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October 29, 2009

Obama's Commerce Department Proudly Announces Prelude to the Double-Dip Recession

3.5% growth, beating analyst expectations, but Ed Morrissey pretty much nails it:

[W]hat we had in the third quarter was not long-term growth based on solid investment in business. We had a flurry of federal spending and consumer behavior predicated on highly temporary government interventions, like Cash for Clunkers and the homebuyer tax credit. That may be enough to make the administration look good for the next three months, but only for that long if they don’t stimulate real investment instead of using these gimmicky programs. If we have a double dip recession after these gimmicks end, Barack Obama won’t have George Bush to kick around any longer on the economy. He’ll own it after this.

If this is a genuine recovery, well, kudos to Obama for ignoring every principle of economics and sound fiscal policy and somehow contriving success.

But that seems unlikely. More likely is that this is a One Quarter Wonder. The enormous deficits Obama has created, and his general attitude of tax anything in sight, are going to continue to discourage non-government-gimmick investment, spending, and growth, and plunge us back into the next recession.

Meanwhile, at that link, job losses continue pretty much apace:

The number of people claiming jobless benefits for the first time dropped less than expected last week, evidence that the labor market remains weak even as the economy is recovering.

Also at Hot Air: Obama's already anemic "saved or created" nonsense jobs figure is even more nonsense than imagined.

An early progress report on President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.

The government’s first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.

The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

Obama's fans, apparently, tried to do him a solid by claiming large numbers of jobs had been "saved or created," when in fact none, or very few, had been:

_ A company working with the Federal Communications Commission reported that stimulus money paid for 4,231 jobs, when about 1,000 were produced.

_ A Georgia community college reported creating 280 jobs with recovery money, but none was created from stimulus spending.

_ A Florida child care center said its stimulus money saved 129 jobs but used the money on raises for existing employees.

It is, of course, in the financial interests of "Stimulus" money recipients to claim all sorts of job growth -- they want Obama to keep sending them money, of course, and all Obama wants in return is for them to put numbers on a piece of paper that he can parade out to prove his drunken-sailor spending is "working."

So of course the Administration has no interest in vetting these numbers -- the higher the better, wink wink nudge nudge. Want to say that your small aromatherapy-for-convicts business expanded by thirty-three bazillion people thanks to Obama's spendulus? Awesome. Just write down large numbers on an unvetted, unverified report, and Obama will write down a large number on a check.


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posted by Ace at 11:57 AM

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