USA Today Hits Sen. Scott Brown on His Jobs Claim; In Doing So It Helps Underscore His Point
John Fritze of USA Today noted in an On Politics blog post filed last night that "Sen. Brown's 'not one job' claim [has been] questioned."
But in relaying the attack on the Massachusetts Republican senator's claim that "not one job" has been created by the Obama stimulus package, Fritze only underscored the point that Brown was making in the context of his comments.
There is no real, net job creation from the stimulus bill (emphasis mine):
Newly elected Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican, has been getting some notice for the assertion that the year-old economic stimulus bill has not created a single job. He made the claim at a candidate's forum in November, according to the Boston Globe, at a press conference minutes after being sworn in on Feb. 4 and again in an interview on Fox News today.
"In fact, we haven't created one new job," Brown said on Fox. "The net job growth is not where it needs to be. On Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill, it's the only place they can do the political double talk."
But a net loss in jobs doesn't mean there were no jobs created.
The non-partisan PolitiFact today rated Brown's claim that "not one new job" was created by the stimulus as "pants on fire." It had earlier rated President Obama's claim that the stimulus has created 2 million jobs as "half true."
Finally, there's this nugget, reported in late January by the Boston Globe, in which Brown said Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick needed to speed up stimulus spending because "cities and towns have jobs and new shovel-ready projects that they can get done right away." Brown also gave Boston Mayor Thomas Menino kudos, saying "the mayor has done a wonderful job being very transparent in hard numbers in jobs actually created."
Among the "hard numbers" the mayor released this week as part of the one-year anniversary of the stimulus were 109 jobs for the renovation of a housing complex and 215 jobs for in the city's schools.
You following this? Brown clearly meant, in context, that the stimulus has created no new net jobs. Sure, it's created a few jobs here and there, mostly public sector ones, but the greater economic context is that of job losses under Obama, in large part because his policies make capital formation and job creation in the private sector harder.
Brown's praise for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D) may be both sincere and politically prudent, but even there the jobs in question are public sector jobs that will eventually disappear after the work projects in question are completed and/or the federal stimulus spigot runs dry.