In the four full months since President Obama signed the $787 billion "stimulus" package, the American economy has lost 1.96 million jobs (652,000 in March, 519,000 in April, 322,000 in May, and 467,000 in June). It's worked so well the New York Times editorialists this morning say "it makes a compelling case for more government stimulus." As we said before, "There's got to be a point at which if something isn't working one stops repeating it, but it's not yet clear that we are at that point."
Suppose the "more government stimulus" the Times suggests is followed by even greater job losses. What next? More stimulus? And then? Is there any amount of private-sector job loss that the stimulus advocates will acknowledge would be cause to re-think their idea that the way to respond is with more government "stimulus" spending? There's got to be some point at which additional stimulus becomes self-defeating because of the expectation that eventually taxes are going to have to increase to pay for all the spending.
Even the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, is skeptical of White House claims crediting the stimulus with creating or saving 3.5 million jobs, saying at one hearing, "You created a situation where you cannot be wrong. ...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."