I was looking back at the transcript of President Obama’s February news conference, and I thought it would be interesting to remind people what he saw at the time as the primary point of the stimulus package:
My bottom line is to make sure that we are saving or creating 4 million jobs….
So my bottom line when it comes to the recovery package is send me a bill that creates or saves 4 million jobs….
But my bottom line is, are we creating 4 million jobs, and are we laying the foundation for long- term economic growth?…
Later, the following exchange took place:
QUESTION: — how can the American people gauge whether or not your programs are working?
Can they — should they be looking at the metric of the stock market, home foreclosures, unemployment? What metric should they use? When? And how will they know if it’s working or whether or not we need to go to a Plan B?
MR. OBAMA: I think my initial measure of success is creating or saving 4 million jobs. That’s bottom line number one, because if people are working, then they’ve got enough confidence to make purchases, to make investments. Businesses start seeing that consumers are out there with a little more confidence. And they start making investments, which means they start hiring workers.
So step number one, job creation.
Over 2.7 million jobs have been lost since Obama signed the economic stimulus bill.