So, the deal Obama got might net the economy 2.2 million jobs -- but a better deal could've gotten us 2.7 million jobs at the same price. That second deal wasn't on the table, of course.
To ascertain the jobs created by these provisions we use multipliers provided by theCongressional Budget Office and economist Mark Zandi. We average the low and high estimates from CBO and the Zandi estimates. We then apply a rule of thumb, based on CBO’s estimates of the macroeconomic impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which posits that each 1 percent of gross domestic product creates 1 million new jobs, to arrive at our the jobs estimates.
So what they're saying is that the effect of taxation can, through the use of multipliers, be expressed in terms of 'jobs' which is essentially a statistic derived from GDP. So these aren't real jobs being created, they are an expression of money. Just wanted to make that clear. These are potential jobs, or it is tax savings that potentially might create jobs. But of course neither Klein nor any economist can promise that such jobs would be created, every profit or gain does not automatically cause new jobs, just as every loss does not automatically cost jobs. 'Jobs' is just a term to appeal to people who want to understand the economy strictly in those terms.
The political spin on this, which Obama used in his speech, is to suggest that there is no economic proof that giving tax cuts to the wealthiest American individuals and estates will create jobs or improve the economy. So Ezra Klein is obviously arguing that one side of the volleyball net is higher than the other side. I presume you do see the ironic double standard. The deal that was off the table costs jobs just by changing taxation on the rich, but no hypothetical deal Republicans can come up with could gain jobs just by changing taxation on the rich.
Obama takes the opportunity to blame the obstructionists a bit more honestly by focusing on the deficit, but he does so without breaking out the net amount that the Bush Tax Cuts actually give to that wealthy 2%, which is 133 Billion, not 700 Billion. The Bush Tax Cuts were aimed at all Americans, the middle class part being the meat, based on the conservative principle that all Americans deserve to keep more of their tax dollars. No surprise that Obama is replaying his populist spin, which is easy to do when you don't talk about spending.
The problem is that the government spending Obama has focused most upon, government sponsored healthcare insurance, doesn't cut costs or help the economy. It certainly doesn't improve unemployment. But then again maybe somebody has some multipliers that will help explain how Obamacare will create 'jobs'.
What's more worrisome to this conservative is the ease with which Klein accepts that Obama is the head dealer and what he should be dealing is jobs. If only we could shut up the opposition.