Sunday, March 11, 2012

Don Surber: "The one chart liberals hate"

It’s the chart that makes liberals cry.

They say it is unfair.

They say it proves nothing.
 (read it all at the Daily Mail and get a fresh look at the chart)
Don Surber makes a very important point.  The chart, of course, is the infamous Christina Romer what our stimulus plan will do for you chart.  Yes, the one that conservatives often point to as the Obama administration's "promise" that unemployment would not exceed 8 percent.

While Surber emphasizes the failure of the stimulus to achieve its goals, I would draw attention to another related aspect. 
 
The predictive lines converge and intersect in 2014.

The architect of the stimulus told us from the beginning that we would end up with essentially the same employment picture in 2014 regardless of the stimulus.  Surber emphasizes the poor value we're getting for the money.  Perhaps more important, I'd argue, is the fact that the chart implicitly undermines claims that improvements in unemployment at this late date are attributable to the stimulus plan.

In other words, Romer's chart sticks it liberals and progressives who argue that so many weeks of private sector job gains show that Obama saved the economy. 

The chart predicts such gains regardless of the stimulus package.



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