Thursday, March 04, 2010

"That still leaves us with a question: How many jobs did the stimulus actually create? Who Knows?"

Created or Saved or Estimated or Assumed

But don't take my word for it; take the CBO's. Unlike the administration, the CBO is a nonpartisan entity without a particular interest in strengthening its claims further than they should. All the numbers it produces are estimates, and the agency devotes plenty of ink to explaining its methodology and the uncertainties it entails. Last month's report cautioned that "considerable uncertainty exists about many of these economic relationships that are important in the modeling," which is why many of its estimates come in rather wide ranges. And its December report noted that "it is impossible to determine how many of the reported jobs would have existed in the absence of the stimulus package."