Barack. Give it up, man. Stop flying around the country pushing your latest $447 billion “stimulus” plan. Stop with the “Pass this bill” shtick, already. Everyone knows that stimulus doesn’t work. Even the people who wrote your original $787 billion stimulus plan knew that it would be a loser, even if it had worked exactly as planned (which it certainly did not).
Of course, stimulus didn’t even manage to accomplish this much. In fact, based upon the criteria used in the real world to assess performance (i.e., comparing “actual results” with “promised results”), the stimulus program was a disaster. Rather than “creating or saving” 3.0 million jobs as promised, by mid-2010 it had “destroyed or prevented” about 3.2 million jobs.
The whole concept of stimulus relies upon “multipliers”. Multipliers embody the Keynesian belief that each dollar of additional government spending will produce more than a dollar of additional GDP. Even though it was derived from multipliers that were all higher than 1.00, Romer and Bernstein’s unemployment graph suggests multipliers of less than 1.00. Otherwise, the cost of creating incremental temporary jobs via incremental temporary stimulus spending would be less than the average wage, rather than 2.5 times more.
There is no need to delve more deeply into this mystery. In the real world, the stimulus multipliers are not just less than 1.00, they are less than zero. In other words, the kind of additional government spending that was contained in Obama’s stimulus bill actually reduced total GDP and employment from what it would otherwise have been. This is obvious to anyone looking at the numbers who is not blinded by Keynesian superstition.