- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

$787,000 PER JOB

“The White House Council of Economic Advisers said Thursday the $787 billion stimulus plan kept one million people working who would otherwise not have had jobs,” Bill Frezza writes at www.realclearmarkets.com.

You wouldn’t let me stand up and make the simplistic claim that these million jobs were saved at a cost of $787,000 per job without challenging the details of my accounting, would you? Surely, reality is more complex.

“But when the White House Council of Economic Advisers calculated the number of jobs saved by our government’s massive stimulus spending, how is it that they entirely neglected to account for the impact on employment of removing $787 billion dollars from the balance sheet of the private economy?” said Mr. Frezza, a partner at Adams Capital Management, an early-stage venture capital firm.

“What kind of single-entry bookkeeping is this? Who are these experts so willing to make glib claims with a straight face? How is it that the press, politicians, and pundits credulously report these claims as facts? And why are those who question whether the emperor is wearing any clothes treated like obstructionist members of some lunatic fringe?”


“How do you marginalize a significant protest against a politician or policy you support? Lowball the numbers, then dismiss participants as deranged and possibly dangerous kooks. In the case of Saturday’s massive 9/12 protest in Washington, done and done,” Matt Welch writes in the New York Post.

” ‘Small protest,’ popular lefty blogger Josh Marshall reported from his armchair, as an overflow crowd (at least 100,000, by my rough, unscientific estimate) filled the 1.5 miles between the south White House and the U.S. Capitol, spilling out all over the National Mall and even down the street to Union Station.

“The Center for American Progress, whose president headed up the new administration’s transition team, warned that the rally was marred by signs that ‘were often racist, radical portrayals of Obama.’ Among the dozen or so pieces of evidence? A placard claiming, ‘Ayn Rand is right,’ and one of President Obama with the caption, ‘When his lips move … he’s lying.’

“If calling the commander-in-chief a liar is the new racism, then Americans have been boiling in hate since long before we, uh, overwhelmingly elected a black president. I seem to recall a ‘Bush lied’ sign or two in the massive (and impressive) protests at the 2004 Republican convention in New York, and then there was that whole ‘I did not have sex with that woman’ thing from the fella before.

“What’s really going on is not hard to grasp: Even before massive proposed overhauls of health care and energy, the president’s first wave of big-government policies - auto bailouts, Wall Street welfare and just-spend-it economics - are prompting a passionate pushback,” said Mr. Welch, editor in chief of Reason magazine.

“But Obama’s supporters in the media would rather write it off as racism. ‘Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it,’ The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd wrote this weekend. Tea Party activists, the LA Times’ Tim Rutten theorized Saturday, want to ‘convert the GOP into an almost exclusively white, zealously religious, mostly Southern party.’ ”


Peter Wehner, in a blog at www.commentarymagazine, notes that liberals already are accusing the president’s critics of being racists.

“Back in January, I wrote about four safe bets about Obama, one of which was this: ‘While Obama is riding high, race relations will be excellent. But once Obama goes down in the polls and he does things that elicit criticism, be prepared for the “race card” to be played. If it is, then race relations could be set back, because the charges will be so transparently false. If race was used by Obamacons against Bill Clinton, it will certainly be used against Republicans.’

“Now along comes Maureen Dowd, that profound social critic for the New York Times, who asserts that, yes, racism explains Republican opposition to President Obama. In her words: ‘[Rep. Joe] Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president - no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq - convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.’

“Perhaps the Times will allow Maureen to hire a person who can use LexisNexis. If it does, she will find that Democrats with a whole lot more influence and prestige than Joe Wilson accused President Bush of being a liar - from Majority Leader Harry Reid to Ted Kennedy, who, we were repeatedly told a few weeks ago, was one of the most influential senators in American history. Yet there was not a peep of outrage from Maureen or her fellow columnists at the Times - or, to my knowledge, virtually any journalist anywhere. They appeared to think what Reid and Kennedy said was all fine and good. Boys will be boys, politics ain’t beanbags, it’s a contact sport, and all that. And by the way, the vitriolic attacks on Bush were used as evidence that - you guessed it - Bush was a divisive president.”


“If President Obama thinks he’s smarting from a rough August, he should try being a doctor,” Marc Siegel writes in a blog at usatoday.com.

“After all, we’ve taken quite a few shots in this health care debate, including a few from the president himself. When Obama accused physicians of taking out tonsils or performing amputations just for the money, he offended all doctors, not just ear, nose and throat specialists or vascular surgeons,” said Dr. Siegel, an internist and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

“With Congress back in session, questions about the sincerity and moral direction of the proposed health insurance reforms are again front and center. I won’t weigh in here on what shape any reform should take, or what incentives insurers or employers or even individuals have in this debate. But I can speak for the many physicians watching with jaws agape as we have been maligned as money-grubbers intent on simply ‘playing defense’ with medicine.

“We already have our moral directive. And, at the risk of contradicting our president, we have our incentive, too: the patient.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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