Government Spending

If This is What Successful Stimulus Spending Accomplishes, Go Screw Yourself


Via Instapundit comes the latest update of the unemployment rate chart from AEI's James Pethokoukis. The good news is that unemployment came in at 7.5 percent, which represents a four-year low. The bad news includes a lot of things, but let's just focus on two.

First, the U-6 measure, which tracks discouraged workers and part-timers who want a full-time gig, nudged upwards to 13.9 percent.

Second, the final cost of the Obama admin's stimulus program has come in somewhere north of $800 billion. By the administration's own estimation (see above), we clearly got less than nothing for all that extra spending (read: debt and future taxes).

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  1. But it sure felt good doing it.

    1. It was about social justice!

      And funnelling a ton of tax payer money to donkey friends, special interests, lobbyists, and of course campaign coffers.

      Track those results and this stimulus thing was a great success.

  2. See if Mittens had any brains at all, this chart would have been in every newspaper, every TV ad, every everything.

    1. He also would have actively branded himself as “Mittens,” because it’s cute and he needed whatever he could get.

      But what you said would have been good too.

      1. He also would have actively branded himself as “Mittens,”

        ROMNIAC does not recognize this improper designation.




        1. I have a feeling that scene will go down as the hallmark of the show.

          1. Not this?

            There’s too many for one to be a hallmark.

            1. The gang buys a boat.

              1. Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life or Who Pooped the Bed?

                1. How about in “Mac and Charlie Die: Part 1” when they start freaking out that Luther is getting out of prison and is going to kill them and Charlie starts ranting about the hobo sack and how small it is and then throws the chair through the window? I love that. But there are so many amazing scenes.

                  1. I have my DVR half filled with Sunny.

                    Gun Fever.
                    Mac and Charlie Die.
                    Reynolds vs Reynolds: The Cereal Defense

                2. Can’t beat The Nightman Cometh.

                  My daughter loves Who Pooped the Bed? though.

                  I probably shouldn’t let her watch that show.

              2. Dicktowel.

              3. Because of the implication…

            2. There’s too many for one to be a hallmark

              Even non-Sunny fans know about the Kitten Mittons bit. That’s what I mean by it. Maybe touchstone is better?

          2. The D.E.N.N.I.S. system

    2. If the GOP had any brains at all almost no one outside of Mass. would even know who that guy is.

      1.Invented Obamacare
      2.Gun control advocate
      3.AGW warmista

      This is who the GOP asked conservatives and Libertarians to vote for. They dont call them the party of stupid for nothing.

      1. I kinda wish they’d go back to the Evil Party for a while.

        1. I kinda wish they’d go back to the Evil Party for a while.

          Sorry, that role has been filled.

        2. No shit. In 2016 I fully expect them to put another east coast liberal up. Christie probably.

          After they get their asses handed to them again they will scratch their heads and wonder why.

          1. Stop feeding this Christie meme, cause it’s ridiculous.

            Christie had a shot before HurricaneSuperStorm Sandy. After he got his Obamalove on, and started banging on the walls for gun control, he lost any chance of winning over the GOP base.

            I’ll lay $100 against Christie being the nominee, hell, I’ll even lay odds.



    1. What would Ozymandias do?!

      1. He would have a frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command.

        1. Are you a traveler from an antique land?

          1. He’s certainly a colossal wreck, boundless and bare.

          2. Look on my works and despair.

      2. I met a federal traveller from an stimulated land
        Who said: “Two vast and subsidized legs of stone
        Stand in the endangered species inhabited desert. Near them on the sand,
        Half sunk, a shattered teleprompter shown visage lies, whose frown
        And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
        Tell that its NEA funded sculptor well those passions read
        Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless governmental things,
        The golf club wielding hand that mocked them and the heart that fed (on Wagyu Beef).
        And on the pedestal these words appear:
        `My name is Obama, King of Kings:
        Look on my lack of works, ye voters, and despair!’
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal wreck, fundingless and bare,
        The lone and level Mall and Reflecting Pool stretch far away”.

        1. I like it. You may suck at puns, but in this case I’ll let that slide.

          1. I do not suck at puns – you just make….painful ones, and I express that pain. Remember, however, that I have thrown in the towel and will no longer fight the pun wars anymore.

      3. Well I was referring to the Watchmen character who destroys the world to save the world, but that works to, I guess.

        1. I don’t mind being the smartest man in the world, I just wish it wasn’t this one.

        2. You think we were going to pass on a chance to break out Percy Bysshe Shelley lines?!

        3. And here I thought you had a little culture. Well, I’ve got your number now, pal.

        4. And here I thought you had a little culture. Well, I’ve got your number now, pal.

          1. We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

  4. Bush’s $800 billion boondoggle at least took out a dictator.

    Obama’s $800 billion made the economy worse.

    Where you at, Shrike?

  5. But, but, but without the stimulus it would have been worse than the Great Depression!

  6. It looks like a before and after shot of Mt. Saint Helens.

  7. Yet more proof of how bad Bush was – he screwed things up so badly that even a whiz like Obama couldn’t tell how badly screwed up things were.

    Of course, Krugman saw this coming – he has insisted all along that it is going to take massively more governmental deficit spending by Obama to get us out of this mess caused by massive governmental deficit spending by Bush.

