Two and a half years ago, Christina Romer, then still employed by the Obama administration in the position of Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers penned "The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" - a report predicting the impact of a fiscal "stimulus" that took out $787 billion from the pocket of American Taxpayers (subsequently discovered to cost even more) and put that money...somewhere. We are not sure where, because according to a chart now made legendary for its complete failure to predict the future, it sure did not go into creating jobs. Below we present the original chart that made the January 10, 2009 presentation, and superimpose upon it the reality of the past two and a half years. It is simply stunning. And while we are here, and discussing the abysmal failure of QE2 (the impending arrival of QE3 notwithstanding), it is amusing to hear the whimpering of the likes of one Richard Koo, who is now claiming that all along the money from the Fed's monetary stimulus should have been invested in the form of a fiscal one. Well, Dick, below is the impact of your fiscal stimulus....AND it also includes the impact of $2 trillion in incremental monetary stimulus. Combined, both fiscal and monetary stimulus has now missed the worst case projection for US unemployment for 30 months running. Here is the simple truth: both monetary and fiscal stimuli are abysmal failures, when the economy is mean reverting to a state where it was hijacked from courtesy of 30 years of "great moderation" - and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Correction: there is one thing - the Fed can destroy the dollar in its attempt to disprove simple physics. And, ultimately, it will.
From the original ARRA proposal:
And the outcome: