Barney Frank: Obama ‘dumb’ to predict unemployment wouldn’t go above 8 percent 

Obama hit a new low today in AP’s poll over his handing of the economy. And right on cue, I see, via Instapundit, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has finally gotten around to stating the obvious:

“President Obama, whom I greatly admire … when the economic recovery bill — we’re supposed to call it the ‘recovery bill,’ not the ’stimulus’ bill; that’s what the focus groups tell us — he predicted or his aides predicted at the time that if it passed, unemployment would get under 8 percent,” Frank said Tuesday evening during an appearance on the Fox Business Network. “That was a dumb thing to do.”

The administration famously released a chart during the fight over its signature $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) showing that, if that package were enacted, unemployment would not exceed 8 percent. The projection, authored by Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) Chairwoman Christina Romer, argued that without the stimulus, unemployment would reach a high of 9 percent in the third quarter of 2010.

Given that unemployment remains so high despite throwing massive amounts of taxpayer cash being thrown at the problem, here’s a related observation from Kevin Williamson at National Review:

What, precisely, will we have to show for having come through the Obama recession(s)? A gigantic new federal entitlement program? Staggering amounts of debt? Persistently high levels of unemployment? That’s the best-case scenario. The worst case scenario includes pre-Reagan levels of inflation, a debased dollar, and a deep double dip in Recession Round 2. Obama’s first-class temperament is not going to do him a lot of good with a third-class economy.

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