    1. Another 10 or 20 trillion ought to do the trick.

    2. Anyone have the sockpuppet spreadsheet handy?

      1. Check down at the maintenance pool – they may have your sarcasto-meter repaired.

  8. The Obama people never thought the stimulus was going to do anything but feed their friends and get themselves reelected.

    That’s all the stimulus was ever about. Paying off Obama’s friends and getting reelected.

    1. I dunno. I think these people really do believe in aggregates and multipliers, and are honestly puzzled as to why their good intentions have not yielded their intended results. I mean, it couldn’t be that their policies are at fault. Must be the rich hoarding cash or some other failure of the free market.

      1. They’ll say anything to feed their friends and get themselves reelected.

        If they happen to subscribe to some economic theory that has some legitimacy somewhere in the academic world, that’s great! Makes it even easier for the pundits to get behind them.

        …behind them while they feed their friends and get themselves reelected.

    2. “Paying off Obama’s friends”?

      The California High Speed Rail Authority changed its selection criteria so the bidder with the lowest technical score but the lowest actual bid could win. Never mind that the company has a history of significantly underbidding projects that result in taxpayer-funded overruns.…..dding.html

      In a complete bit of coincidence, one of the major investors in the company was once (still?) Richard C. Blum, husband of California Senator Diane Feinstein.

      In another bit of complete coincidence, the Chairman of the Board at the California High Speed Rail Authority was once a member of President-Elect Obama’s transition team focusing on transportation and was past executive vice president of the Chicago Transit Authority.……rales.aspx

      Of course, it can’t be a case of crony capitalism because many Democrats don’t have a strong like for capitalism.

      1. Not to mention how much money ultimately went to keep government employees on state payrolls for a little while longer.

        …or even so they wouldn’t have to bargain away their bloated pension benefits–for a little while longer.

    3. Ken puts it into a nutshell perfectly.

    4. Both Democrats and Republicans are paying off their friends rather than try to do what’s right for the country.

      My wife had one of those stimulus money funded jobs, the work itself completely in the private sector. They set up operations in a few months, and once the stimulus money ran out, they shut down operations again. The whole thing was run with gross incompetence, they probably lost money despite the large government handout.

      Your tax dollars at work.

  9. Indeed, it is good news that we’re adding jobs. However, the 7.5% official unemployment rate hides a good amount of underlying reality.

    The civilian participation rate in the workforce (EMRATIO) remains stubbornly flat at near its lowest point in a generation. This comes after spending $787 BILLION on “shovel ready” “job-creating” projects. Granted, the 99 weeks of federal unemployment benefits might have held the number low.

    CHART: http://soquelbythecreek.blogsp…..harts.html

    Likewise, the average duration of unemployment (UEMPMEAN) remains near its record high and over 70% higher than the previous record set back in the early 1980s. Thankfully, it’s headed in the right direction. However, the high average indicates that there are a good number of Americans who have been out of work for a long, long time.

    CHART: http://soquelbythecreek.blogsp…..harts.html

    [SEE PART 2]

  10. [PART 2]

    Because we’re adding jobs, the total non-farm workforce (PAYEMS) is growing. To give you an idea how bad the current recession was, for the first time since data was tracked (1948), the trough in employment during the current recession dropped below the trough in the prior recession. We are climbing out, but at a slower rate than prior recessions after WWII (again, despite $787 BILLION in Stimulus). To match total employment before the current recession, we need roughly another 2.6 million jobs. If we can roughly sustain this level of job growth, we need another year and a quarter to climb back to 2008. In fairness, some of the prior peak was helped by the subprime mortgage bubble.

    CHART: http://soquelbythecreek.blogsp…..harts.html

  11. IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE! and other unsubstantiated ravings.

    btw, I’m beginning to wonder if the people I help at work have been drinking the retard juice.

  12. I can’t wait until Paul Krugman is shovel-ready.

    1. +1

      You should add quite a few names to that list.

  13. All that stimulus spending, and we still couldn’t afford alt-text.

    1. we could … but not after the sequester.

    2. It’s Nick. He is above alt-text coolness.

      1. False. Nothing is about alt-text. Not even the Jacket.

        1. In the beginning there was the alt-text, and the alt-text was with Hit & Run…

        2. *Above*. EDIT BUTTON!

  14. Disappointed that I don’t see shrike here talking about how these numbers don’t count since we didn’t spend all of the stimulus money right away.

    “we need to wait until 2023” is going to make an awesome bumper sticker.

    1. too busy adding up his portfolio and congratulating himself on his financial awesomeness. That and icing his ass for the next Obama buttrape.

  15. This is what pisses me off: Had the stimulus not passed and unemployment was around what it was projected to be without the stimulus (and things would still be bad due to all the other government interference), then all the Keynesians would be screaming “SEE! We told you what would happen if you didn’t pass the stimulus! Look at how much better it would have been!”

    1. It’s a rigged game, just like “climate change.” The economy gets better, they win. The economy gets worse, they win. The economy is unchanged, they win. Whatever happens, the Keynesians can never be disproven.

      1. There is one way they lose: the stimulus doesn’t get passed and the economy recovers entirely inside of a week. In all other circumstances they have a line ready.

  16. I think anger is an appropriate response to stuff like this. Let’s measure the idiots by their own damn projections. Clearly, they have miserably failed, and in doing so have caused misery for millions of people. Own it.

    1. Liberalism means never having to compare your predictions to results.

  17. And when you add back in all the workers that were discouraged more than one year and are no longer counted as one of the unemployed, the unemployment rate is 23%!

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