The president’s apologists at The New York Times are putting the best possible spin on the administration’s economic forecasting failures. That the Times is even writing about this subject indicates how vulnerable the Obama administration (and its state run media enablers) must be feeling about the worsening recession:
In the weeks just before President Obama took office, his economic advisers made a mistake. They got a little carried away with hope.
To make the case for a big stimulus package, they released their economic forecast for the next few years. Without the stimulus, they saw the unemployment rate — then 7.2 percent — rising above 8 percent in 2009 and peaking at 9 percent next year. With the stimulus, the advisers said, unemployment would probably peak at 8 percent late this year.
The only thing the Obama administration got carried away with last January and February during the stimulus “debate” was dissembling. The one trillion dollar plus stimulus bill was rammed through with all manner of half truths, camouflaged pork and flawed forecasting. The promise of keeping unemployment below 9% this year was just another song to placate the few among the Hope and Change chorus that might actually ask a serious question about fiscal policy. Now that we are six months into this disaster of Obama/Pelosi/Reid fiscal policy it merits asking when this administration will be held accountable to some real results.
Given the precise targeting of employment and GDP growth metrics used by President Obama in February to sell the stimulus legislation, voters should demand precise answers to the following questions:
- Where will unemployment peak?
- When will unemployment peak?
- If GDP growth does not hit the Obama forecast of 3.2% next year what will be the amount of the budget deficit based on growth levels ranging from 0% – 2%?
- What will be the budget deficit next year if GDP growth is negative?
As with any monumental piece of spending legislation, congressional Democrats are hoping voters forget the promises made while the bill was being sold to them. Maybe the loss of another 400,000 jobs just in the month of June will serve as reminder to voters that Washington is completely out of touch with a recession that is gutting the private sector. The prospect of tax increases for individuals and businesses to pay for the poorly targeted, half baked stimulus legislation will further diminish the prospects for employment recovery. One theme that should predominate in Tea Party gatherings this 4th of July weekend is that the historic Obama deficits are job killers.