On the February 16 edition of Fox News' Fox and Friends, guest host Eric Bolling claimed of stimulus money: "$272 billion has been spent," but only "595,000 jobs [have been] created," adding, "that's $450,000 per job." In fact, the Recovery.gov employment numbers Bolling cited only represents jobs funded from October 1-December 31, 2009, which make up a small part of the total number of jobs that the White House and other economists estimate have been funded by the stimulus.
Bolling misrepresented number of jobs created by the economic stimulus
Bolling: "$272 billion has been spent, jobs created, 595,000 jobs created." On the February 16 edition of Fox News' Fox and Friends, Bolling falsely claimed that in total, "595,000 jobs" were "created" by the stimulus:
DOOCY: Now people are saying wait a minute, this whole stimulus thing was to create jobs here in the United States of America, but you're telling us that you're spending $11 million of our taxpayer money on a company from Canada? You got to be kidding me.
BOLLING: There's -- there is a group in New Hampshire and they turned away stimulus money because there were so many restrictions attached to some of the things. They did the right thing, clearly this company in Colorado didn't vet who they were going to hire to do some of the water work. Bad idea, bad idea.
DOOCY: Well, it's just going to leave people saying hey, isn't anybody paying attention? Why are we -- it's like the Cash for Clunkers thing. Why are we creating so many cars --
BOLLING: Real quickly. If you go to the government's web site on this exact topic, the Recovery.gov, $272 billion has been spent, jobs created, 595,000 jobs created, two hundred and seventy two. That's $450,000 per job. That's their web site. So there's a lot of money slipping through the cracks.
DOOCY: Each job about half a million dollars. We must be loaded.
However, Recovery.gov's 595,000 figure only represents jobs funded in the fourth quarter
Recovery.gov specifically states that the number of jobs funded directly from the stimulus is from "October 1-December 31." The number cited by Bolling are "recovery funded jobs reported by [stimulus] recipients" from October 1-December 31. From Recovery.gov:
Estimate reportedly only represents "the final three months of 2009." The Washington Post reported in a February 1 article that "[t]he Obama administration's economic stimulus program created nearly 600,000 jobs in the final three months of 2009, a figure in line with the administration's goals for job creation through the end of 2010, the White House reported Saturday night." It continued: "The new total was down from the totals reported for the previous quarter, partly because the administration decided in December to count only the jobs paid for with stimulus funding instead of estimating the number of jobs 'created or saved' with the money." Reuters and CNNMoney.com articles about the report also noted that the figure represents the fourth quarter.
White House: 595,000 jobs "represents just a portion of the job impact in the fourth quarter." In a blog post on WhiteHouse.gov, White House adviser Ed DeSeve wrote that the latest figure "represents just a portion of the job impact in the fourth quarter" but noted that "[t]he Council of Economic Advisers recently released analysis that found the Recovery Act is already responsible for about 2 million jobs." DeSeve also wrote that the 600,000 job figure "is right in line with our goal to create or save 3.5 million jobs through the Recovery Act by the end of 2010."
Orszag: Fourth quarter reporting "only applied to about a fifth of the recovery act funding." On the February 1 Fox & Friends broadcast, guest host Alyson Camerota asked Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag about the Recovery.gov report, and he replied: "Well, remember, that reporting only applied to about a fifth of the recovery act funding, so when you scale it up, you're talking about one and a half to 2 million jobs created or saved as a result of the recovery act. So that's, you know, 2 million people who would be unemployed today were it not for the recovery act." Additionally, Orszag explained that the Recovery.gov job figures only "apply to a certain subset of the recovery act funding. It doesn't include things like the jobs created from the tax cuts that were provided under the recovery act or from other components that were part of the recovery act but were not direct discretionary spending that the recipient reporting requirements applied to."
Additionally, the White House's stimulus job numbers are "within the range of other projections," including Moody's, CBO
White House economic advisers: "the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by 1½ to 2 million." In a quarterly report issued January 13, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimated: "As of the fourth quarter of 2009, the CEA estimates that the ARRA has raised employment relative to the baseline by between 1½ and 2 million. The CEA estimates for both the effects on GDP and employment are similar to those of respected private forecasters and government agencies." The report also stated, "For the third quarter of 2009, we now have direct reports on jobs created or saved from a subset of recipients of ARRA funds. These reports identify 640,000 jobs that would not have existed but for the Recovery Act."
CEA: Our estimates are within the range of other projections, including Moody's and CBO. Discussing its projection, CEA noted, "[O]ur estimates are within the range of other projections, though somewhat above the median." In its quarterly report, CEA cited figures from Moody's Economy.com and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as evidence that its "estimates are within" the range of other economists':