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18 Months After The 'Stimulus' - 3.3M Jobs Lost, 9.5% Unemployment | Missouri Political News Service

18 Months After The ‘Stimulus’ – 3.3M Jobs Lost, 9.5% Unemployment

August 18th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

Eighteen months ago yesterday, President Obama signed the $862 billion stimulus bill into law. The bill expanded the deficit to record levels and adds over a trillion dollars to the national debt, when expensive interest payments are factored in. At the time of the bill’s signing, Vice President Joe Biden said, “This is a monumental project, but I think it’s doable. . . . [T]his is about getting this out and spent in 18 months to create 3.5 million jobs and . . . literally drop-kicks us out of this recession and we begin to grow again . . . .”

But 18 months later, over 3.3 million jobs have been lost, and the unemployment rate hovers at 9.5%, even though White House economists Jared Bernstein & Christina Romer predicted the “unemployment rate with … the recovery plan,” would not exceed eight percent.

Meanwhile, there have been numerous reports over the last 18 months about all kinds of wasteful spending jammed into the stimulus bill. Two weeks ago, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report pointing to all kinds of questionable projects like studying how cocaine affects monkeys, photographing ants in East Africa, studying yoga, and even granting millions to a BP-owned electric plant in California that won’t begin construction for another 2 years, as ABC News reported. And this doesn’t even get into previous reports of dubious stimulus projects that included studying malt liquor and marijuana, researching drunk mice, funding martini bars and steakhouses, mapping radioactive rabbit feces, building MLB spring training facilities, granting tax credits for purchasing golf carts, and constructing the infamous $3.4 million turtle tunnel.

And for other funding that didn’t seem absurd on its face, news reports came this week that the money simply isn’t being spent quickly. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported, “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.” And CBS News reported, “Stimulus Money Unspent as Economy Struggles,” noting that even when money was awarded to cities and states, “the money is running into roadblocks” and “[s]ome cities are still trying to figure out what to do with the money.”

It’s obvious to Americans that the stimulus has failed to live up to the promises made about it 18 months ago by the Obama administration. They’ve watched as friends and neighbors continue to lose their jobs while the government wastes money and piles on to the national debt. It’s time for a new approach to strengthening our economy that actually creates jobs in the private sector and doesn’t drown the next generation in a sea of red ink.


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