Pelosi: Without Obama's Stimulus, Unemployment Would Now Be 15%

By Elizabeth Harrington | November 3, 2011 | 12:58pm EDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) – Since President Barack Obama signed his $825 billion economic stimulus plan into law in February 2009, the national unemployment rate has risen from 8.2 percent to 9.0 percent. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said at her press briefing Thursday that if the stimulus had not been enacted the unemployment rate would now be 15 percent.

At a press briefing only a month ago, Pelosi said that if the stimulus had not been enacted unemployment would have reached 14.5 percent by the time of the November 2010 elections.

"I think it’s really important to know that President Obama was a job creator from day one," Pelosi said at her Thursday briefing. "Now, was the ditch that we were in so deep that when you’re talking to people and they still don’t have a job, that that’s any consolation to them?  No.

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“But I’ll tell you this,” said Pelosi, “if President Obama and the House congressional Democrats had not acted, we would be at 15 percent unemployment. Again, no consolation to those without a job, but an important point to make."

At her Oct. 6 briefing, Pelosi said: “Without the Recovery Act and accompanying federal interventions, whether from the Fed or ‘Cash for Clunkers’ or other initiatives, this unemployment rate last year at the time of the election would’ve been 14.5 percent, not 9.5 percent.”

A report published by the Congressional Budget Office in August estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the stimulus signed by President Obama in 2009 would have the impact of reducing the national unemployment rate between 0.3 points to 1.1 points from what it otherwise would have been. The report also said that although CBO initially estimated that the stimulus would cost $787 billion, CBO had subsequently increased its estimated cost to $825 billion.

According to the CBO report, 600,000 to 2 million people have jobs as of now that were "created or retained" because of the $825 billion stimulus. If the maximum number of 2 million is accepted, that works out to a cost of $412,500 per job. If the minimum number of 600,000 is accepted, that works out to a cost of $1,375,000 per job.

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