Fox Celebrates Stimulus Anniversary By Ignoring Nonpartisan Estimates Of Its Impact

Fox marked the two-year anniversary of the enactment of President Obama's economic recovery package by attacking the bill and ignoring independent estimates, which have found that the stimulus significantly boosted gross domestic product and employment.

Nonpartisan Economists: Stimulus Has Raised GDP And Employment

CBO: Stimulus Has Raised Employment By 1.4-3.6 Million. A November 2010 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that as of the third quarter of 2010, the stimulus lowered the unemployment rate “by between 0.8 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points,” compared to what would have happened in the absence of the stimulus. From the report:

CBO estimates that ARRA's policies had the following effects in the third quarter of calendar year 2010:

  • They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.4 and 4.1 percent,
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.8 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points,
  • Increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.6 million, and
  • Increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by 2.0 million to 5.2 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise (see Table 1). (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers). [Congressional Budget Office, 11/2010]

Private Analysts Estimate That Stimulus Increased GDP By 2.1 To 3.5 Percent. In its fifth quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the president's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimated that the stimulus “has raised the level of GDP as of the third quarter of 2010, relative to what it otherwise would have been, by 2.7 percent.” CEA also provided a chart showing that private analysts estimate that the stimulus boosted GDP between 2.1 and 3.5 percent:


[Council of Economic Advisors, 11/18/10]

Private Analysts Estimate That Stimulus Increased Employment By 2.1 To 2.5 Million. In its report, the CEA provided the following chart showing that private forecasters estimate that as of the third quarter of 2010, the stimulus increased employment between 2.1 and 2.5 million:


[Council of Economic Advisors, 11/18/10]

WSJ: Economists Say Economic Recovery Has Been Driven By Stimulus. The Wall Street Journal reported on January 14:

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal are increasingly optimistic about the pace of the recovery, predicting the U.S. will grow at better than a 3.2% annual rate in each quarter this year.

“The U.S. economy appears to have successfully navigated the adjustment from a recovery driven primarily from economic stimulus and inventory rebuilding to one driven by private domestic demand and rising exports,” said economists at Wells Fargo & Co. “Three percent growth looks pretty good, particularly with housing stuck in low gear.” [Wall Street Journal, 1/14/11]

Fox Attacks Stimulus; Ignores CBO And Private Estimates Of Stimulus Impact

Bolling Declares The Stimulus “Didn't Work.” On the February 17 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox Business host Eric Bolling stated: “Look -- today is the two year anniversary of the stimulus plan. $862 billion were spent trying to fix the economy. It didn't work. We still have 9 percent unemployment; it was never supposed to get above 8. We spent a lot of money at this.” [Fox News' America's Newsroom, 2/17/11]

Kilmeade: Obama “Basically Said” Stimulus “Didn't Work When He Said ... There's No Such Thing As A Shovel Ready Project.” From the February 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Alright, it's happy stimulus day, at least that's what you have said in an op-ed. Today is the second stimulus anniversary although you actually don't see it as such a happy event. Why not?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Well not at all, because the stimulus again, obviously, not only spent a trillion dollars but bought us into a future of paying for government programs for eternity unless we can turn the clock back. We lost 2.6 million jobs. We've had sustained unemployment at 9 percent. We just have leadership on the Democratic side of the aisle that just doesn't get it. This is something that hasn't worked in our country. The American people spoke in November and told us that it didn't work, and what did our president do? He proposed another budget that increases taxes by $1.6 trillion, and he proposed a budget deficit of $1.65 trillion, which is the largest budget deficit proposal in the history of our country. We've got to do something about it.

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): And he [Obama] basically said it didn't work when he said I found out there's no such thing as a shovel ready project. That was his admission -- semi-admission -- of saying this is falling short. What do you say we should do with the money that's left? [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 2/17/11]

Hannity And Brent Bozell Criticize Media For Reporting That Stimulus Package Created Jobs. During a segment on his Fox News show criticizing the media for reporting that Obama's stimulus package has created or saved jobs, Sean Hannity stated, "[I]t is the second anniversary of the Obama stimulus package. You know the one where if we don't pass it, it's a catastrophe. Unemployment won't go above 8 percent if we pass it." His guest, the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell, added:

BOZELL: Here was the promise that Barack Obama made. He said if we gave him the close to $800 billion -- the stimulus -- the biggest spending program in the history of the republic that he would hold unemployment under 8 percent where George Bush had it. We are now -- if you're going to be an objective reporter you have an obligation to point out that we are now in month 21 of unemployment being over 9 percent, which is the largest time we've been in unemployment over 9 percent since the Great Depression. [Fox News' Hannity, 2/17/11]

Napolitano: Stimulus “Was Supposed To Combat Unemployment And Stimulate The Economy. So How's That Working Out?” On the February 17 edition of Fox Business' Freedom Watch, Andrew Napolitano stated: “It's the second anniversary of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. You know, the stimulus bill. It was supposed to combat unemployment and stimulate the economy. So how's that working out, because it costs over a trillion?” [Fox Business' Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano, 2/17/11]

FBN's Cotter: “Stimulus Turns Two Today. Celebrate -- But Not A Happy Birthday For Workers At The Very First Project” Who Were “Already Shoved Back Into The Unemployment Line.” On the February 17 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, guest host and Fox Business anchor Chris Cotter teased an upcoming segment on the two-year anniversary of the stimulus by saying: “Stimulus turns two today. Celebrate -- but not a happy birthday for workers at the very first project. At that shovel ready job, many of the workers already shoved back into the unemployment line. That's not stopping the White House from doubling down. That's got tea partiers teed off.” [Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, 2/17/11]

Fox Caption: “Economy Has Lost 2.5M Jobs Since Obama Signed Stimulus.” During a segment on the two-year anniversary of the signing of Obama's stimulus package, Your World with Neil Cavuto, an on-screen graphic read, “Economy Has Lost 2.5M Jobs Since Obama Signed Stimulus.” [Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, 2/17/11]