Stimulus

Here is a recap of some of the unusual ways we have gone into debt to stimulate this country.

February 13, 2009: Both the House and Senate pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – a $787 billion spending bill. The bill is passed urgently – called a crisis. No Republicans in the House vote for the bill. The bill is passed with just enough time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to jump on her taxpayer funded airplane to head to Italy.

February 14, 2009: During this crisis, President Obama takes his wife on Air Force One to Chicago for a Valentine’s dinner.

Feburary 17, 2009: President Obama signs the bill, without posting it for 5 working days on the White House web site.

 June 2009: Unemployment for May announced to be 9.4% – highest in more than 25 years.

June 2009: Covington, Ohio spent $100,000 to resurface 1/7th of a mile of Prairie Avenue adding curbs for 20 homes.

June 5, 2009: Keith Hall, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics is asked if he can substantiate the administration’s claims to have created 150,000 jobs this year. Hall: “No that would be a very difficult thing for anybody to substantiate.”

June 12, 2009: The Associated Press reports $50 billion of the stimulus will be used for fish food in fish farms along the Pacific coast and in Arizona. (Repeatable note: if ever there was a one time use of money…food for fish sounds like one!)

June 14, 2009: Vice President Biden on “Meet the Press” says the stimulus won’t create or save 3.5 million jobs after all but it will save or create 600,000 by the end of summer.

June, 2009: Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn releases “100 Stimulus Projects: A Second Opinion” outlining why turtle crossings in Florida and fences around lakes that don’t exist in Oklahoma are wasteful.

July 2009: Reviewing the jobs in my hometown that are as a result of the stimulus, I find an “Insect Production Worker” position. I am not qualified. There are also over 80 jobs for librarians at Air Force bases throughout Florida – just Florida – and yes – that was 80. I have my eye on a “Open Mess/Golf Facility/Bowling Manager” position. Good to see my tax-debt dollars at work.

July 2, 2009: The Labor Department announces that 467,000 jobs were lost in June and the unemployment rate is 9.5% the highest since 1983. Obama holds a press conference discussing the joys of energy saving light bulbs.

July 5, 2009: Vice President Biden says the Obama administration “misread the economy”

July 6, 2009: Here comes the set up: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D – RI said a second stimulus is “probably needed”

July, 2009: ABC reports that taxpayers are spending from $500 to $3,000 for every road sign that has the “recovery.gov” logo installed at construction sites. New York is spending $1 million on road signs alone. Texas, Florida and Virginia have said they will not install these signs and save money.

July, 2009: The White House announces they will spend $18 million of the stimulus money redesigning the recovery.gov website.

July 2009: 6 months into the stimulus, and 10% has been spent, according to ABC News

July 11, 2009: Obama says the stimulus “has worked as intended”

July, 2009: New Hampshire says it has received $416 million in stimulus money and has created a whopping 50 jobs – 34 of those are part time. All of them are temporary and will expire by September 2011. Of the jobs, one is for the Director of the Office of Economic Stimulus, who will receive a $110,000 salary…plus benefits.

July 16, 2009: The White House spokesman Gibbs tells an off camera press briefing that the stimulus isn’t really supposed to stimulate, but it was meant to stabilize the downturn.

July 16, 2009: Joe Biden tells the AARP that “we have to spend money to keep from going bankrupt”

July 28, 2009: Biden announces the cities that get awarded part of $1 billion in stimulus money for extra policemen. The jobs are 3 year jobs – and cities like New York City received 0 – and Anchorage, Alaska received 9. After 3 years, the jobs go away as the $1 billion will have been spent.

August 17, 2009: 6th month anniversary of the Stimulus and House Minority Leader Boehner reminds us of these facts:

  • Despite the Administration’s promise that the “stimulus” would provide an immediate “jolt” to the economy and create jobs “immediately,” more than 2.8 million jobs have been lost since it was enacted on February 17, 2009.
  • On the day the “stimulus” was enacted, the national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent.  Today it is 9.4 percent.
  • On May 13, Vice President Biden issued a report on the stimulus’ first 100 days asserting that it had “saved or created” 150,000 jobs, and that “an additional 600,000 jobs are expected to be created or saved under the Recovery Act in the next 100 days” for a total of 750,000 jobs.  But the Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner told Congress earlier this year that it’s “very difficult for anyone to substantiate” the Administration’s claims – especially since Secretary Geithner recently said that unemployment won’t come down until late in 2010 and that the economy has shed 2.8 million jobs since February. 
  • A total of 15 states now have unemployment rates higher than 10 percent, including Alabama (10.1 percent), California (11.6 percent), Georgia (10.1 percent), Illinois (10.3 percent), Florida (10.6 percent), Indiana (10.7 percent), Kentucky (10.9 percent), Michigan (15.2 percent), Nevada (12 percent), North Carolina (11 percent), Ohio (11.1 percent), Oregon (12.2 percent), Rhode Island (12.4 percent), South Carolina (12.1 percent), and Tennessee (10.8 percent).
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) is now five million, up from 2.6 million when the “stimulus” was signed into law.
  • Since the “stimulus” was enacted, Democrats have added $869 billion in new debt that will be paid for by our children and grandchildren.
  • A $255 million program using stimulus funds designed to help struggling small business by providing them with 10,000 loans of up to $35,000 each, has only given out 1,127 loans, totaling $36.8 million, according to the New York Times.
  • An analysis last week by the Washington Times found that stimulus money “spending has slowed to a trickle, despite President Obama’s June order to his Cabinet to speed it up.  The average stimulus spending per week has dropped severely, to just $4.2 billion over the past month from $9.7 billion during the prior four months.”
  • According to the Associated Press, “Tens of thousands of unsafe or decaying bridges carrying 100 million drivers a day must wait for repairs because states are spending stimulus money on spans that are already in good shape or on easier projects like repaving roads.”
  • Stimulus funds are not getting to those areas that need it most, according to a detailed analysis by ProPublica that found that there’s “no relationship between where the money is going and unemployment and poverty” and that, “…spending is uneven and sometimes runs contrary to measures of need.”
  • October, 2, 2009: 263,000 jobs were lost in September and unemployment rose to 9.8%, up from 9.7%. A total of 3 million private sector jobs have been lost since stimulus was enacted.

    November, 2009: $6.4 BILLION is reported to have been spent in 440 congressional districts that don’t exist. The group watchdog.org keeps an eye on Recovery.gov and thank goodness they do. Read the story here.




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