"(Former Bush Administration spokesman) Mr. Fratto sees a double standard at play. 'We would never have used a formula like "save or create,'' he tells me. 'To begin with, the number is pure fiction -- the administration has no way to measure how many jobs are actually being "saved.''And if we had tried to use something this flimsy, the press would never have let us get away with it.'
Of course, the inability to measure Mr. Obama's jobs formula is part of its attraction. Never mind that no one -- not the Labor Department, not the Treasury, not the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- actually measures "jobs saved." As the New York Times delicately reports, Mr. Obama's jobs claims are "based on macroeconomic estimates, not an actual counting of jobs." Nice work if you can get away with it.And get away with it he has. However dubious it may be as an economic measure, as a political formula 'save or create' allows the president to invoke numbers that convey an illusion of precision. Harvard economist and former Bush economic adviser Greg Mankiw calls it a 'non-measurable metric.' "
"If the 'saved or created' formula looks brilliant, it's only because Mr. Obama and his team are not being called on their claims. And don't expect much to change. So long as the news continues to repeat the administration's line that the stimulus has already 'saved or created' 150,000 jobs over a time period when the U.S. economy suffered an overall job loss 10 times that number, the White House would be insane to give up a formula that allows them to spin job losses into jobs saved.
'You would think that any self-respecting White House press corps would show some of the same skepticism toward President Obama's jobs claims that they did toward President Bush's tax cuts,' says Mr. Fratto. 'But I'm still waiting.' "
We are ALL still waiting, Mr. Fratto.