Stimulus cost $278,000 per job
A study released by the Weekly Standard says that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has cost $666 billion so far to keep or create 2.38 million jobs.
The Weekly Standard got out their calculators after the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers released that figure on Friday, however, and came to the conclusion that the costly legislation was perhaps not the best idea.
"That's a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job," reads the latest issue of the DC-based magazine. "In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the 'stimulus,' and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead."
The White House isn’t contesting the math, but says it’s a silly way of looking at the aftermath of the Act.
Liz Ozhorn, the spokesperson behind the stimulus, says that there was more to the Recovery Act than just job creation. In a statement to Fox News, Ozhorn says the bill was “also an investment in American infrastructure, education and industries that are critical to America's long-term success and investment in the economic future of America's working families."
In addition to funding salaries, it also went towards construction materials and new factories.
Even still, the $666 billion did indeed come from taxpayer pockets, and if the Recovery Act wasn’t enacted only to create jobs, that was certainly a big part of it. Not only are there 2.38 million jobs created, however, but the unemployment rate itself has gone up since the Act began. The rate was at only 7.1 when the Act was started and is now at over 9 percent.
"If you look at unemployment, unemployment has gone up by 1.9 million Americans,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) last week. "So this is not like a situation where you said, 'I inherited a bad economy, but I'm gradually making it better.' He's making it worse."
The White House says, though, they the Recovery Act could have helped keep or make as many as 3.6 million jobs by the end of this past March and that the 2.38 million statistic is at the bottom end of their estimate.
Since Obama entered the White House the national debt has increased by almost $5 trillion.