Archive for Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Obama repackages stimulus plans with old promises

June 9, 2009


— President Barack Obama assured the nation his recovery plan was on track Monday, scrambling to calm Americans unnerved by unemployment rates still persistently rising nearly four months after he signed the biggest economic stimulus in history.

Obama admitted his own dissatisfaction with the progress but said his administration would ramp up stimulus spending in the coming months. The White House acknowledged it has spent only $44 billion, or 5 percent, of the $787 billion stimulus, but that total has always been expected to rise sharply this summer.

“Now we’re in a position to really accelerate,” Obama said.

He also repeated an earlier promise to create or save 600,000 jobs by the end of the summer.

Neither the acceleration nor the jobs goal are new. Both represent a White House repackaging of promises and projects to blunt criticism that the effects haven’t been worth the historic price tag. And the job estimate is so murky, it can never be verified.

The economy has shed 1.6 million jobs since the stimulus measure was signed in February, far overshadowing White House announcements estimating the effort has saved 150,000 jobs. Public opinion of Obama’s handling of the economy has declined along with the jobs data.

For the first time, the administration admitted the economic forecasts it used to sell the stimulus were overly optimistic.

By now, according to earlier White House economic models, the nation’s unemployment rate should be on the decline. The forecasts used to drum up support for the plan projected today’s unemployment would be about 8 percent. Instead, it sits at 9.4 percent, the highest in more than 25 years.

Some analysts believe the White House is still not being realistic, that Obama will be lucky if any real job creation from his recovery effort is seen by the end of the year, let alone the employment explosion he predicts.

“I think these estimates are overly optimistic,” said Arpitha Bykere, a senior analyst with RGE Monitor.

Obama spoke Monday about “modest progress” in the economy, citing fewer jobs lost last month than expected. He said he hopes to build on that in the months ahead with stimulus programs.

“We’ve done more than ever, faster than ever, more responsibly than ever, to get the gears of the economy moving again,” he said.

But he acknowledged, “I’m not satisfied. We’ve got more work to do.”

Americans apparently agree. Obama’s disapproval rating on the economy has risen from 30 percent in February to 42 percent, according to a Gallup poll completed May 31. Sensing weakness on a signature issue of Obama’s presidency, congressional Republicans are renewing their criticisms that the stimulus plan has not shown results, only mounting debt.


jmadison 9 years ago

Let's see. The economy needed an emergency jump start in January with the passage of the stimulus bill that none of the Congress could be bothered to read in full before passage. Now 4 months later only 5 per cent of the spending has occurred. The US taxpayers would have been better off if they had been given a tax holiday for 4 months from their social security taxes, and allowed to spend on their needs. This government controlled and mandated economy doesn't seem to be working out very well.

Alia Ahmed 9 years ago

Here's an example of the left-leaning liberal MSM, right?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

I agree, jmadison-- that tax holiday would have done much more to stimulate the economy. And rather than the bank bailout happening from the top down, the money should have been for restructuring home loans, stopping all foreclosures for those who could afford to stay in their homes if given reasonable terms on evaluations that actually reflect current market values.

Chris Ogle 9 years ago

5% we are rolling now.

quik 9 years ago

An AP opinion piece disguised as a news article that is critical of the Obama? Things are changing.

RoeDapple 9 years ago

Isn't that what we were promised, change?

motocross 9 years ago

change=Commie States of America SS.

jumpin_catfish 9 years ago

Hope and change. Hope Obama doesn't kill the economy and leaves us some change in our pockets.

Flap Doodle 9 years ago

Here's a loaf of bread, here's a ticket to the circus. Be happy and don't ask questions, citizen. You don't want the Joe the Plumber treatment, do yo?

shockchalk 9 years ago

Wow, what a surprise! No, wait a minute, this is what several million people thought would happen with Obama's pork-laiden stimulus package.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

You will all find stimulus money making it in to your pockets soon. Indeed, your job might be saved by it.

Anyone who does any work (construction, plumbing, janitor, contracting) for any government agency or firm with a contract from the government will benefit from the stimulus.

That is, of course, unless you check to make sure that every dollar you earn has no link to a federal contract.

Good luck with that, boot-strappers.

Even Taggert railroad in "Atlas Shrugged" likely got big fat federal contracts, like all railroads in the 19th and 20th centuries did.

jaywalker 9 years ago

Come on, Alia. ONE slightly critical article on Obama and you think that's enough to warrant that sarcasm?

RoeDapple 9 years ago

And this (pocket) change we will be receiving will cost us what? In excess of $3600 per year for the next 30 years for the average taxpayer! Wow, what a bargain! Thank you, but no thanks BO, keep the change............

igby 9 years ago

The Dems are trying to get all their liberal legislation passed before the elections in 2010; which they know that the House and Senate will be loaded with GOP's best from all over the U.S..

The Dems don't care about the economy they just want their liberal agenda passed regardless. The Dems would as soon see all businesses fail and socialism implemented nationally.

A downhill slide to nowhere!

RoeDapple 9 years ago

logicsound09, It always seems worse when you're on the receiving end.............

Commenting has been disabled for this item.