* Stimulus plan aimed to create or save 3.5 million jobs
* “The Recovery Act provides silver buckshot,” says Biden
* Republicans say package has done little to help economy
WASHINGTON, Sept 3 (Reuters) - The White House will report on Sept. 10 on the number of jobs saved and created under President Barack Obama’s $787 billion program to jump-start the economy, an administration official said on Thursday.
Obama’s economic stimulus plan, passed by the U.S. Congress in February, aims to save or create 3.5 million jobs over two years, although many economists have questioned how the administration plans to measure the number of jobs “saved”.
“The Council on Economic Advisers plans to report to the nation on September 10th their projections of jobs created and jobs saved as a result of the Recovery Act,” a White House official said.
With polls showing Americans increasingly concerned about the size of the record U.S. deficit, Vice President Joe Biden will say in a speech on Thursday that Obama’s economic stimulus package of tax cuts and infrastructure spending saved the United States from another Great Depression.
“One of the criticisms of the Recovery Act is that it is simply a grab bag of different programs. But the fact that the Recovery Act is multifaceted doesn’t reflect a lack of design ... it is the design. Our economy is so complex and so wounded that reinvigorating one segment alone or using one tool alone would never do all that needs to be done.
“There is no silver bullet. The Recovery Act provides silver buckshot,” Biden will say at the Brookings Institution think-tank in Washington, according to advance excerpts of his speech.
Congressional Republicans say the stimulus package has done little to counter the effects of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unemployment is expected to top 10 percent this year.
The White House and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimate the U.S, budget deficit will reach a record $1.6 trillion for this fiscal year.
The CBO said in August that U.S. economic activity would begin to rebound in the second half of 2009, thanks largely to the stimulus package.
“If the two-year window of the Recovery Act was a marathon, the nine-mile mark would just be coming into view. Two hundred days in, the Recovery Act is doing more, faster, more efficiently, and more effectively than we had hoped,” Biden will say.
As part of the economic stimulus program, $62 billion has been spent so far on tax relief for Americans, according to figures released by the vice president’s office.
The government has paid out about $80.9 billion in stimulus funds in total as of Aug. 14, the White House has said. (Reporting by Ross Colvin; Editing by Eric Walsh)