Rush Limbaugh referred to a caller as a "tool" and a "mind-numbed robot" after the caller accurately stated facts about President Obama's jobs bill and the economic recovery. Limbaugh also drastically overstated the level of infrastructure spending in the original stimulus legislation.
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Limbaugh Falsely Claims Entire Stimulus Law Was Spent On Infrastructure
Limbaugh: "We Spent $787 Billion In 2009 For Roads, Bridges" And "Schools. And Now We Need Another $60 Billion?" From the November 7 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
CALLER: I am just sick of the irrelevance of Washington, the obstruction going on of the jobs bill. Everybody needs jobs. We need our roads and our schools fixed. They're falling apart. And the Republicans only care about protecting their millionaire campaign donors from a half-percentage-point tax increase instead of helping their own constituents. It doesn't make any sense at all. Why can't they just put politics down and do what's right for once?
LIMBAUGH: Well, because that's not how jobs are created. If it were, we wouldn't have unemployment. We spent $787 billion in 2009 for roads, bridges, whatever else you said there, schools. And now we need another 60 billion for it? You gotta wake up. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/7/11]
In Fact, Only About One-Eighth Of The Original Stimulus Was Devoted To Infrastructure Spending. According to ProPublica, which broke down stimulus spending by category and agency shortly after the bill was signed into law, just over $98 billion was devoted to "Transportation and Infrastructure." [ProPublica.org, 2/13/09]
Limbaugh Says Federal Spending "Is Not How Jobs Are Created"
Limbaugh Says It's "Impossible" For Federal Spending To Create Jobs: "That's Not How Jobs Are Created." From the show:
LIMBAUGH: Well, because that's not how jobs are created. If it were, we wouldn't have unemployment. We spent $787 billion in 2009 for roads, bridges, whatever else you said there, schools. And now we need another 60 billion? You gotta wake up. This is not how jobs are created. The Republicans are not standing in the way of the creation of jobs. Republicans are standing in the way of bloated government. They're standing in the way of more government growing, which takes away money from the private sector, which is where jobs are created.
CALLER: Rush, if there were any bills that were in Congress -- say George Bush wrote a jobs bill, and it happened to increase taxes on millionaires a half-percentage point to create 450,000 jobs, would you support that bill?
LIMBAUGH: No. Because there's no -- it's impossible. There's no federal spending that can create private-sector jobs. The only thing that can happen is public-sector union workers to be hired, DMV types and all that. People that work at the FDA. There is no way that government spending is going to increase hiring at any private-sector firms. It isn't possible. You cannot take money out of the private sector -- you just can't do -- and have people hired. It just doesn't work that way. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/7/11]
Economists Say Jobs Act Would Be A "Significant Boost" To Employment
Bloomberg: Economists Conclude Jobs Act Would "Help Avoid A Return To Recession." Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News concluded that the jobs plan "would help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year." From Bloomberg:
President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said. [Bloomberg, 9/28/10]
Zandi: American Jobs Act Would Add Nearly 2 Million Jobs. UPI reported:
President Barack Obama's $447 billion job-creation plan would likely add 1.9 million payroll jobs and grow the U.S. economy 2 percent, a leading economist said.
The plan, which Obama outlined before a joint session of Congress Thursday, would likely cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point, Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said as Obama prepared to tout the plan at Virginia's University of Richmond. [United Press International, 9/9/11]
Macroeconomic Advisers: American Jobs Act Would Be "A Significant Boost To GDP And Employment." From the blog of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC:
We estimate that the American Jobs Act (AJA), if enacted, would give a significant boost to GDP and employment over the near-term.
- The various tax cuts aimed at raising workers' after-tax income and encouraging hiring and investing, combined with the spending increases aimed at maintaining state & local employment and funding infrastructure modernization, would:
- Boost the level of GDP by 1.3% by the end of 2012, and by 0.2% by the end of 2013.
- Raise nonfarm establishment employment by 1.3 million by the end of 2012 and 0.8 million by the end of 2013, relative to the baseline.
