CBO Admits that 1.5 Million ‘Stimulus Jobs’ Estimate Ignored Deepening Recession, Misspent Funds – The Foundry

A few weeks ago, I posted that CBO’s estimate that the stimulus created saved 1.5 million jobs was not based on any actual examination of the post-stimulus economy. Instead, CBO essentially re-released their initial prediction that the stimulus would work, and presented that as proof that it did work.

This is like a weather forecaster saying that the high yesterday was 65 degrees, because that is what had been predicted — even though it actually never topped 50 degrees.

Now, CBO director Doug Elmendorf has finally conceded that they never actual examined this stimulus bills’ affect on the economy. Responding to a questioner following a recent speech, he admitted that the CBO’s jobs count was “essentially repeating the same exercise” as their initial projections. When asked if this means their jobs projections would have ignored any failures of stimulus spending to perform as CBO predicted, Mr. Elmendorf responded “that’s right.” (Exchange begins at 38:20.)

CBO never actually counted the jobs. Nor did their analysis take into account the rising unemployment rate. Or the economic figures. Or how effectively the money was spent. They merely assumed this government spending “must have” saved 1.5 million jobs.

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