Is the Stimulus Obama’s Katrina?
Other than raising the cigarette tax on those making under $250,000 per year, and breaking a signature campaign promise in the process, Obama really has no legislative accomplishments other than the Stimulus package, which was signed into law on February 17 of this year, just weeks after he was sworn in as president.
The country was (and is) in great financial straits. This was the one piece of legislation that was supposed to stop the economic free-fall and, most of all, would stop unemployment from rising above 8%. Without it, we were told, it could rise to 9%.
Here is the now-famous chart showing us Obama’s silly claim.
One could be excused for thinking that, since unemployment now stands at 10.2%, perhaps the whole notion of spending almost $800 billion in taxpayer money to create jobs, as some predicted, actually made the situation worse. At a minimum, we can conclude that Obama and his team were clueless when it came to predicting the benefits of their own legislation (which, of course, does not bode well for the ObamaCare promises). Nevertheless they said unemployment would not exceed 8%, and here we are at 10.2%.
So how is the Stimulus like Katrina? For starters, it is a has been horribly mismanaged.
Red flag number one was that Joe Biden was put in charge.
Obama announced his decision before the National Governors Association in Washington on Monday, saying Vice President Joe Biden will help ensure the distribution of the money is not just swift, “but also efficient and effective.”
“The fact that I’m asking my vice president to personally lead this effort shows how important it is for our country and future to get this right,” he said.
Biden, in his new role, would meet regularly with key members of the Cabinet, governors and mayor to make sure their efforts are speedy and effective. He is expected to make regular reports to the president that will be posted online at www.recovery.gov.
Distribution of money would be swift?
The administration recently announced that stimulus spending totaled $113 billion [out of $787 billion, a measly 14%] by the end of fiscal 2009 (which ended September 30). . . .
Federal departments and agencies tasked with spending money on infrastructure and construction have overwhelmingly failed to get the money out the door. The Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, and Transportation have spent less than 10 percent of their stimulus funds, far less than what was originally anticipated. . . . At that rate, those agencies would take 58 years to exhaust their stimulus money.
Not so swift.
By comparison, Bush was criticized in January 2007 for only spending $30 billion of the $85 billion in Katrina relief funds allotted by Congress a year earlier. The math shows that Bush spent 35% of the money in a year. Obama is at 14% so far in 9 months.
Biden was also going to spend the money “efficiently and effectively.”
We start with the goal of “saved or created” jobs, a deliberately squirrely phrase that allows the administration to take credit for an unprovable number of “saved” jobs.
Then we add in the fact that 10% of the stimulus jobs are completely phony, and that many of the “real” jobs were created in Congressional Districts that do not exist. All of this was boldly reported on the Recovery.gov website that underwent an $18 million redesign (by the way, since when does a website of any kind cost $18 million?) so we could all see how the government is spending our money.
Joe Biden said the site was so cool that it would blow us away.
All — everybody has to account for the money they got beginning October 1st. It’s going to go up on a big old Web site. We’ve got a new modern Web site that’s going to blow you away in terms of how detailed it is. I really mean that.
Oh, it is a detailed website all right, perhaps a little too detailed.
Polls show that 57% of Americans don’t think the Stimulus is working and the Democrats took a pounding in the elections in Virginia and New Jersey earlier this month.
And yet despite the disastrous results of the Stimulus, along with the gross waste and mismanagement, the administration defies all facts and logic and ludicrously calls this boondoggle a great success.
Vice President Joe Biden delivered a rousing review of the government’s economic stimulus plan in a conversation with the nation’s governors. “In my wildest dreams, I never thought it would work this well,” he said. “Thank you, thank you.”
Biden Brownie, you are doing a heck of a job.