July 26, 2009
NYC Letter: Reverse-O-bama, Part III
Day 187 of CHOPE
Featuring Joe "Misunderstood" Biden.
IT'S NOT STIMULUS, IT'S SUPPORT.
We Are Fooled Again
Team Barry sold their massive stimulus plan as a jobs bill, but it has produced no net gain in jobs. Since it was signed into law 3,362,000 jobs have been lost while Team Barry brags on 150,000 undocumented jobs "saved* or created".
When it became apparent that the stimulus was a jobs flop, Team Barry pooh-poohed job losses as a lagging indicator in a recovery. Employment may lag, but it is not some incidental indicator. It is a crucial recovery component. No jobs, no recovery.
But Team Barry wants you to believe we are in the midst -- or on the threshold -- of a recovery of their making. That Team Barry has put the economy "on the right track", that things are "moving in the right direction". [Pause.]
WASHINGTON July 26, 2009 (NYT) - Six months ago, when President Obama and I took office, we were confronted with an economic crisis unparalleled in our lifetime. The nation was hemorrhaging more than 700,000 jobs a month, the housing market was in free fall, and the fate of the financial system hung in the balance. ... The actions we took — passing the Recovery Act, stabilizing the banking system, pressing to get credit flowing again and helping responsible homeowners — brought us back from the precipice.Prior to Team Barry taking office between the start of the recession in December 2007 and January 2009, the largest monthly decline in nonfarm payroll...was 598,000 in December 2008. The only months the job loss number was over 600,000 were February and March of this year -- after the stimulus was in force.
Team Barry apparently doesn't know the difference between the BLS's Current Population Survey (CPS), or "Household Survey", which calculates the number of unemployed/employed persons, and the Current Employment Statistics survey (CES), or "Payroll Survey", which calculates the number of lost or created (not "saved"*) jobs. We will post further on Team Barry's dishonest "700,000" jobs lost number.]
Monthly job losses are down, financial markets are improved, and economic contraction has slowed. We still have a long way to go, but clearly we are closer to recovery today than we were in January. The Recovery Act has been critical to that progress."Less bad" is not how we're going to measure success -- we're going to measure success here in the White House.]
Notwithstanding this progress, the nature of the Recovery Act remains misunderstood by many, and misconstrued by others: critics have suggested that the entire $787 billion is being spent on pet programs. As the person leading the administration’s efforts to put the Recovery Act into effect, I want to set the record straight.
[We would contend that the stimulus is not so much misunderstood as it was poorly conceived. Mr. Biden two weeks ago:The truth is, we and everyone else misread the economy. The figures we worked off of in January were the consensus figures and most of the blue chip indexes out there. ... And so the truth is, there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited. Now, that doesn't -- I'm not -- it's now our responsibility.
Properly understood the stimulus is a flop.]
The single largest part of the Recovery Act — more than one-third of it — is tax cuts: 95 percent of working Americans have seen their taxes go down as a result of the act. The second-largest part — just under a third — is direct relief to state governments and individuals. The money is allowing state governments to avoid laying off teachers (14,000 in New York City alone), firefighters and police officers and preventing states’ budget gaps from growing wider. ... As for the final third, the act is financing the largest investment in roads since the creation of the Interstate highway system; construction projects at military bases, ports, bridges and tunnels; long overdue Superfund cleanups; the creation of clean energy jobs of the future; improvements in badly outdated rural water systems; upgrades to overtaxed mass transit and rail systems; and much more.
[Hhmmm. Thirds is not what was sold. Mr. Obama, January 28, 2009:Most of the money we're investing as part of this plan will get out the door immediately and go directly to job-creation, generating or saving three to four million new jobs. And the vast majority of these jobs will be created in the private sector.
The stimulus was intended as a jobs bill with state aid tied to job creation or preservation, not shoring up state deficit spending.]
... The care with which we are carrying out the provisions of the Recovery Act has led some people to ask whether we are moving too slowly. But the act was intended to provide steady support for our economy over an extended period — not a jolt that would last only a few months.But I think the most important thing to recognize is that we have a consensus, which is pretty rare, between conservative economists and liberal economists, that we need a big stimulus package that will jolt the economy back into shape and that is focused on the 2.5 million jobs that I intend to create during the first part of my administration. We have to put people back to work.
The Recovery Act, as we call it, provides a necessary jolt to our economy to implement what we refer as "shovel-ready" projects, meaning projects that were on the books that were needed in the municipalities and the states that would improve the quality of life for our constituents, the competitiveness of our businesses, but were unable to be funded.
Again Mr. Biden, June 2, 2009:And, of course, we also came forward with what we're going to talk about today, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an initial big jolt to give the economy a real head start.]
... But the way I see it, our balanced approach recognizes that there is no silver bullet, no single thing, that can address the many and complex needs of America’s vast economy. We need relief, recovery and reinvestment to cope with our multifaceted crisis — and only 159 days after it was signed by President Obama, the Recovery Act is already at work providing all three.
["At work", just nothing much to show for it.]
Had the stimulus achieved a modicum of its intended purpose Mr. Biden would be spared his feeble op-ed pretending the stimulus is misunderstood not misconceived.
Not lying. Just misunderstood.Posted by Damian at July 26, 2009 11:45 PM