"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

WSJ Notes Another Stimulus Promise Broken; ABC: ‘Summer Of Recovery’ Simply ‘Hasn’t Materialized”

August 17th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

President Obama visited a Wisconsin battery manufacturer yesterday that’s taking part in a $1.3 million “Recovery Act State Energy Program loan;” in other words, it’s being funded by money from the President’s $862 billion stimulus bill. Though Obama will be touting it as “saving or creating” jobs, the stimulus has continually fallen short of the promises made by the White House and Democrats in Congress about it.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesrday, “The Obama administration has paid out less than a third of the nearly $230 billion allocated to big infrastructure projects in the economic-stimulus program. . . . Administration officials said when pushing for the program that the money would target projects that could create jobs quickly. So far, $182 billion of the infrastructure money has been awarded, though the government has paid out only $66 billion of the total.” Further, the WSJ notes, “The biggest projects have been the slowest to start. None of the $17.5 billion for incentive payments for doctors and hospitals to start using electronic health records has been spent yet, because rules for payment were finalized only in July. A few recipients of $7.2 billion in grants allocated to the expansion of broadband Internet services have started laying cables, but the rest are still busy with pre-construction work, such as environmental assessments, local approvals to attach fiber to utility poles, permits for rights of way and hiring subcontractors.”

But that’s not what Obama administration officials promised 18 months ago. Shortly after the deficit-financed stimulus was signed into law, Vice President Joe Biden said, “[T]his is about getting this out and spent in 18 months to create 3.5 million jobs and do — to set — tee this up so the rest of the good work that’s being done here literally drop-kicks us out of this recession and we begin to grow again and begin to employ people again.” Former White House budget director Peter Orzag told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in February 2009 that Americans will see benefits from the stimulus in “weeks to months.” And key White House economic advisor Larry Summers told Blitzer, “You’ll see the effects begin almost immediately.”

Yet the 18 months is up this week, and, as the WSJ story points out, all the money hasn’t been spent, and the stimulus clearly hasn’t created 3.5 million jobs. The unemployment rate is still 9.5%, despite promises that the stimulus would keep unemployment from exceeding 8%. And ABC News reports today, “The White House’s heralded ‘summer of recovery’ simply hasn’t materialized; barring an astounding August turnaround, the nation will have fewer jobs at the end of the summer than it did at the beginning.”

Americans aren’t impressed, as the WSJ points out: “Recent opinion polls suggest the White House has struggled to communicate its message, particularly after its emphasis on ‘shovel-ready’ projects during the debate over the plan’s passage in early 2009. Criticism of the pace of the stimulus appears to be resonating with voters. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in May, 18% of respondents said the plan was already helping to improve the economy, and 20% said they thought it would help in the future.”

It’s hard to see how yet another Obama press event about stimulus funding is going to change the minds of Americans who saw the Democrat-controlled Congress pass a bill adding over a trillion dollars to the debt (when interest payments are factored in) that has subsequently failed to live up to almost all of the economic promises made about it when it was passed.

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: Generic Ballot: Republican 48%, Democrat 36%

Public, Economists, And Even Democrat Congressman Not Seeing “Recovery Summer”

 “Welcome To The Recovery”: Dismal Jobs Report Underscores Admin’s Failed Policies & Dems’ Job-Killing Bill

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