The economy may be slowly recovering, but that’s in spite of — not because of — the recent orgy of federal spending. Two economics professors, Tim Conley and Bill Dupor, concluded this month that the $800 billion stimulus package wiped out a million private-sector jobs, destroying a net 550,000 jobs. (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus package, created 450,000 government jobs, partly offsetting the million private-sector jobs it wiped out.) “The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries,” they say.
The stimulus package was earlier criticized by many leading economics professors, like Harvard’s Jeffrey Miron, Robert Barro, and Martin Feldstein. Professor Barro called it “the worst bill that has been put forward since the 1930s.” Nobel laureates Gary Becker and Vernon Smith have also criticized it. 200 economists signed a statement publicly opposing the stimulus package.
While pushing the stimulus package through Congress, Obama cited claims by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that it would save jobs in the short run, while ignoring the CBO’s own conclusion that the stimulus package will actually shrink the economy over the long run, by increasing the national debt and thus crowding out private investment. Contrary to the CBO’s findings, Obama claimed that “irreversible decline” would occur if the stimulus was not enacted into law.
Obama has run up the largest budget deficits in history, running monthly deficits that are bigger than Bush’s entire annual deficit for 2007, after the economy started to go south.