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White House credits stimulus with up to 2M jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is trumpeting a new White House estimate that his economic stimulus plan has already created or saved up to 2 million jobs.

The analysis is part of the administration's quarterly report to Congress on the controversial $787 billion package of spending and tax cuts. Obama signed the bill weeks after taking office last year.

Republicans have denounced the stimulus plan as an expensive flop. They point to a national unemployment rate stuck at 10 percent, and December figures showing the economy shed 85,000 more jobs.

But the President's Council of Economic Advisers report says the economy is a lot better off than it would have been without the stimulus. The council estimates the annual growth rate last year would have been roughly 2 percentage points lower. It also says there would have been 1.5 million to 2 million fewer jobs.

Council chairwoman Christina Romer says the stimulus had a "stunning and important effect."

Obama plans to highlight the report today during a visit to a Maryland training center that specializes in "green" technology.


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