Pick a Number

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Factcheck.org, sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania,  is designed to reduce confusion and deception in U.S. politics. We’ve been following its commentary for some time, and have been generally impressed. As you’d expect, it has included a fair amount of coverage of the Recovery Act — often  calling into question exaggerated statements from all sides.

A couple of weeks ago, we featured a post about the latest job impact report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. We just came across Factcheck.org’s  look at that report, which questions the Council’s statement that “a wide range of private and government analysts concur with our estimates” of 2.2 million to 2.8 million in job impacts.”

In its assessment, Factcheck.org points out that only one of the five other estimates cited by the report falls into the range of jobs cited by the Council’s economists. It notes that of the private economists cited, all were “well below the range estimated by the White House. “ For example, “Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com put the number at 1,896,000, HIS/Global Insight put it at 1,707,000 and Macroeconomic Advisers estimated 1,462,000. While the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office came nearly up to the CEA estimate of job impact on the high side (2.7 million) its low side estimate was 1.2 million – about a million short of the Council’s lower estimate.

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One Response to “Pick a Number”

  1. Tom Sadowski Says:

    I wonder if anyone looked at their methodology. How did it differ from others? Maybe CEA should look at that or maybe they don’t care about credibility. Could they explain the differences? Instead of doing their own should they go with the range of others and offer their own commentary. Or should we all accept this as the best we can expect in what is a very political area, especially right now?

    Of course, I am still wrapping my head arond the concept of jobs saved.

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