Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Saving and Creating? Really?

The president and his supporters are claiming that his economic plan “will save or create three to four million jobs”. This is a non-falsifiable statement. Can they tell us, at the next reckoning, which particular jobs were saved? Can their opponents, for that matter, say which particular jobs were not saved, or were lost as a result of the plan? In both cases, it’s impossible to answer. They might as well claim they will save every American job — as the repeated warning of “catastrophe” suggests — since they can no more be called to account for tens of millions than for the few they now claim.

I listened (with pain) to part of President Obama’s prime-time press conference last night, and he is continuing to set up straw men labeled “market economists” and “George W. Bush” and heroically swat them around. I wonder if he’s okay if the real George W. Bush applies the same logic Obama does, and make lots of public appearances to boast of a specific number of American lives saved by his administration successfully thwarting terrorist attacks since 2001.

But whatever might be said of George W. Bush’s policies, I don’t think he indulges in fanciful conjectures as if they were quantifiable facts.

(Cross-posted on The Inundated Calvinist)


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