President Obama was in front of the cameras again on Wednesday (when is he not?)trying to gin up support for the failed $trillion stimulus bill which has been in effect for a year now.
Obama's fighting a losing battle as people aren't buying the phony claim that the stimulus bill saved or created two million jobs. If that were true then unemployment which rose 2.5% as nearly 4 million Americans lost their jobs during the first year of the Obama Administration would have been cut substantially. As the Congressional Budget Office said in early 2009, the Obama Stimulus plan really is "worse than doing nothing."
From House GOP Leader John Boehner:
When Democrats rushed their massive 1,100 page, “stimulus” through Congress last year, they promised that unemployment would not rise above eight percent and that job creation would begin “almost immediately”. But one year later, more than three million more Americans have lost their jobs, the deficit is set to hit a record shattering $1.6 trillion, and Administration reports on how many jobs were “saved or created” have been “riddled with inaccuracies and contradictions,” noted USA Today.No Earmarks, Projects on the Merits in Stimulus Bill?
By the metrics the Democrats themselves set, the “stimulus” hasn’t worked – it’s chock-full of wasteful government spending that’s funneled money to Congressional districts that don’t exist and claims of jobs “saved or created” were so exaggerated that the Administration quietly abandoned the metric at the end of last year.
Poll after poll confirms that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the “stimulus” program. In fact, a CBS/New York Times poll released yesterday found that “just 6 percent of Americans think it has created jobs.” Any wonder that a CNN survey reported that “3 of 4 Americans say much of stimulus money wasted.”
In his stimulus celebration Wednesday, Obama also mentioned this:
And I just want to point this out -- there has never been a program of this scale, moved at this speed, that has been enacted as effectively and as transparently as the Recovery Act. I’m grateful that Congress agreed to my request that the bill include no earmarks, that all projects receive funding based solely on their merits. And despite that, I was still concerned -- Joe and I were just talking in the back -- when this thing passed we said $787 billion -- somewhere there’s going to be some story of some money that ended up being misspent; $787 billion spent out over 18 months, that's a lot -- that's a lot of money. And it is a testimony to Vice President Biden and his team that, as Joe puts it, the dog, so far at least, hasn't barked. (Laughter.)The dog is barking. Here's Ellie May with House Leader John Boehner:
And of course the bill was loaded with earmarks and special payoffs to liberal districts. By now, we've all got our favorite examples of government waste in the stimulus bill. My favorite is the National Endowment for the Arts stimulus grants to fund pornography in California. Talk about stimulating!
The Senate GOP web site has a fresh list of their favorites:
1. $100,000 IN STIMULUS FUNDS USED FOR A MARTINI BAR & BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE
2. $390,000 TO STUDY MALT LIQUOR AND MARIJUANA CONSUMPTION
3. $210,000 TO STUDY LEARNING PATTERNS OF HONEYBEES
4. $1 MILLION TO STUDY ANTS
5. $15,551 TO STUDY DRUNK MICE
6. $4,200-$5,500 TAX CREDIT FOR PURCHASING GOLF CARTS
7. $219,000 TO STUDY THE SEX LIVES OF FEMALE COLLEGE FRESHMEN
8. $1 MILLION TO RENOVATE “THE SUNSET STRIP”
9. $325,394 TO STUDY “MATING DECISIONS” OF CACTUS BUGS
10. $500,000 TO STUDY “SOCIAL NETWORKS LIKE FACEBOOK”
11. $3.4 MILLION FOR A TURTLE TUNNEL IN FLORIDA
12. $30 MILLION FOR A SPRING TRAINING BASEBALL COMPLEX FOR THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS AND COLORADO ROCKIES
13. $54 MILLION IN STIMULUS FUNDS USED FOR THE NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN
14. $50,000 IN STIMULUS FUNDS USED FOR A TENNIS COURT IN MONTANA
15. $250 STIMULUS CHECKS WENT TO PRISONERS
The Stimulus bill was never intended as a jobs bill. It was intended as a $trillion payoff to Democrats to fund their pet causes. It would have been much cheaper to put in place greater tax cuts and job growth measures that actually encourage job growth. But when GOP Congressmen took their ideas to Obama at the beginning of his Administration in 2009 their ideas were dismissed when he said "I won" I'll do it my way. His way doesn't work.
There is a better way to create jobs and the answer doesn't lie in more government spending and bureaucracy. But it takes a president willing to put his ego and ideology aside for the good of the country. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.