Using a handy graphic found in Mitt Romney’s economic plan, I’ve updated the Bernstein-Romer jobs chart from 2009 while also incorporating (in green) Wall Street bank forecasts (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan) of where the unemployment rate might be headed.
Two things jump out at me: First, of course, is the incredible underperformance of the $800 billion stimulus. Second, note where the Obama White House thought the unemployment rate would be in 2012 even if no stimulus: around 6 percent or so. Reminds me of how dismissive Obama’s economic advisers were in 2009 and 2010 of the thesis that downturns after financial crises can be nasty beasts. Maybe if they had taken the situation more seriously, they would have focused more on growth and jobs (and deep, permanent tax cuts) instead of healthcare and cap-and-trade.