Once in a while, seemingly when I need it most, I can’t remember the list of President Obama’s “big ticket” policy enactments. Thankfully, Michael Boskin listed them in a column in the Wall Street Journal on September 8, 2011:

  • $825 billion stimulus package
  • Public-Private Investment Partnership to buy toxic assets from the banks
  • “Cash for Clunkers”
  • Home-buyers credit
  • Auto bailouts
  • Five versions of foreclosure relief
  • Numerous lifelines to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Frank-Dodd
  • Healthcare reform (Obamacare)
  • Energy subsidies

Boskin points out that the stimulus bill cost $280,000 per job – by the administration’s estimates of jobs “created or saved,” and much more using more realistic estimates.


  • Fraction of the population working is the lowest since 1983 (58.1%)
  • Long-term unemployment is by far the highest since the Great Depression (45.9%)
  • Job growth during the first two years of recovery after a severe recession is the slowest in postwar history (.5%)
  • Home-ownership rate is the lowest since 1965 and foreclosures are at a post-Depression high (59.7%)
  • Share of Americans paying income taxes is the lowest in the modern era (49%)