Romer-Bernstein unemployment chart — updated

June 7, 2011

The good folks at e21 have updated the wildly optimistic chart from January 2009 prepared by incoming White House economists Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer. You know, the one that show the Obama stimulus plan would keep unemployment from hitting 8 percent.

8 comments

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[...] James Pethokoukis comes an updated version of the graph (originally created by Obama’s economic advisers [...]

[...] James Pethokoukis comes an updated version of the graph along with real unemployment rates, are posted [...]

[...] James Pethokoukis comes an updated version of the graph (originally created by Obama’s economic advisers [...]

[...] James Pethokoukis comes an updated version of the graph (originally created by Obama’s economic advisers [...]

The red-dotted line should read “With Recovery Plan AND OBAMA”

Posted by dfbaskwill | Report as abusive

If Obama was actively trying to destroy our economy, what would he be doing differently?

Posted by BackwardsBoy | Report as abusive

So in other words, this graph proves what we already knew: that far from helping, the “stimulus” package made unemployment much worse than it would’ve been if Obama had done NOTHING.

You can’t take huge amounts of taxpayer money and throw it at the economy (especially in ways targeted to benefit unions and one’s other supporters– oh, and allow the government to actually _take_over_ industries) and expect it to result in a net increase in jobs. No, we call that “socialism”, and whenever the government tries to do what only the private sector can do, it not only fails– it makes matters worse.

Posted by R0nin | Report as abusive

[...] is worth looking at. James Pethokoukis created an updated Sesame Street Economics [...]

[...] In this case, doing nothing really would have been better (HT James Pethokoukis at Reuters): [...]

So basically the govt is not showing that the really unemployment rate is closer to twice of what it is. They don’t count the people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and are still jobless. What a joke, talk about pulling the wool over our eyes.
Sure, the economy is in the tank, so let’s take whatever monies we have left and dump it into ‘military’ actions in Libya ($500 million or something). Makes me sick, politicos looking out for their personal agendas instead of taking care of the people who elected them into their jobs.

Posted by duh_politics | Report as abusive

[...] apparently forgotten that Team Obama likes to keep things secret as well. Remember the infamous Romer-Bernstein prediction that claimed the Obama stimulus plan would keep unemployment from reaching 8 percent? We still [...]

[...] apparently forgotten that Team Obama likes to keep things secret as well. Remember the infamous Romer-Bernstein prediction that claimed the Obama stimulus plan would keep unemployment from reaching 8 percent? We still [...]

[...] apparently forgotten that Team Obama likes to keep things secret as well. Remember the infamous Romer-Bernstein prediction that claimed the Obama stimulus plan would keep unemployment from reaching 8 percent? We still [...]

Way to post the pictures without the words that were attached to them. You’re a real class act! Here’s some of what you left out:

“”It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error. There is the obvious uncertainty that comes from modeling a hypothetical package rather than the final legislation passed by the Congress. But, there is the more fundamenta l uncertaint y that comes with any estimate of the effects of a program. Our estimates of economic relationships and rules of thumb are derived from historical experience and so will not apply exactly in any given episode. Furthermore, the uncertainty is surely higher than normal now because the current recession is unusual both in its fundamental causes and its severity.”"

Posted by Yankenstein | Report as abusive

@Yankenstein: Good point…except that this disclaimer has been very noticeably absent from Administration reports of jobs created, debt reduction proposals, revenue from proposed tax increases, etc, etc.

Can’t have it both ways…

Posted by Carpe2Diem | Report as abusive

[...] Re: GE moving X-ray business to China Originally Posted by Boo Radley understand what is being said the stimulus failed James Pethokoukis | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters.com [...]

Apparently, this proves that tax cuts don’t stimulate job growth, as the stimulus package contained $280B of tax cuts.

Posted by SixthReplicant | Report as abusive

[...] Re: United States loses its AAA Credit rating from S & P Originally Posted by Sheik Yerbuti The stimulus was only intended to help bridge the economy until the end of last year James Pethokoukis | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters.com [...]

[...] Re: United States loses its AAA Credit rating from S & P Originally Posted by Boo Radley You may argue the cost was too great LOL! you sure can Barack Obama's Stimulus Plan: Failing by Its Own Measure – TIME James Pethokoukis | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters.com [...]

[...] promised his TRILLION plus dollar, so-called “stimulus” would have unemployment under 7% by now and that without it we’d be at 8%. Well, we got it and unemployment is over 9% and the White House itself says it’s going to be [...]

[...] of saying 8%: Economist Christina Romer regrets saying jobless rate would stay below 8 percent James Pethokoukis | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters.com And I think this one sums it up. They can find no direct quote from President Obama in this [...]

[...] Latest unemployment figures added to the famous graph that shows official unemployment numbers plotted alongside what the Obama administration said would [...]

[...] the infamous Bernstein-Romer stimulus chart had the economy returning to full employment by 2013, 2014 even without the stimulus. If Team Obama [...]

There’s a missing line on the updated chart – an estimate of where unemployment would be without the recovery plan.

The top line of the chart (actual unemployment with the stimulus) is offset from the bottom line (forecast unemployment without the stimulus) by a margin of error. The additional line (estimated unemployment without the stimulus with the benefit of actual data) should be offset from the middle line (estimated unemployment without the stimulus without the benefit of actual data).

Whether this 4th line should be offset above or below the forecast line is open to debate and much more interesting than discussing how good of a job the forecasters did. Do people believe unemployment today would be higher, lower, or the same if the stimulus had not been implemented?

Posted by jeffme | Report as abusive

[...] of the passage of President Obama’s Stimulus Pokulus bill, which was supposed to have us at below 6% unemployment by now. How’s that working [...]

[...] of the passage of President Obama’s Stimulus Pokulus bill, which was supposed to have us at below 6% unemployment by now. How’s that working [...]

[...] of the passage of President Obama’s Stimulus Pokulus bill, which was supposed to have us at below 6% unemployment by now. How’s that working [...]

[...] of the passage of President Obama’s Stimulus Pokulus bill, which was supposed to have us at below 6% unemployment by now. How’s that working [...]

[...] of the passage of President Obama’s Stimulus Pokulus bill, which was supposed to have us at below 6% unemployment by now. How’s that working [...]

[...] Obama and his economic team promised that if the stimulus passed, unemployment would not go above 8 percent and we would now be at 6 [...]

[...] Obama and his economic team promised that if the stimulus passed, unemployment would not go above 8 percent and we would now be at 6 [...]

[...] there is this, now infamous, unemployment projection chart authored by former White House economic advisor Christina Romer and Bernstein. That’s right. [...]

[...] remained at 8.2 percent, far greater than the 6 percent level Obama’s economic advisers predicted at this point in his [...]

[...] White House advisers in 2009 predicted that the president’s signature $787 stimulus package would prevent unemployment from rising above [...]

[...] are dire. Take a look at the stimulus package signed by Obama. By all metrics, including those from the White House, it has been a colossal failure. Yet people, including “well respected economists,” [...]

[...] the White House. He pledged to cut the budget deficit in half in his first term, keep unemployment under 8%, and lower health and gasoline [...]