt has a rodent face. An owl, perhaps, but not a rodent.

  • Tim||

    Well, at least the Oceans are dropping.

  • The Other Kevin||

    To be fair, the economy Obama inherited was much worse than we initially thought. And those numbers were just an estimate - did we really expect someone to predict the exact number? Also, the stimulus, while it kind of worked, really needed to be a lot bigger than it was. Plus, business owners tend to be Republican, and many of them will do anything to see this president fail.

    Just thought I'd save us all time and compile all the BS excuses into one comment.

  • Matt Welch||

    It is eerie how much this resembles the Geithner interview I heard this morning on NPR.

  • ||

    Did he really put in the part about business owners being Republican Matt?

  • The Other Kevin||

    I have not seen that interview, I was just being sarcastic. Amazing how firmly people will stick to their talking points.

  • ||

    You hit is right on the head. My liberal friends say exactly the same stuff, especially the part about racist Republican business people.

  • ||

    Our children are initiated into factions before they know their right hand from their left. They no sooner begin to speak, but Whig and Tory are the first words they learn. They are taught in their infancy to hate one half of the nation, and contract all the virulence and passion of a party before they come to the use of their reason.
  • Lurker||

    I thought you were serious until the next-to-last sentence.

  • hmm ||

    Is it me or did March 2011 go back in time to 2009?

  • Tim||

    I agree with the stimulus arguments. Tongiht the wife and I are hitting the town to max out all our cards: furniture, appliances, TV's- it's difficult to do the right thing but we're going to buckle down and get to work.

  • ||

    Absolutely! Without more borrowing and spending, how could I possibly expect to improve the financial outlook for my family?

  • Restoras||

    I think the lesson should be: Beware of government spending.

    The hole we're in is so bad it is difficult to comprehend. In order to just get back to a starting point where the economy can begin expanding and creating jobs there has to be drastic cuts in government spending across the board, entitlement reform/elimination, and tax code reform. However, all of these things are the purview of our governing class, elected and non-elected alike, and doing these things will require them to wilfully reduce thier power, influence, status, and ability to accumulate wealth at the expense of the governed.

    Not holding my breath.

  • ||

    If you look at how much we need to cut just to break even, it's too much. If we weren't allowed to touch SS and Medicare, and cut everything else, we still wouldn't make it. We'd still be spending more than tax receipts.

  • ||

    Talk is cheap.

  • ||

    I believe there is actually a price tag on this talk.

    Personally, I think you should wait for the red tag clearance sale.

  • ||

    Actually, not from the talk itself. It has to get embodied into a law that gets through Congress before we get ripped off. I'm thinking that it won't make it, though we may be, yet again, victims to a bipartisan scam.

  • Trespassers W||

    I think she meant "Mar-09".

    Veronique, would you please stop using Excel to make graphs?

  • ||

    What should I use to make my charts? Suggestions and help appreciated.

  • johnl||

    Good free plotting packages are R or Python with Matplotlib. What do you use for stats? SPSS, SAS, and Matlab all make beautiful plots. TW is right, Excel is especially bad with dates. Go over to the math department and find a 3rd year student who wants to make a chart for free. Stats students should all be learning R. Or just post a call here. Post the table as plain text in the comments and I'll shoot you a Python script.

  • JoshEpi||

    Excel is fine. You really think she should learn R or SAS to produce a few graphs? You really think it is as easy to make a comparably nice graph in those as Excel. I am all for SAS for doing the work (but usually overkill for things like this), but Excel is much easier and in my experience makes much better graphs...but to each their own. The date problem is a presentation option that can be changed in Excel.

  • ||

    Question for the economists on staff or in audience:

    The proposed jobs bill spends $450B / $14T, or 3.2% of GDP. The advocates are claiming the jobs bill will boost GDP by 2% (the rosiest predictions). So we're spending 3.2% of GDP to increase GDP by 2% ($280B). Since government spending is already factored into GDP, it seems that unless they insert at least 1.2% of the GDP ($165B) worth of government cuts to pay for the bill, we'd be actually losing GDP assuming their rosiest predictions are true?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement