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Special Report

The Stimulus Hasn't Done What it Was Supposed To Do

One day after it came out that the administration had decided to stop trying to count the number of jobs created or saved by that $787 billion spending bill the president signed last year, the White House was back doing it again.

Christina Romer, the president's top economic adviser, announced Tuesday that the spending had resulted in 2 million jobs created or saved. Romer called that a, "truly stunning and important effect," adding that the spending, "had done exactly what we have anticipated it would do."

No it hasn't.

Romer herself said a year ago that the stimulus spending would hold the unemployment rate below eight percent. It's now at 10 and counting. More than 4 million jobs were lost last year. What's more, an analysis by the Associated Press has found that the outlays on roads, bridges and other infrastructure, had no discernible effect on local employment and had barely helped the construction industry.

The lesson here is a very old one: Government spending is a poor antidote to recession because the money has to be taxed or borrowed from one part of the economy to be spent in another. Not only that, it's slow medicine. Even Romer said in her glowing report that only about a third of the money had been spent.

On second thought, given the effect the spend-fest has had on the deficit, maybe that's the good news.

Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for Fox News Channel.