Obama Promised 5% Unemployment Rate in Exchange for $800 Bil Stimulus

Guess how that worked out. It's not hard. Remember it's an Obama promise.


Guess how that worked out. It's not hard. Remember it's an Obama promise. That has a value somewhere between the Zimbabwean dollar and a ball of lint in your pocket. And the lint is probably worth more on a good day.

In January 2009, Team Obama economists put together a report – half quantitative analysis, half sales pitch — outlining the potential economic impact of the proposed $800 billion stimulus. (See above chart from that report.) If Congress passed the plan, the report forecasted, the economy would generate enough additional demand, output, and employment that two big things would happen:

First, the unemployment rate would never reach 8%. Unfortunately, we hit 10% unemployment in October 2009. Failure number one.

Second, the unemployment rate would return to its long-term “natural rate” of 5% by July 2013

To no one's surprise, the unemployment rate is not 5%. But I'm sure the blame belongs to

A. The Republicans

B. The Tea Party

C. Ted Cruz

D. Math

E. Economics

F. The finite values of all things

G. The dog that ate Obama's even better plan

In August 2009, the White House predicted GDP would rise 4.3% in 2011, followed by 4.3% growth in 2012 and 2013, too.

In its 2010 forecast, the White House said it was looking for 3.5% GDP growth in 2012, followed by 4.4% in 2013.

In its 2011 forecast, the White House predicted 3.1% growth in 2011, 4.0% in 2012, and 4.5% in 2013.

In fact, the economy has only grown at half that pace during the recovery; even slower over the past year.

Is it too late to repossess Krugman's Nobel Prize? And while we're at it, might as well pick up Obama's Peace Prize.