Report on Stimulus Bill's Impact Has a Problem of Numbers


On Wednesday, the Council of Economic Advisers released its second quarterly report on the effect of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus bill. The report has already come under attack from critics of the Obama administration, including U.S. Rep Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who characterized its conclusions as "self-serving and deceptive." Given the confusion about the numbers and their vulnerability to attack, it is worth asking if the report, rather than increasing worker confidence, has actually undermined the administration's position. This is likely to become a particularly pressing issue as the President is currently pushing another job creation bill.