The casual observer might have been somewhat skeptical of the massive $787-billion stimulus bill passed earlier this year by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. However, one media outlet is dispelling those doubts – reassuring the public the stimulus is having the impact it proponents claimed it would.
For the second time in three nights, ABC “World News” anchor Charles Gibson played that role for the Obama administration. On May 13 Gibson touted a report issued by the White House claiming some early success of the stimulus.
“The White House issued its first quarterly report on the effects, so far, of the economic stimulus program,” Gibson said. “Only 3 percent of the $787-billion program has gone out, mostly to pay for medical assistance programs. The White House says 150,000 jobs have already been created or saved and claims another 600,000 jobs will be in the next 100 days.”
However, the “create or save” job argument is a gray area that is susceptible to being spun anyway the White House sees fit as Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., has showed. Baucus debunked the concept of a “saved” job in a March 4 hearing that featured testimony from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
"You created a situation where you cannot be wrong,” Baucus said. “If the economy loses 2 million jobs over the next few years, you can say yes, but it would've lost 5.5 million jobs. If we create a million jobs, you can say, well, it would have lost 2.5 million jobs. You've given yourself complete leverage where you cannot be wrong, because you can take any scenario and make yourself look correct."