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Two Weeks Late and $150 Billion Short

Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post writes a story that would have been useful two weeks ago::

Trim to Stimulus Carves Into Goals For Job Creation: For months, President Obama has been selling his economic stimulus package as a jobs bill that would spare the nation from a frightening spike in unemployment.... [C]ongressional negotiators have since trimmed billions of dollars from the package to satisfy Senate Republicans, diminishing its potential for job creation along with its overall cost.... [A]nalysts are slashing their estimates of its ability to counteract a deepening recession, with several prominent economists now saying the package will save or create fewer than 2.5 million jobs by the end of next year.

At $789 billion, the final package "is just not going to pack the same jobs punch" as some earlier versions, which cost as much as $100 billion more, said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Economy.com, whose analyses have been cited by White House officials as well as congressional Democrats. Zandi estimates the measure will create only about 2.2 million jobs by the end of 2010, leaving unemployment hovering around 10 percent and probably forcing lawmakers to undertake another stimulus plan.

The White House has officially pared its own projection to 3.5 million jobs in recognition of the bill's smaller size. But Christina Romer, who leads Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said the administration remains convinced that the package of tax cuts and spending initiatives has sufficient power to boost the sagging economy toward recovery by year's end...

It would have been right and proper and informative for Montgomery to have informed her readers that Mark Zandi was an advisor to John McCain as well.

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