Stimulus didn’t fail—it was just misunderstood. Yeah… that’s it. Part II.

Read Part I.

The chart inset below is directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can see the original pdf that it is a part of simply by clicking on the image.

unemployment numbers mostly downBasically, it is a graph of unemployment numbers for the previous two years. If you add up the numbers across the chart labeled “Chart 2”, you can easily see that over the two year period in which the President said his stimulus bill would create jobs, there is actually a net loss of ~2,400,000 jobs. Which means that in effect, we (that’s “we” the taxpayers) paid almost a trillion dollars to lose almost 2 and 1/2 million jobs. That’s effective.

Again, remember he stated it as definitive with absolutely no qualifiers. Maybe he should have said “we expect this influx of your taxpayer dollars to create 3.5 million jobs”. That way, if expectations were not met (as they have not been) it would be an easy thing to claim that they were simply projections based on the best available evidence at the time. But he did not say that. He said that his plan would create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.

“Sorry, Chief. Missed it by that much.” Only a couple million.

But, as stated in The Stimulus Didn’t Fail. It Was Just Misunderstood, Part 1 of this article, this stimulus bill was not about creating jobs. The title alone tells us that: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The majority of the President’s speech, and as shown earlier, the majority of the tremendous trillions of taxpayer dollars was targeted at the reinvestment aspects.

These aspects are core components of the President’s ongoing agenda, to increase government presence in and oversight of the lives of American citizens. See Because You’re Not Smart for further discussion on this. Some of the things he mentioned were taxpayer provided health care, government subsidized broadband Internet service to every home in America and federally funded high-speed rail to “bring the country together.” All of these, of course, were wrapped in the traditional green package as is normal with this administration, and all of them are staples of the President’s many speeches.

Let’s look at just one of the President’s pet projects: high-speed rail. He has mentioned this frequently since the speech in Denver. This strikes me, at best, as a make fake-work (government created jobs!) program, and at worst, a black hole to pour more and more resources into with little to no hope of ever gaining a return. What would a farmer in Iowa, standing in his cornfield—to reference the 2011 SOTU speech—want or need from a high speed rail running through what used to be his land before the government confiscated it through the use of eminent domain?

What’s wrong with government run programs? Amtrak, the Post Office, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and on ad infinitum—the list of broken, inefficient, wasteful government run programs goes on and on. We don’t need, nor want any more.

Further Reading:

At the WSJ
Speaker of the House