Echoing a GOP press release, The Washington Times asserted of the economic recovery bill: "[A]t [the Congressional Budget Office's] best-case scenario of 3.6 million extra jobs at its peak in 2010, that works out to nearly $220,000 per job." However, this claim disregards tangible benefits of the stimulus package besides job creation, and economists have estimated that given predicted economic growth the actual cost per job is less than $70,000.
In a February 17 article, The Washington Times asserted of the final version of the economic recovery bill: "[A]t [the Congressional Budget Office's] best-case scenario of 3.6 million extra jobs at its peak in 2010, that works out to nearly $220,000 per job." As Media Matters for America has documented, numerous media figures have similarly claimed that the recovery plan will cost more than $200,000 per job created, echoing a January 15 press release issued by the Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee. However, such claims disregard tangible benefits of the stimulus package besides job creation, such as infrastructure improvements and education, health, and public safety investments.
Moreover, the cost-per-job figure the Times cited is inflated for another reason, according to Center for Economic Policy Research co-director Dean Baker and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. As Media Matters has noted, both Baker and Krugman have pointed out that if the stimulus bill strengthens the economy as predicted, this will lead to higher tax receipts that should be accounted for in cost-per-job estimates, meaning that the true cost per job is less than $70,000.
From the February 17 Washington Times article:
Mr. Obama also is taking steps to make sure that as the money's spent, it matches his pledge of accountability.
His team is preparing a basic version of www.recovery.gov, which the president has been touting for weeks and will allow anyone to track the spending.
A senior administration official familiar with the site's launch said it will start with a basic framework but over time will become more sophisticated as the money is spent on construction and other projects.
“It's not just going to be a pretty graph. We will be providing the data and saying here's how we've decided to present these numbers, and some basic source files so you can present it your own way,” the official told The Washington Times, requesting anonymity because the site has not launched.
The site will allow people to flag items, comment and participate in the conversation about how the economy has affected them and how the recovery package might help, the official said.
Republicans have balked at the price of the stimulus package, and even at CBO's best-case scenario of 3.6 million extra jobs at its peak in 2010, that works out to nearly $220,000 per job.
“Imagine how many jobs could be created if the legislation was focused on meaningful economic growth rather than special-interest spending,” said Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, as the bill came before the Senate for a final vote late last week.