- The program works directly to raise employment through tax incentives and support to state & local governments for increasing hiring; it works indirectly through the positive boost to aggregate demand (and hence hiring) stimulated by the direct spending and the increase in household income resulting from lower employee payroll taxes and increased employment. [Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, 9/8/11]
EPI: American Jobs Act Would "Increase Employment By About 4.3 Million Jobs." Economic Policy Institute research and policy director John Irons provided a "preliminary breakdown of the package and a first pass look at the job impact" of Obama's jobs plan:
Overall the package would increase employment by about 4.3 million jobs over the next couple of years. The new initiatives would boost employment by about 2.6 million jobs, while the continuation of the two temporary provisions (EUI and the payroll tax holiday) would prevent a backslide of over 1.6 million jobs.
There's still a big hole left to fill, but every step matters.
Irons included the following graphic in his post:
[Economic Policy Institute, 9/8/11]
IHS Global Insight: American Jobs Act Could Grow GDP By 1.4 Percentage Points, Create 900,000 Jobs. From IHS Global Insight chief U.S. economist Nigel Gault's estimate of the American Jobs Act's impact:
Adding the different elements of the programme would generate a 2012 (calendar-year) impact on GDP growth--compared to our baseline--of about 0.8 percentage point. Passing none of the programme would cut about 0.6 percentage point off our projected growth rate. Thus, the overall swing in growth between not passing any of it and passing the whole thing would be about 1.4 percentage points. The corresponding swing for employment (also calendar-year average) would be around 900,000 (from down 400,000 to up 500,000). We will watch the debate over the proposals carefully, to see what parts of it the Republicans might go along with. Our expectation at this point is that not much beyond the extension of the existing payroll tax cut and the extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits will be passed. For now, we have no plans to adjust our 2012 forecast based on the president's proposal. [IHS Global Insight, 9/12/11]
Ameriprise Financial Services Senior Economist: Obama Jobs Plan Could Add Up To 1.2 Million Jobs. CNNMoney reported:
Economists gave generally positive reviews to President Obama's jobs plan Friday, with some estimating that at least 1 million jobs could be added in the next year if Congress passes the package.
The payroll tax holiday for workers and small businesses was cited specifically for having a relatively good "bang for the buck." And that part of the plan may have the most bipartisan support.
"This additional spending capacity in the hands of consumers should continue to foster improvements in aggregate domestic demand. And ultimately, it is demand and demand alone that will lead to more business hiring," said Russell Price, senior economist for Ameriprise Financial Services.
Price estimates the increased payroll tax holiday for workers by itself is likely to add between 750,000 to 1 million jobs, and that the new break on payroll taxes for employers could add an additional 100,000 to 200,000 jobs.
He added that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic activity, could get a 1.5 percentage point boost as well. [CNNMoney.com, 9/9/11]
Nuveen Asset Management Chief Economist: American Jobs Act Could Add A Million Jobs. CNNMoney further reported:
Economists say one big problem with assessing the program is figuring out its chance of passage in the face of Republican criticism.
Keith Hembre, chief economist for Nuveen Asset Management, said he thinks the package could lift GDP by 1.5 percentage points and add 1 million jobs, but doubts Congress will approve Obama's proposal.
"It seems much more like a wish list than anything that is likely become law," he said. [CNNMoney.com, 9/9/11]
Limbaugh Tells Caller He Should Be "Embarrassed" After Accurately Describing Public- And Private-Sector Job Growth
Since July 2009, When Stimulus Began To Take Effect, Private-Sector Jobs Have Grown By Over 1.5 Million While Public Sector Jobs Have Fallen By Over 500,000. From PoliticalCorrection.org, a project of Media Matters Action Network:
[Click to enlarge]
[PoliticalCorrection.org, Media Matters Action Network, 11/4/11]
Presented With This Fact, Limbaugh Tells Caller "You're Just Flat-Out Wrong." From the show:
CALLER: Well, actually, the last few jobs reports, Rush, the private sector has created jobs in line with what's expected in an economic recovery. The real jobs losses have been in the public sector because of crushing budget cuts.
LIMBAUGH: You know --
CALLER: And all this bill is trying to do is to relieve some of that.
LIMBAUGH: If I were you, I would be embarrassed. You are such a tool. You are a mind-numbed robot programmed to spew a bunch of absolute garbage. Illogical garbage. You're just flat-out wrong -- embarrassingly so. Reading from a script. Incapable of critical thinking on your own. You're a sponge. And you're soaking up stuff from the wrong side. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/7/11]