More Stimulus nonsense from Obama
In a PR stunt designed to assure the nation that he knows his policies have failed and its time to alter the narrative, President Obama will announce later today an "increase" in spending of the $787 billion stimulus bill that will "save or create" 600,000 jobs.
That last is a knee slapper. As senate minority leader Mitch McConnel says in a Mike Allen story from Politico:
Obama also will face increasing questions not only about the deficit explosion, but uncertainty about the effectiveness of the $787 billion stimulus bill. Republicans say the "save or create" metric for jobs is meaningless, since it's impossible to prove or disprove.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a quote provided to POLITICO:
"I'm very skeptical that the spending binge that we're on is going to produce much good and, even if it does, anytime soon."
Ed Lasky adds:
Is this administration anything other than in permanent campaign mode-relying on imagery, false promises, straw men, promises, the teleprompter?
And this from House minority leader John Boehner's website about the effects of stimulus spending in those first 100 days:
Today [May 27], the Administration is releasing yet another report on its trillion-dollar "stimulus" spending bill - one that Democrats claim will produce only half the jobs at twice the cost of the House GOP's better stimulus solution. It's been a full 100 days since the bill became law, and the Administration is pulling out all the stops to put a positive spin on the legislation, which has been increasingly panned by media and state and local officials as wasteful and inefficient - basically, anything but the "timely, targeted, and temporary" bill Washington Democrats promised earlier this year. As the Administration marks the 100th day of the "stimulus" spending bill, let's take a closer look at some of the claims Democrats made about the legislation earlier this year - and how those claims stack 100 days later:
Claim: The President claimed that the stimulus "...will save or create 3 million to 4 million jobs over the next two years." (Remarks by the President in Elkhart, Indiana, WhiteHouse.gov)
Fact Check: "State officials have complained about the difficulty of obtaining grants for construction projects, while economists question administration claims that the effort already has saved or created 150,000 jobs." (Adriel Bettelheim, "Tinkerbell Effect, Part 3: Obama's Job Creation Efforts," CQ Politics, May 27, 2009) The Associated Press reported that: "The early trend seen in the AP analysis runs counter to expectations raised by Obama, that road and infrastructure money from the historic $787 billion stimulus plan would create jobs in areas most devastated by layoffs." (Matt Apuzzo and Brett Blackledge, "Stimulus Watch: Jobs, But Not Where Needed Most," Associated Press, May 11, 2009)
Given these facts, what can the president do to "speed up" stim spending?
Not too darn much. From that same Politico story:
Here are the projects to be spotlighted by the administration:
-Enable 1,129 Health Centers inn 50 States and 8 Territories to Provide Expanded Service to Approximately 300,000 Patients - Department of Health and Human Services
-Begin Work on 107 National Parks - Department of the Interior
-Begin Work on Rehabilitation and Improvement Projects at 98 Airports and Over 1,500 Highway Locations throughout the Country - Department of Transportation
-Fund 135,000 Education Jobs Including Teachers, Principals and Support Staff - Department of Education
-Begin Improvements at 90 Veterans Medical Centers across 38 States - Department of Veterans Affairs
-Hire or Keep on the Job Approximately 5,000 Law Enforcement Officers - Department of Justice
-Start 200 New Waste and Water Systems in Rural America - United States Department of Agriculture
It appears that in order to salvage the lie of the stim bill, the president is doubling down and going for a bigger lie that this "speed up" will "save or create" 600,000 jobs.
I see a lot of "begin work" and "begin improvements" on this list but no dates. With all the trouble states and local governments are having in even getting contracts to spend the money, one wonders how many "make work" boondoggles will result from this ratcheting up of spending.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky