This email just in from the folks at BarackObama.com otherwise known as Organizing for America
One year ago tomorrow, … the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.… This chart makes it clear: We're on the road to recovery.
The implication is clear: Obama saved us by signing the act.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the graph is correct. (I’m too lazy right now to double check it against the true stats). There are two fundamental problems with this spammed message that implies Obama is fixing the economy.
First, it takes a while for any legislation to have an effect on the economy. The economy has inertia. This graph shows the jobless rate starting to top off in November 2008 – the month of the election. The shown loss is pretty much flat for Q4 of 2008 and Q1 of 2009.
Second, they consistently refuse to acknowledge the passage of the massive Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 at a cost of $152 billion. While I strenuously disagree with the soundness of such a stimulus package, if we using their economic logic – it should definitely be accounted for when looking at this graph. Last time I checked, Obama wasn’t the one who signed it.
In any event, you cannot attribute a bill signed in mid February to a dramatic change in job loss in April. Its like jumping into a bobsled halfway down the track and claiming a gold medal for the effort.