28 Months Later, Obama Says: Recovery’s ‘Going to Take Time’

June 12, 2011 - 5:03 PM

President Barack Obama and stimulus

President Barack Obama signed an economic stimulus law at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Feb. 17, 2009. (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Twenty-eight months ago—on Feb. 13, 2009--Congress passed a $787-billion economic stimulus law and sent it to President Barack Obama who signed it while declaring it would create or save 3.5 million jobs.

This Saturday, in his weekly address, President Obama pointed to his predecessors for causing problems in the economy and indicated a full recovery would not come soon.

“I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix to our economic problems,” Obama said. “But the truth is, we didn’t get into this mess overnight, and we won’t get out of it overnight. It’s going to take time.”

When Obama signed the stimulus, the most recent unemployment statistics (for January 2009) showed a national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. Obama’s economic advisers had predicted the stimulus would keep the national unemployment rate below 8 percent.

Yet, today, the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent

Since President Obama signed the stimulus law, the Congressional Budget Office has also re-estimated its true cost to be $830 billion.

In fact, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published in May, the maximum number of jobs created or saved as a result of the stimulus through the second quarter of this calendar year (which ends in June) will be 2.9 million.

The CBO estimated that it was also possible the jobs created or saved by the stimulus by the end of this quarter might be as few as 1.0 million.

More importantly, according to the CBO, the economic impact of the stimulus is already waning.

“The effects of ARRA on output peaked in the first half of 2010 and have since diminished, CBO estimates,” said CBO. “The effects of ARRA on employment and unemployment are estimated to lag slightly behind the effects on output; CBO estimates that the employment effects began to wane at the end of 2010 and continued to do so in the first quarter of 2011.”

By 2012, according to the CBO, number of jobs on average that Obama can claim were created or saved by the stimulus will range from a low of 200,000 to a high of 700,000. Even if you take the CBO’s high-end estimate of 700,000 jobs, that works to more a cost of $1,185,714 per job.