In his weekly radio address on January 4, President‐elect Obama promised that his economic plan would “create three million new jobs, more than eighty percent of them in the private sector.” Dan Mitchell pointed out that that suggested that he intended to hire 600,000 new bureaucrats. That point got some attention, and apparently it actually made Obama and his supporters nervous.
Because in his January 11 radio address, he promised that 90 percent of the jobs he creates or saves will be in the private sector. And interestingly, both the Washington Post and the New York Times put that in the first sentence of their page‐one stories on Sunday. This was the first sentence in the lead story in the Sunday Post:
Facing increased skepticism from both parties about the details of his economic stimulus proposal, President‐elect Barack Obama and his team yesterday laid out new claims regarding the $775 billion package, saying that 90 percent of the jobs produced would be in the private sector, including hundreds of thousands in construction and manufacturing.
Well, it’s good to know that the Obama team is now thinking about — or at least wants us to think they’re thinking about — creating private‐sector jobs rather than just hiring more bureaucrats. Of course, we still have the problem that huge government spending programs won’t actually create jobs.