Fox confuses "bailout" with "stimulus" and declares the stimulus "didn't work"


Fox News repeatedly attacked President Obama's recent town hall remarks on the stimulus by falsely referring to it as the "bailout" and claiming that it "didn't work." In fact, the "bailout" was first enacted under the Bush administration, and the stimulus has been estimated by both the White House and independent analysts to have increased employment by about 2 million jobs relative to a baseline estimate of what jobs levels would have been without the stimulus.

Doocy confuses stimulus with Bush's "bailout"

Doocy repeatedly mislabels the stimulus fund "bailout." Twice during the July 1 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy teased segments on Obama's remarks regarding the stimulus fund's effect on employment by referring to it as "the bailout." At the beginning of the show, Doocy said, "Meanwhile, the bailout has not created the jobs the president has expected, but he says there's still a bright side." Doocy repeated the same line later in the show.

In fact, the "bailout" refers to TARP, a Bush policy. Obama's comments during his June 30 town hall in Racine, Wisconsin -- to which Doocy is referring -- were in reference to the stimulus fund, not the so-called "bailout." "Bailout" refers to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was signed into law by President Bush on October 3, 2008, and was created to prevent the collapse of the financial industry, not create jobs.

Fox uses Obama's remarks at Wisconsin town hall to attack stimulus

Kilmeade: "Economists said" the stimulus has "been a failure." On the July 1 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed Obama "was in total campaign mode" during his Racine town hall appearance and said that "he started talking about not what the economists said about his stimulus package to this point," who "said it's been a failure."

Doocy declares the stimulus "didn't work." Doocy cited unemployment rates from various towns in Wisconsin in an attempt to refute Obama's assessment that "things would have been a lot worse" without the stimulus and later said, in response to Fox & Friends' own speculation that Obama may be considering a second stimulus, "First one didn't work ... so who knows what they're out for."

Varney & Co. claims stimulus was "a disaster" that didn't work and calls Obama's comments "condescending." On the July 1 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney called Obama's statement that the stimulus prevented higher unemployment numbers "a very, very difficult claim to make. I don't think it worked." Guest Charles Payne claimed that "the president really now is veering into an area where he's going to start making people angry" for claiming the stimulus helped, because "this stimulus thing has been a tremendous disaster," while guest Tracy Byrnes said, "It's becoming condescending."

Independent and private analysts agree stimulus significantly raised employment over what would have happened otherwise

CEA: ARRA raised employment "by between 2.2 and 2.8 million." In its third quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) stated: "The CEA estimates that as of the first quarter of 2010, the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.2 and 2.8 million. These estimates are similar to those of other analysts, and are broadly consistent with the direct recipient reporting data available for 2009:Q4."

CBO estimates job impact of between 1.2 and 2.7 million. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in February that as of the fourth quarter of 2009, "ARRA added between 1.0 million and 2.1 million to the number of workers employed in the United States." The CEA report stated that CBO estimates that as of the first quarter of 2010, the Recovery Act raised employment by between 1.2 and 2.7 million.

IHS/Global Insight estimates job impact of 1.7 million. stated on February 17 that "[u]sing updated estimates provided to PolitiFact, IHS/Global Insight estimates that 1.7 million jobs will be created or saved by the first quarter of 2010." The CEA report also cites this estimate from IHS/Global Insight.

Moody's estimates job impact of 1.9 million. The PolitiFact post further stated that "[u]sing updated estimates provided to PolitiFact ... Moody's estimated that 1.9 million jobs will be created or saved" by the first quarter of 2010. The CEA report also cited this estimate from Moody's

Macroeconomic Advisers estimates job impact of 1.5 million. The CEA report stated that Macroeconomic Advisers estimates that the Recovery Act raised employment by 1.46 million as of the first quarter of 2010, citing an analysis provided to CEA.

Administration's estimate of stimulus job impact calculated from "the no-stimulus baseline." In a January 9, 2009, report on the job impact of a "prototypical" stimulus package "in the range that the President-Elect has discussed," Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein estimated that a stimulus package would raise employment by between "3.3 to 4.1 million jobs" by the end of 2010. The report clearly notes that this estimate is calculated "relative to the no-stimulus baseline."

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