ABC News reportsthat during an interview with David Muir yesterday concerning President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill, “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner didn’t dispute a Harvard economist’s estimate that each job in the White House’s jobs plan would cost $200,000, but said” — mysteriously —“the pricetag is the wrong way to measure the bill’s worth.”
“‘You’ve got to think about the costs of the alternatives,’ Geithner said when asked about Harvard economist Martin Feldstein’s calculation that each job created by President Obama’s American Jobs Act would cost taxpayers about $200,000,” ABC reports. Geithner explained, “If government does nothing, it does nothing now because they’re scared by politics or they want to debate what’s perfect, then there will be fewer Americans back to work, the economy will be weaker” — even weaker, presumably, than in the wake of the president’s last 12-figure stimulus.
Amazingly, at a time when the federal government is $14,768,000,000,000 in debt and is spending $7 for every $4 it takes in, Geithner actually said, “We can borrow money for 10 years as the government of the United States because people have confidence in this country at less than 2 percent.” He added, “The responsible path now is to take advantage of the unique position we’re in as a country. People have a lot of confidence in us. Let’s take advantage of that now to do things that help growth in the short-term.”
So “the responsible path” is to borrow and spend $200,000 per job, because “the cost of the alternatives” in the “short term” would otherwise be too dire? One wonders whether this administration would defend a price-tag of $447 billion per job — provided it saved the right job.