Swing and a miss: Bolling claims that millions of jobs are "nothing"

››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

Fox News' Eric Bolling repeated the discredited claim that the stimulus has "done nothing to help the economy." In fact, economists agree that GDP and employment levels are significantly higher than they would have been without the stimulus.

Bolling pushes myth that the stimulus failed

Bolling: The stimulus has "done nothing to help the economy." During the September 1 edition of Fox & Friends, guest host Eric Bolling claimed that the stimulus has "done nothing to help the economy" and that "the economy is far worse than it was when we signed over $750 billion that turned into $862 billion." Bolling added, "Forget the other programs, it's literally trillions of dollars of economic stimulus that aren't working."

Independent and private analysts agree stimulus significantly raised GDP, employment

CEA: Recovery act raised GDP by at least 2.7 percent in the second quarter of 2010. In its fourth quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) stated that "the ARRA has raised the level of GDP as of the second quarter of 2010, relative to what it otherwise would have been, by between 2.7 and 3.2 percent."

Independent analysts agree that recovery act significantly raised GDP. In its quarterly report, the CEA included figures from independent analyses that also credited the recovery act with increasing the GDP. Included in these figures is the estimate by the nonpartisan CBO, which estimated that the stimulus raised GDP "by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent." CEA included the following chart in its report:

CEA: Recovery act has raised employment "by between 2.5 and 3.6 million." In its fourth quarterly report on the ARRA, the CEA stated: "The CEA estimates that as of the second quarter of 2010, the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.5 and 3.6 million. These estimates are broadly consistent with the direct recipient reporting data available for 2010:Q1."

Independent analysts agree that recovery act significantly raised employment. In its quarterly report, the CEA included figures from independent analyses that also credited the recovery act with increasing employment:

Economists say stimulus helped economic recovery

WSJ: 70 percent of economists surveyed said stimulus helped. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 12 that 38 of the 54 economists it surveyed "said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act boosted growth and mitigated job losses, while six said the legislation had a net negative effect."

ABC News: Most on panel of economists "think the economy would be worse" without the stimulus. ABC News reported on February 18 that "most" of the economists on its panel "think the economy would be worse today without the big aid package, which totaled $787 billion and was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009."

NABE: 83 percent say stimulus raised GDP. A February survey of 203 members of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that "[e]ighty-three percent believe that GDP is currently higher than it would have been without the 2009 stimulus package (ARRA)."

USA Today: Surveyed economists said "stimulus package saved jobs." USA Today reported on January 25:

President Obama's stimulus package saved jobs -- but the government still needs to do more to breathe life into the economy, according to USA TODAY's quarterly survey of 50 economists.

Unemployment would have hit 10.8% -- higher than December's 10% rate -- without Obama's $787 billion stimulus program, according to the economists' median estimate. The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs.

Many economists say we need a second stimulus

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz: "The U.S. Congress has to pass a second stimulus." In January comments before the Council on Foreign Relations, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz reportedly said that the "stimulus has made a difference" and that "[t]he U.S. Congress has to pass a second stimulus." An August 5 Bloomberg article reported that Stiglitz said it was "absolutely clear that you need a second round of stimulus."

Nobel laureate Robert Solow: There is "need for further stimulus, of serious magnitude." In an August 10 Daily Beast blog post, Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert M. Solow wrote that "our economy is limping along" and that "[i]t would be foolhardy to sit and wait for a spontaneous burst of consumer spending or business investment in a sluggish economy with high unemployment." Solow argued for "further stimulus, of serious magnitude."

Economists have been pushing for additional stimulus for more than a year. A July 13, 2009, post on The New York Times' Economix blog listed economists that supported additional stimulus spending, including Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, former CBO director Robert D. Reischauer, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Dean Baker, Berkeley economist Brad DeLong, University of Oregon economics professor Mark Thoma, and Yale economics professor Robert Shiller.

Berkeley economist Laura Tyson: We need a second stimulus. In an August 28 New York Times op-ed headlined "Why we need a second stimulus," Laura Tyson, a Berkeley economist who served as chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration and is a current member of Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, wrote that there is "too little appreciation for how stimulus spending has helped stabilize the economy and how more of the right kind of government spending could boost job creation and economic growth."

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Eric Bolling
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FOX & Friends
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