Obama Says Jobs Plan Can Grow GDP as 'Much as 2%'--But WH Estimates It Will Cost 3%

Fred Lucas | October 6, 2011 | 2:26pm EDT
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(CNSNews.com) – At a White House press conference on Thursday, President Barack Obama said the legislation he has proposed to create jobs could "grow the economy as much as 2 percent." However, the White House estimates that the plan itself will cost $447 billion -- or 2.97 percent of the 2011 GDP of $15.012 trillion that is currently projected by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. (See chart: GDP Chart from BEA.xls.)

The president also said at the press conference that his plan could create "as many as 1.9 million" jobs. If that is true, based on the plan's estimated $447 billion cost, those jobs would cost an average of $235,263 to create.

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“Go ask the Republicans what their plan is, if they’re opposed to the American Jobs Act and have it scored, have it assessed by the same independent economists that assessed our jobs plan,” Obama told reporters at the White House. “These independent economists say we can grow the economy as much as 2 percent and as many as 1.9 million workers would be back on the job.”

“I think it would be interesting to have them do the same assessment--same people,” said Obama. “Some of these folks, by the way, traditionally have worked for Republicans, not just Democrats. Have those economist evaluate what, over the next two years, the Republican jobs plan would do.”

President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama did not name the economists to whom he was referring, but Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, stated in an analysis of Obama's proposal that: “The plan would add 2 percentage points to GDP growth next year, add 1.9 million jobs, and cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point.”

The White House has repeatedly stated that the plan would cost taxpayers $447 billion. That amount divided by 1.9 million jobs equals approximately $235,263 per job.

The latest estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis--a division of the U.S. Commerce Department--is that based on economic data through the second quarter of this year, the GDP for 2011 will be $15.012 trillion. At $447 billion, President Obama's American Jobs Act would cost 2.97 percent of that $15.012 trillion GDP. GDP Chart from BEA.xls

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