Calculating the number of jobs created for the number of dollars spent for that purpose in the stimulus plan has come up with different figures, including as much as $250,000. But using the administration’s own optimistic figures that 1 million new jobs have been created, that still comes to $160,000 Per Stimulus Job:
The White House argues that the actual job number is actually larger than 640,000 — closer to 1 million jobs when one factors in stimulus jobs added in October and, more importantly, jobs created indirectly, such as "the waitress who's still on the job," Vice President Biden said today.
So let's see. Assuming their number is right — 160 billion divided by 1 million. Does that mean the stimulus costs taxpayers $160,000 per job?
Jared Bernstein, chief economist and senior economic advisor to the vice president, called that "calculator abuse."
He said the cost per job was actually $92,000 — but acknowledged that estimate is for the whole stimulus package as of the end of 2010.
Related: According to consumer car site Edmunds.com, the Cash for Clunker program cost taxpayers $24,000 for each car. This for an average $1600 rebate on a car that cost an average of $26,000. (This was calculated taking into account the number of cars that would already have been bought anyway whose buyers needed no incentive. This was the cost of the extra cars that were purchased due to the federal program.)