I read an excellent opinion article today in the Wall Street Journal online. The thesis of the article is found here:
"Saved or created" has become the signature phrase for Barack Obama as he describes what his stimulus is doing for American jobs. His latest invocation came yesterday, when the president declared that the stimulus had already saved or created at least 150,000 American jobs -- and announced he was ramping up some of the stimulus spending so he could "save or create" an additional 600,000 jobs this summer. These numbers come in the context of an earlier Obama promise that his recovery plan will "save or create three to four million jobs over the next two years." [Emphasis mine]It is not too difficult either to understand the concept of, or to measure, job creation. We have government departments that track job creation, and there are monthly reports of this data. But what does it mean to "save a job"? How is this measured? And if a job can indeed be "saved," how can the credit be objectively placed?
There are a few forces at work here:
- First and foremost, "saved jobs" is nothing more than fiction. Or fantasy. There is no objective way whatsoever, short of omniscience (which the President most assuredly does not have), to credit anything the government has done with saving any number of jobs. This is simply a made-up figure that makes a good talking point.
- The Obama Administration is, at best, misleading us; and at worst, they are lying through their teeth. They know that there is no data to back up their claims. Which brings us to...
- The press would never, ever have let Bush get away with such foolishness. And quite frankly, had Bush been so foolish as to try to sucker the American people with this sort of baloney, they would have been right to jump all over him for it. So, um, why aren't they jumping all over Obama right now? [Moment of silence to ponder the question.]