How Much Did Each Bush "Job" Cost?
by Deacon Blues
The conservative Weekly Standard intended to make the case that Barack Obama's stimulus package cost way too much for the few jobs it actually delivered. They used the very lazy math that to date $666 billion had been spent, yielding so far only 2.4 million jobs, which was at the lowest end of a range from the Council of Economic Advisors that went as high as 3.6 million jobs. Based on that flawed analysis, the Weekly Standard bashed the White House for spending nearly $278,000 per job.
Unfortunately for him, Speaker John Boehner's office jumped on board this claptrap, even though a large part of this stimulus package were GOP-demanded tax cuts and infrastructure investments in capital stock.
Boehner and the Weekly Standard should have never gone down this road. Not just because the analysis was so juvenile, but also because this conceptual approach actually makes Obama's admittedly-flawed stimulus package a bargain compared to the economic and jobs record of George W. Bush, an economic and policy approach totally based on tax cuts that were sold to us based on the jobs they would allegedly create. And it's a policy and record totally supported by John Boehner and the GOP caucus in both houses of Congress.
If Boehner really wants to go down this road, then let's take the total cost of Bush's two tax cut packages, including the annual deficits and future debt and interest costs. This amounts to about $7.4 trillion dollars for the period 2001-2019. Then to follow the Weekly Standard's own flawed approach, we'll divide that figure by Bush's total net jobs record during his eight years, which amounted to a record-low 3 million jobs, some of which were then in fact wiped out by Bush's recession as he left office.
You do the math of what $7.4 trillion divided by 3 million comes out to.
If the GOP really wants to have this debate, then Obama needs to force-feed a reality check to the public about the real source of the debt.