Mitt Romney has been fond of claiming that President Obama promised that the stimulus bill would lower unemployment rates and that by 2012 the rates “would be in the 6% range.” Other Republicans have also repeated the Republican talking point. Diana McGinness has her say on the matter with the help of a few facts from the folks at Politifact.
Has anyone noticed how the numbers keep dropping on what “Obama promised” on the unemployment numbers?
“We were promised. The president said we would keep unemployment under 8.5 percent (if the stimulus passed).”
Eric Cantor on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 in a PBS interview.
The stimulus bill “promised to keep unemployment under 8%.”
George Allen on Thursday, February 17th, 2011 in a press release.
Team Obama said in ’09 stimulus would have unemployment below 6% by 2012
Sean Higgins on August 3, 2012 | 3:15 pm
From Politifact (see George Allen link above):
But what we saw from the administration in January 2009 was a projection, not a promise. And it was a projection that came with heavy disclaimers.
“It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error,” the report states. “There is the more fundamental uncertainty that comes with any estimate of the effects of a program. Our estimates of economic relationships and rules of thumb are derived from historical experience and so will not apply exactly in any given episode. Furthermore, the uncertainty is surely higher than normal now because the current recession is unusual both in its fundamental causes and its severity.”
There’s also a footnote that goes with the chart that states: “Forecasts of the unemployment rate without the recovery plan vary substantially. Some private forecasters anticipate unemployment rates as high as 11% in the absence of action.”
That’s not a promise. It is an estimate and an admission that these predictions may not be accurate. And the administration has acknowledged its projections were wrong.
Does the GOP really think we are this stupid or have absolutely NO memory from one day to the next? Do they think we all suffer from Alzheimer’s?
Diana McGinness publishes Politics Unspun.