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

Reaction To Obama’s Speech: Skepticism And “A Sense Of Deja Vu”

September 12th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

Reactions in the press to President Obama’s call for more stimulus spending last Thursday were definitely skeptical, with even the Los Angeles Times editorial page noting that “[t]he $447-billion plan isn’t particularly novel” and The Washington Post adding, “The $447 billion cost of the program is more than half that of the stimulus package Congress passed in 2009 and reflects the severity of the nation’s economic challenge.”

The Wall Street Journal editors were doubtful, writing, “[Y]ou have to really, really believe in hope and change to think that another $300-$400 billion in new deficit spending and temporary tax cuts will do any better than the $4 trillion in debt that the Obama years have already piled up.”

And fact checkers at the AP were similarly unimpressed. They wrote last night, “President Barack Obama’s promise Thursday that everything in his jobs plan will be paid for rests on highly iffy propositions. It will only be paid for if a committee he can’t control does his bidding, if Congress puts that into law and if leaders in the future – the ones who will feel the fiscal pinch of his proposals – don’t roll it back. . . . [T]here is no guarantee that programs that clearly will increase annual deficits in the near term will be paid for in the long term.”

The whole speech seemed awfully familiar to The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, who writes The Fact Checker blog. He observes, “The speech mostly gave us a sense of déjà vu. From the president’s language, you would never know that Congress already has acted under his watch to save jobs — the $800 billion stimulus plan passed shortly after he took office. ‘Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs,’ Obama proclaimed in a speech to a similar joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009. We’re not sure about the jobs saved part, but the country has certainly not created jobs since then — there are almost 2 million fewer jobs since he made those remarks 2 1/2 years ago. That gives a sense of the economic burden he will carry into his reelection campaign.”

As the WSJ editors point out, “We’ve had the biggest Keynesian stimulus in decades. The new argument that the 2009 stimulus wasn’t big enough isn’t what we heard then. Americans were told it would create 3.5 million new jobs and unemployment would stay below 8% and be falling by 2011. It is now 9.1%. But this stimulus we are told will make all the difference.

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: 38% Favor Obama Jobs Plan, 36% Oppose

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