Biden: ‘Nobody Can Look You in the Eye and Tell You ... Stimulus Did Not Create Jobs;’ Yes, at $412,500 Per Job

October 24, 2011 - 9:05 AM

Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden with students at Goode Elementary School in York, Pa., on Oct. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower)

(CNSNews.com) - Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday on CNN that nobody can say "that the stimulus did not create jobs," but he did not specificy how many jobs he believes President Barack Obama's stimulus created and how much each of those jobs cost.

According to the most recent report on the stimulus by the Congressional Budget Office, the law had created a maximum of 2 million jobs as the fourth quarter of 2011 at a cost of $412,500 per job.

On CNN’s "State of the Union" on Sunday, host Candy Crowley asked Biden about the skepticism of those who point out "we did almost $1 trillion ins stimulus spending" and the administration said "unemployment won't gove above 8 percent," and yet we have not had the results the administration forecast.

"No. Look, here's the deal," said Biden. "Nobody can look you in the eye and tell you that the Recovery Act and that stimulus did not create jobs and did not do very good things for the economy.

"The problem was in the beginning, the economists said that in fact we wouldn't go above 8 percent, because they didn't know until this last quarter that the economy shrunk in the last term of the Bush administration almost 9 percent," said Biden. "Everybody thought it was more like 5.5 percent. And so the point was, we were all operating off of what the blue chips were looking at, and the numbers were wrong. But the fact is, if we hadn't had that stimulus, we would be in a position now where we would be in a double dip recession some time ago."

In August, the Congressional Budget Office published an updated analysis of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--the economic stimulus law that President Obama signed in February 2009.  The analysis said that the law cost $825 billion.  According to the CBO report, the recipients of stimulus funds reported that the stimulus money had funded the equivalent of more than 550,000 full-time jobs in the second quarter of this year.

CBO estimated that the actual total might be greater than that. In its calculation, there will be between 600,000 and 2 million people employed in the fourth quarter of 2011 as a result of the stimulus.

Taking the high-end number of 2 million and dividing it by the $825 billion cost of the stimulus yields a cost of $412,500 per job.