It's famously hard to get a group of economists to agree on anything, and that holds true when it comes to the projected impact of President Obama's $447 billion American Jobs Act. In a new Bloomberg survey, economists from 28 financial firms said the bill, if passed, would create or save anywhere from zero to 2 million jobs, and add between zero and 2 percent to next year's gross domestic product. On average, though, the economists predicted Obama's jobs bill will would boost employment by 275,000 jobs next year and add 0.6 percent to GDP, staving off another recession. Should Congress pass the bill?
What more incentive does Congress need? Support for Obama's jobs plan is clearly "stronger among economists than members of Congress," says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. But who are you going to trust? Republicans, whose icy austerity would "quickly push the economy backwards" or "knowledgeable experts who get paid to answer these questions correctly," and who collectively agree that Obama's policies would keep the economy growing?
"Economists: Jobs Act may prevent recession"
Obama's jobs plan isn't worth the cost: Let's be generous and give Obama those 275,000 jobs, plus another 13,000 in 2013, says Andrew Stiles in National Review. Given the $447 billion cost of the Jobs Act, that's nearly $1.6 million per job. Is that really a good deal? And even if you think it is, "at this point, almost three years into the Obama presidency, when even Democrats admit they own the economy, isn't avoiding another recession a pretty low bar?"
"Obama's jobs plan: $1.6 million per job"
Congress needs to do something, now: If Republicans won't pass Obama's plan to jump-start the teetering economy and hiring, says the San Jose Mercury News in an editorial, they need to produce an alternative that gets at least similar support from economists, stat. "As we barrel toward a double-dip recession, 14 million unemployed Americans and millions more at risk of losing their jobs would appreciate it if Congress did something — anything — to help right now."
"Economy needs a boost — now"