8.9% unemployment the new standard.

“… even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0%, which is well below the approximately 8.8% that would result in the absence of a plan.”

Christina Romer, Jared Bernstein, The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, January 09, 2009
Such was the rational in January 2009 by this White House in selling the $775 billion “stimulus” to the American public. Since then the unemployment rate in the U.S. has moved from 7.7% to 9.7%. This inconvenient fact has the White House’s economic team singing a different tune one year in.
To wit:“… because of the severe toll the recession has taken on the labor market, the unemployment rate is likely to remain elevated for an extended period. The forecast projects that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate will be 8.9 percent, and that by the fourth quarter of 2012, it will be 7.9 percent.”

Timothy F. Geithner, Peter R. Orszag, and Christina D. Romer, Joint Statement Before the Committee on the Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, March 16, 2010
Thus, in just over a year we go from an 8.8% unemployment ceiling sans borrowing $775 billion, to an 8.9% floor, despite all of that “stimulus” spending.

The Schork Report, Thursday, 25 March 2010; hat tip Don Lando