Obama claims stimulus working as intended

Posted on July 13, 2009

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Pushing back against criticism that the stimulus has failed, President Obama used his Saturday radio address to assert that the economic stimulus package “has worked as intended.” Obama claimed the stimulus has helped state governments cut their deficits, which to my reading is a de facto state bailout. He also said that it wasn’t designed to work in four months, but to work over a period of two years (which Biden, in another out-of-sync moment with his boss, claims is 18 months), and that the stimulus wasn’t supposed to restore the country’s economic health, but “provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall.”

Is that really how the stimulus was sold? As a two-year measure that would bail out state government and extend insurance to the unemployed? The answer, quite simply, is no. We were told ad infinitum how the stimulus was an investment in infrastructure and “shovel-ready” jobs that would keep America from reaching 8.8% unemployment (*gasp*), which was sure to occur if we didn’t hurriedly ram through the massive spending package through Congress. The advertised goal wasn’t a wait-and-see approach, but to provide a short-term jolt to the economy to get the motor running once more, and to avoid a potential catastrophe argued for with what could arguably called fear-mongering.

Now we sit at 9.5% unemployment with the stimulus, higher than where the President’s economic supporters thought we’d be without the vital government cash infusion. The stimulus, by any frame of reference, failed in stopping a rise in unemployment in the short-term, and has as yet to create a significant and meaningful number of jobs. In return for nothing, America has wasted a huge amount of money, added to our national debt, and grown the size of government bureaucracy.

The reason Obama and the Democrats are asking for more time is patently clear – Americans are losing patience. Polls show increasing voter dissatisfaction, particularly in key states like Ohio, where Obama’s economic favorability rating has fallen by 12 or so points in two months. The President would have you believe that the shamefully-designed election-year timetable is actually a feature of the package, when in reality the stimulus was billed as a near-term alleviation that would stabilize us and help us regain our economic footing.

It hasn’t done that. It compounds the problem and offers nothing in the form of a solution. The economic stimulus, put simply, is a failure, and one that is more costly than we in these times can bear.

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Posted in: News, Politics