Suderman targets the phrase:

President Obama claims that his economic recovery efforts have already “created or saved” 150,000 jobs, and that they’ll create or save an additional 600,000 over the next few months. Problem is, thanks to the addition of the last two words “or saved” there’s no way to measure this. Not only is there no administration entity assigned to measure saved jobs, it would still be impossible to accurately measure if there were. Even the unnamed “independent analysts” called upon to verify the administration’s claims, which are reportedly “based on macroeconomic models and projections,” by the New York Times admit that the figure cannot be measured, and will only say that the numbers are, at best, “plausible.” Who needs verification, though, when you have plausibility?

I prefer to avoid blame-the-media as a narrative, but, as in the runup to the Iraq war, I think an acquiescent press corp (with some exceptions) is largely at fault for the relatively wide acceptance of this formulation.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to