James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

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.

Comments

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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