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:
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.