Washington Post Trumpets White House Jobs Claims Without Reporting Their Past Predictions
The Washington Post’s Alec MacGillis reported on January 13th:
The $787 billion economic stimulus package has created or saved between 1.7 million and 2 million jobs, but its impact on the economy ebbed slightly in the final quarter of 2009 compared with prior months, the White House said Tuesday night.
Congressional Republicans have questioned the administration’s claims about the stimulus’s impact, pointing to the 10 percent unemployment rate nationwide. Romer’s new figures are based on macroeconomic estimates, not reports filed by stimulus funding recipients, the next round of which is due later this month.
Separately, the White House has announced a change in the way those reports tally jobs, a response to critics that could make the reports more reliable but make it more difficult to gauge the stimulus’s impact over time.
So if the White House’s “created or saved” job numbers are based on actual reports, and instead are solely based on macroeconomic models, a responsible reporter might also want to report on how accurate those models have proved to be in the past. When the White House was pitching the stimulus to the American people, the White House Council of Economic Advisers … the same people who are now claiming there models show the stimulus saved 2 million jobs … issued a report claiming the stimulus would keep unemployment under a peak of 8%. A
And what have actual Bureau of Labor and Statistics shown? Over 2.7 million jobs lost and a historic 10% unemployment rate.