One year ago today, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. To mark the anniversary, Vice President Joe Biden released a report to the president on the implementation of the stimulus bill, announcing that “the work that you set us out to do a year ago is going well.” In remarks today, President Obama declared that “so far, the Recovery Act is responsible for the jobs of about 2 million Americans who would otherwise be unemployed.”
On Fox News today, former Bush adviser Karl Rove claimed that Obama had the job numbers wrong, citing the front page of Recovery.gov:
ROVE: Look, I’m a little confused. We just heard the President say that 2 million jobs have been created or saved. And yet, if you go to the White House website, the Recovery.org [sic], and take a look at it, it says 595,263 jobs have been created or saved. So, the President’s got a little bit of confusion going on with his own set of numbers.
Later in the interview, Rove asserted that the stimulus legislation hadn’t created a single job. “There’s a reason why the CBS/New York Times poll said that six percent of Americans said the stimulus bill didn’t create any jobs. It’s because it hasn’t,” said Rove. Watch it:
In his effort to mislead Fox’s viewers about the effectiveness of the stimulus bill, Rove completely misrepresented the numbers on Recovery.gov. The 595,263 jobs that Rove referred to only includes recovery funded jobs reported by recipients between Oct. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009:
In fact, as the New York Times David Leonhardt reports today, “the best-known economic research firms” — IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers, and Moody’s Economy.com — “all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs.” The Congressional Budget Office projects that Recovery Act saved or created between 800,000 and 2.4 million jobs.
“It prevented things from getting much worse than they otherwise would have been,” Global Insight chief economist Nariman Behravesh told Leonhardt. “I think everyone would have to acknowledge that’s a good thing.” Everyone that is, except Karl Rove and other conservative partisans who claim the stimulus has “failed.”