But, as the Brookings Institution reported on Wednesday, one of the best known Obama economic stimulus programs, the Cash-for-Clunkers program, did in fact create some jobs.
But here’s the thing—it would have been cheaper if the US government had just handed out payments of $1.3 million per unemployed person than to pay the total required to make just one job under Obama’s scheme. That total, as Brookings reported is $1.4 million per job!
Brookings went on to explain:
“The $2.85 billion [Cash-for-Clunkers] program provided a short-term boost in vehicle sales, but the small increase in employment came at a far higher implied cost per job created ($1.4 million) than other fiscal stimulus programs, such as increasing unemployment aid, reducing employers’ and employees' payroll taxes, or allowing the expensing of investment costs.”
So, again, just handing out bigger social safety net checks to more people would have been cheaper, and likely have done as much or more to stimulate growth, while creating jobs.
As the whole Obamacare fiasco has made quite clear, it isn’t just the dubious idea that government cannot do anything right that is being raised by Obama’s botched signature rollout. The real question that is being raised all around, as we more closely examine so many things that Barack Obama has done, is whether he is the right guy to properly manage critical government programs, such as stimulus programs, or expanded government involvement in health care.
The answer increasingly seems to be “no”, Obama simply was not ready for primetime. That is of course what Mitt Romney claimed about Obama in the 2012 campaign (and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary), that Obama was a nice enough person (back then Obama’s likability numbers had not tanked), but he just didn’t have what it took to manage a big operation like the United States government.
The problem, in 2012, for most Americans, in addition to their not wanting to believe that Obama was as incompetent as Romney said, was that Romney himself was such an arrogant, ignorant, ass, who plainly said he didn’t give a crap about the half of America he counted as deadbeat “thems”. Also, of course, Romney was the jerk who inspired Barack Obama to make Obamacare.
But, maybe, concerning Obama’s managerial skills, Romney and other critics had Obama correctly assessed as deficient.