Fact Check: Did the stimulus create "zero" jobs?
September 13th, 2011
10:05 AM ET
3 years ago

Fact Check: Did the stimulus create "zero" jobs?

(CNN) - The Statement: Texas Gov. Rick Perry said at Monday's CNN/Tea Party Debate that President Obama "had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs. Four-hundred-plus billion in this package, and I can do the math on that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs."

The Facts: A more accurate jobs count may come from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which estimates the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus bill, "increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million" in the second quarter of 2010 alone. The budget office also states that well over half a million jobs were funded in each of the other three quarters of 2010.

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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. karen

    There were less people working in the country after the stimulus than before. Unemployment went up after the stimulus. No net jobs were created. There is no way to pretend. the CBO is basing it on assumption supplied by others, which is in their disclaimer.

    September 13, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Infamous Republican misinformation quotes:
    -------------
    "Deficits don't matter."
    "The statements were not intended to be factually accurate."
    "The stimulus created zero jobs."

    Please, fell freee to add your own examples. I could have posted more.

    September 13, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. I Hate Politicians

    WHy do politicians feel they can platently lie in these debates and stump speeches. It just shows how they feel the majority of voters must be ignorant. It's sad when our elected officials get away with such blatant lies.

    September 13, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. Ed Texas

    Besides Perry being a flip flopper on issues like our Socialist System – Social Security he continues to borrow money from The Federal Government & still criticizes the Feds for spending the money Texas is borrowing. He complains about Obams's health plan yet Texas dropped to about 40th in heath care spending. As Gov. Texas went from surplus to approx $27B in debt. It's bull what he says about creating jobs....as if he did that all on his own w/out big oil and most certainly without Obama's stimulus, the very thing he campaigns against. Perry has been a bad Governor and would make a very bad President.

    September 13, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Four and The Door

    Yeah, but the CBO and so many other people who talk about this miss the other half of the big picture. How many jobs are killed by the government sucking $800 billion out of the economy? This is a huge burden on our economy. Even if you give the CBO it's upper estimation of 3.3 million jobs created, the stimulus bill took $242,000 ( almost an Obama billionaire ) out of the private economy for each job. Lousy results. I guarantee you that the private sector loses more than one job for each $242,000 the government pulls out of it. Gov. Perry was exactly correct. This was a bad deal for America, a failure.

    September 13, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Dear

    The truth hurts right?

    September 13, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Basically, the WH has been counting jobs saved, primarily in the auto industry and education, as jobs "created", which is the same as lying.

    The number of jobs actually created, is indeed miniscule.

    September 13, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    These make believe job creation numbers are based on insane calculations saying that x number of jobs are created for every billion in government spending. It has no basis in reality. What is also not stated is that much of this money goes to save UNION JOBS ONLY. Much of it goes to keep paying union workers that local and state governments can't afford. Just more government manipulation to temporarily make the unemployment numbers look better, AND DELAY THE INEVITABLE, which ius why this recession is dragging on so long. THE DEMOCRATS HAVE CAUSED IT TO DRAG ON with this manipulation and their insane 2 years of unemployment payments.

    September 13, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Tobin

    There is no empirical way to prove or disprove either Obama's or Perry's claims.

    September 13, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Bill

    That cowboy Perry fails to acknowledge that a good portion of the jobs create din Texas were a result of the stimulus and are public sector positions. "I will make Washington inconsequential" This goof does not pass the laugh test. If he is the GOP's knight in shining armor, then Obama will have no problem in the 2012 general.

    September 13, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Leed

    I am a recruiter and Obama's jobs estimate are just as bad as Perry's. I send people out for interviews and it is vicious. In 20 years I have never seen anything like it and employers constantly complain about their bosses being overly conservative with candidates and resources. The response is until we feel better about the economy we are not ramping up hiring. They layoffs and firings were and are so large we are in a big hole right now and big hiring numbers to stem the bleeding is all that will help. Government jobs aren't going to do it as most states and cites are cutting back big time. Bank of America said they are laying off 30K in the next few years last week.

    September 13, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Mohan Nair

    Like all the millionaire "JOB CREATORS" who are the toast of the republican party - who created zillions of jobs when they got tax breaks.

    Republicans need to shut up they have no right to talk about jobs and deficit. The Republicans were the cheerleaders when GW Bush went on a spending spree driving up trillions in deficit. The Republicans were the cheerleaders when we were being lied to by GW Bush on the war on terror and taken to Iraq.

    When Republicans lie its approved by God and its their birthright to lie.

    September 13, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    why let the truth get in the way of a great fictional story. What they need to ask is how much of the recovery act went to states that used it to somehow balance their budgets. Start with Rick Perry and Tim Pawlenty..ask them and see if you get an honest answer. It appears though that "not creating jobs" didn't bother those GOP congressmen from holding up those big checks when that stimulus money came in for their own districts.

    September 13, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. vet in texas

    It created however many jobs Rush limbaugh said it did, that's the only person people here listen to.

    If he knows/knew so much, why didn't he warn you about W and his dangerous want to transform America?
    Why didn't he warn you that Iraq was a hoax?
    That the war on terror would cost trillions?
    I'll tell you why, because if he did, you wouldn't buy gold, computer software and the horrible ear implants he was given for free that now stop working.

