22 Dec 2008

Obama Raises Target to 3 Million New Jobs

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This job creation stuff is really getting absurd. Now the President-Elect and his partner in crime are saying they will create 3 million jobs, not the 2.5 million they promised earlier, because (according to Biden) the economy is in worse shape than they originally realized.

The CNBC article doesn’t say how much more it will cost to save 3 million jobs versus 2.5 million; such specificity isn’t even appropriate in an announcement like this, because no one actually thinks there are serious calculations involved when politicians throw numbers around. (And wouldn’t it stink if you were the 3,000,001st person to get laid off?)

But let’s use the numbers that some people are throwing around for the total stimulus package. The article mentions three possible numbers: $600 billion, $700 billion, or “in the trillion-dollar range.” Dividing by 3 million, the cost per job saved is:

(A) $200,000.00
(B) $233,333.33
(C) $333,333.33

I think instead of Obama’s current plan, what he should do is this: Take the lowball estimate of $600 billion. Next, identify the 10 million Americans who are most in need of immediate assistance. Then, send each of them a tax-free cash payout (split up over twelve months if you doubt their discipline) of $60,000.

I’m guessing that $60 grand after-tax is a lot more than most of these people are used to making, and it’s not bad to get that while you are still eligible to go get a job in the private sector. Notice that my plan is the low-ball cost estimate, and saves 4x as many unemployed people as Obama’s original plan. Plus, my plan is guaranteed to actually “work,” in the sense of saving families who are on the verge of foreclosure etc. (In other words there’s no guarantee that Obama’s job training plans etc. will get these people a job that pays them $60 grand after taxes, especially not right away.)

Obviously, my plan is stupid. It would simply ensure that the unemployment rate stays high for a year, and then we’d be back to square one. At the same time, it would take $600 billion from taxpayers and hand it out to people who aren’t working. (If you want to help such people, charities and churches are happy to take your donations.) But my point is that my plan is better than Obama’s, even on his own terms.

Now ask yourself: Have Obama and his team just not realized the above? Or is it just possible that they want to spend a trillion dollars to reward their own pals, just like Paulson & Co. did with their own set of cronies?

One Response to “Obama Raises Target to 3 Million New Jobs”

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