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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

One of the fun new talking points offered by the cool kids in the Biden administration is that a new report from Moody’s Analytics indicates that President Biden‘s infrastructure-is-really-everything-we-can-possibly-imagine plan will help create 18.9 million new jobs by 2030.

That sounds great.


There’s just one small problem. That talking point is somewhere between misleading and outright inaccurate. What the report actually says is that the “infrastructure” plan would create 18.9 million jobs, but if everyone kept their money in their pockets and the federal government did nothing, the economy will create 16.3 million jobs anyhow.

So, assuming that the giant, change the world, 21st-century New Deal proposed by the most transformative president ever actually does what its authors intend, it would create about 2.6 million additional jobs in these United States.

There are two ways to think about that number. First, in an economy in which about 150 million people have jobs, it represents about 1.7% of all of those jobs.

The second way is more disturbing. If the package only costs $2.25 trillion (the current estimate, but which is likely to be low given that there are still interest groups to buy off), and creates 2.6 million additional jobs, that means that each job “created” will cost taxpayers almost $900,000 per job.

Follow that? We are going to spend $900,000 to create one job that might wind up paying someone maybe as much as $100,000.

It goes without saying that jobs that cost $900,000 to create which pay significantly less than that are net negatives for the economy. It seems unlikely that Team Biden cares much about that sort of math. They are, after all, on a mission.

The good news is that the Republicans finally have a comprehensible talking point to explain to voters how truly destructive and pointless that mission is.

The bad news is that Mr. Biden in his physical and intellectual twilight seems intent on pursuing his vanity project and leaving a legacy of expanded government, a damaged economy, and increased taxes. It will take quite an effort to stop him.


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