Friday, June 3, 2011

More Unserious Analysis from the Cato Institute

In a self-congratulatory blog post, Dan Mitchell over at The Cato Institute (a presumably serious organization that is growing increasingly unserious with the passing of time) posted the following chart.

To which he added the following comment
Based on this morning’s numbers, I’ve updated my chart showing what the Obama Administration said would happen with the so-called stimulus compared to what actually has happened. As you can see, the unemployment rate is about 2.5 percentage points higher than the White House claimed it would be at this point.
Read what happens when you apply missing data to a Cato Institute chart below the fold.

Of course, that's not what his chart says.  When you add the cleverly omitted data about when the stimulus was passed and when the CBO said it took effect, you get a much different picture.  I took the liberty of adding this to his chart for him.

As you can plainly see, the space between the two red lines bracket a continued growth in unemployment, as expected.  But once the CBO said the stimulus took effect, the numbers flattened out.  You'll also notice the trend line had the stimulus not been And as we know, the stimulus was packed with non-stimulating measures like tax cuts, so the stimulus was, as one nobel winning economist said, "too small."

Now we're faced with the drag the stimulus has put on the economy as it peters out.  That is what is inside the red box.  Krugsandra has a good chart with the details.

Mitchell concludes with a shockingly frat-boy tone
Since I just did an I-told-you-so post about Greece, I may as well pat myself on the back again (albeit for another completely obvious prediction). Here’s the video I narrated a couple of years ago on the Obama faux stimulus.
If you're going to be a snotty punk, it helps to be a correct snotty punk.  Otherwise you're just a... dumb snotty punk.

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