By the estimates of [Christina Romer's] Council of Economic Advisers, at a cost of $100,000 per job, $100 billion would mean one million new jobs. "A million people is a lot of people."
Obama was unenthusiastic. Romer, in meeting after meeting, came back with new plans, new ways either to locate $100 billion or pitch it to Congress. Her appeals were passionate. She said they were falling into a "The perfect is the enemy of the good" trap. It's about doing something, anything."
The focus on jobs irrespective of whether they pass a cost-benefit test, highlights the worldview of Keynesians, where spending on anything when unemployment is high, is a good thing via the magic of the multiplier. Further, spending $100k per job is good because it's a million jobs. One wonders if there's a price at which it would not be attractive.