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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Bloomberg News surveyed a wide range of economists — many of whom work at Wall Street investment banks where the executives have flocked to donate to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign — and they generally seem to agree that the Obama jobs plan (don’t call it a stimulus!) would help stave off a “double-dip” recession:

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said.

Economists in the survey are less optimistic than Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who has cited estimates for a 1.5 percent boost to gross domestic product. Even so, the program may bolster Obama’s re-election prospects by lowering a jobless rate that has stayed near 9 percent or more since April 2009.

That’s not to say the economic climate forecast looks sunny for Obama. Even if the bill miraculously passes a Republican Congress that has come out against to the tax cut portions of the plan (specifically, a payroll tax cut that would mostly spur lower-income people to buy), businesses might still be scared to hire. And while the right may blame regulations or taxes, there’s an even simpler explanation: What kind of company wants to expand when the federal government is constantly on the brink of shutdown because the House can’t pass regular spending bills, and the European banking system is still teetering on the verge of collapse?

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo