In my last post, I committed an act of wanton and premeditated mathematics upon Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’ proud contention that Democrats have, with trillions of dollars of our money, created 2.1 million jobs in 2 1/2 years. Then I got to thinking a bit more about those numbers. Sure, it’s sheer lunacy to spend more than $1.3 million dollars per job unless the jobs you’re creating carry the title of “Millionaire” (and then laugh about it), but how many jobs might we have gotten if all that money had stayed put in the private sector? What could have happened in 2 1/2 years if Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her merry band of progressives had kept their filthy hands out of our pockets?
Well, let’s look.
Let me start with a caveat here. I am not an economist. I’m not even much of a fan of math. What I will do is take a few reasonable assumptions and apply them to the plausible (thank you, Ace!) accounting method I used this morning. I am sure that the green eyeshade types could do better, but none of them are writing on my blog. So you’re stuck with me.
Remember our starting number: $2,796,600,000,000.
Now, let’s divide that by ten. I know at least two of the programs, Obamacare and the Tax Hike Prevention Act, extend to ten years. Others have multi-year projections as well, but I couldn’t nail down all the details. But, since none of them work out to more than ten years, that’s a good yardstick. It will also make the math easier and knocks down any accusation that I’m exaggerating to make the Democrats look worse than they already do. In fact, it fairly guarantees the number will be low.Once we divide that my ten, to get the per-year cost, we’ll multiply by 2.5, to match Wasserman-Schultz’ time frame. That gives us a whopping huge number: 699,150,000,000 or just a shade over 699 billion dollars in government spending on jobs over the last 2.5 years.
What we need now is a good idea of what a private sector job costs these days. Fortunately, Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute did those calculations for us already, with the aid of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the BLS, the average compensation paid to a private sector worker in 2009 (the most recent year for which I could find solid numbers) was $61,051. Divide that into our per-year government expenditure number and we get…
…Holy Crapweasel that’s a big number.
If the Democrats has just left well enough alone, Americans business owners could have created at least 11,451,901 jobs in the same time Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi created 2.1 million.
Think about how much better off we’d be right now if the Democrats hadn’t taken or mortgaged the money that would have created those jobs and spent it on discredited left-wing economic policies. Think about how hot our economy would be right now if we had hundreds of thousands of employers hanging out “help wanted” signs all over the country. Tim Pawlenty wants 5 percent economic growth each year? Ha. He’s aiming low.
But wait. We’re not done. See, if the Democrats are to be believed, this money came from “the rich” who would doubtless spend a good chunk of it on stuff like money bins or butlers named Cadbury. So let’s assume “the rich” spent half of that money on Spruce Gooses (Geese?) and swimming pools full of caviar. That still leaves us over 5.7 million jobs to the good, well over twice the number that has Debbie Wasserman-Schultz ready to go to the mattresses. Booming economy? You bet!
But wait again! These rich people the President keeps excoriating are truly C. Montgomery Burns-level evil, aren’t they? Let’s assume that they have hardly any interest in growing their businesses (which would make them even more money, but don’t tell the Democrats’ that, because it’ll make their heads ache a bit) and spend only a quarter out of every dollar they extract from the flesh of their employees on creating more employees to lash. That leaves us with about 2.9 million jobs, still more than the Democrats’ have created thus far.
The upshot here is that we would be measurably better off if the Democrats had gone off for 2 1/2 years and played Parcheesi. The private sector would have created more jobs. We would have grown the economy far better than the occasional 3 percent a year we’ve gotten from Obamanomics. We would have invested, and spent, and saved and done all the things that have made our country a powerhouse.
We can still do all of that, by the way. All we need is for the busybody Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to drag her party out of our way.
CORRECTION: I misidentified Cato’s Chris Edwards as Chris Hayes. My apologies to Mr. Edwards and my thanks to George Scoville (who will soon leave Cato for nice new digs!) for the heads-up.