Until yesterday, the words inexorably linked to Obama’s economic stimulus package were “Job Creation.” It was in every sound bite and every press release.
As the plan nears passage, the bar is being lowered. Slowly, media outlets are shifting the goal of the plan from “creating jobs” to “saving jobs.”
“Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska and one of the chief negotiators of the plan, said senators had trimmed the plan to $827 billion in tax cuts and spending on infrastructure, housing and other programs that would create or save jobs.”
Or from the Associated Press:
“It’s hoped that the combined effort would work its way into the economy and save or create 3 million jobs or so to begin to ease the nation out of the recession by the end of this year.”
Save or create?
Even the headline from Fox News:
“Obama Urges Passage of Economic Bill to Save Jobs”
Words mean things. As someone who spends his career doing this, these things aren’t done accidentally. When Bill Clinton wanted to change from cutting taxes to raising taxes, George Stephanopoulos coined the term “more broad based contributions.”
Expectations are being lowered for this stimulus plan. It’s silently and slowly being shifted from being something that creates jobs to something that stops more jobs from being lost.
With that shift, this plan could create less jobs than a pimp on a good corner and still be deemed a success.
And to me, it means that not only will this stimulus plan not create the jobs we need it to, but that its proponents know it won’t.