    If he and all the other talk radio personalities were honest about their parties intentions, I would actually listen to them, but they don't.......so I won't.

    September 13, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Thomas Bardwell

    Where were the "Fact Checks" when Obama was running for office? There is an over-whelming number of idiots out there that beleive anyhing that is put on TV, or in black and white. Obviously a vast majority of the population depends on the media to form opinions for them. The proof is in the White House! Liberal media is abusing the the trust (or ignorance) of this country with their bias. When we fall from greatness, the irresponsibilty of liberal media will to blame!

    September 13, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. malabar

    And unemployment will stay under eight percent hahahaha check that

    September 13, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. d

    Look up the real numbers of jobs lost in 08 and 09 then tell me the stimulus did not work...as to the lieing in debates...these people hold all americans beneath contempt! the rats!

    September 13, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. cindy

    This rethug tparty thinks they can tell people anything and they will follow behind them...sheeple is what WeKve been referred to. NOT this one...GOP DOES NOT REPRESENT ME!!!

    September 13, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:
    Yeah, but the CBO and so many other people who talk about this miss the other half of the big picture. How many jobs are killed by the government sucking $800 billion out of the economy?
    -------------
    Your numbers and claims are false and misleading. No money was taken out of the economy. I am surprised to hear that you have forgotten your constant complaint that the money was borrowed, which injected money into, not out of, the economy.

    Since nearly half of the money was spent in the form of tax cuts, then the "job creators" did a really of creating the jobs they were supposed to create.

    September 13, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. rs

    Even if it created no jobs, it literally saved millions. If we had crashed GM and Chrysler as the "pro-business" GOP/TP wanted, not only would thousands of American workes lost their jobs buiding American cars and trucks, but thousands upon thousands more in businesses that supply auto-makers with parts and services, along with dealer networks, aftermarket part suppliers and more would have lost their jobs too.
    Republicans- bad for America, bad for American workers.

    September 13, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Huh?

    @ Karen- post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    I don't understand why this is so hard for you people to understand. The initial stimulus obviously didn't work the way it was intended to, partly because money was given to states in good faith, and guys like Perry used it to pay off their debts rather than stimulate the economy.

    So, was it perfect? Hardly. But without it, things would have been much, much worse. We were hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs A MONTH, with no end in sight. The initial stimulus stopped the bleeding. I'm sure if he could do it over again, Obama would have built it much more rigid and specific allocation of the funds. A lot of money sort of disappeared.

    That being said, stating on record, in public that the stimulus created zero jobs is idiotic, and although people like Karen with narrow world views will eat that up, when it comes time to debate the President on that issue, it is going to blow up in his face. Not only would Perry be bringing a knife to a gun fight, he is essentially handing the knife to the President and putting his hands behind his back. Not smart.

    You can't win an election with 25% of the vote.

    September 13, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Four and The Door

    Rudy NYC
    ...Your numbers and claims are false and misleading. No money was taken out of the economy.
    ________________________________________________________________________________
    Okay. I guess this is that mythical Democratic entity FREE MONEY. Great stuff! Unless you are an American taxpayer.
    I don't care if it is borrowed. Who gets to pay it back with interest? I'll give you a hint. Every working American in one way or another.

    September 13, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Hill

    In the end Americans are going to have to choose between two economic competing policies to improving the job outlook. The Presidential election will boil down to: On the GOP side restore incentives to risk and investments by enrtrepenuers by keeping taxes and regulations at bay. Or Obama's economics of the faculty lounge, where we take from the rich oil and jet owners and give it to green jobs, healthcare and unions.

    September 13, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Anonymous

    While the number of jobs affected by the Stimulus is hard to determine, before the Stimulus took effect we were LOOSING over 750,000 jobs PER month. A year later we were CREATING hundreds of thousands of jobs per month.

    The repugs are all BOLD-FACED LIARS.

    And further, the job growth slowed to a trickle when the repugs got the ability to halt Dems' progress in the Senate and House

    September 13, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Huh?

    @ Leed- Hey, what do you know? Employers saying they don't want to start hiring until they feel better about the economy. Interesting. Could that mean...oh, I dont know...that the economy is DEMAND driven?

    Supply-side economics. People just can't let go of that fantasy.

    Also Leeds....why would your job as a recruiter give you any insight as to whether or not jobs were created? What industry are you recruiting for? If you are recruiting for the health care industry, and money from stimulus was not allocated into that field, you would not see any real bump in hiring, correct?

    There are numerous projects as part of the ARA being performed by private firms all over the place. There is road construction everywhere. If you want to see ARA money at work, just drive down Wacker Dr in Chicago....oh wait, you can't. It's not there anymore. They literally blew the entire antiquated Upper and Lower Wacker up and are starting over from scratch. That is a HUGE project, with numerous private sector firms doing the work. It's not the City of Chicago doing it. I know, I know....Chicago, Obama, union thugs, yada yada yada. I see numerous jobs being done all over the Midwest.

    Created zero jobs? Come on Rick, you can't be that bad at math. To get an Animal Sciences degree, you have to at least complete calculus, even if you did only graduate with a 2.5.

    September 13, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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