One reason we don’t think President Obama is going to do any better with the economy if he gets a second term is the hash he has made of the $860 billion stimulus. After a couple of years he admitted there weren’t any “shovel ready jobs.”
The stimulus has just been used as a political slush fund as far we can see. Much of it went to states to delay the inevitable cutbacks, to keep more teachers on the job until state cutbacks trickled down to schools, to waste money on solar companies that went bankrupt and battery companies that got bought out by Chinese billionaires.
Extending unemployment benefits accounted for $35.8 billion, according to a comprehensive list compiled by the New York Times. Education and job training aid to states accounted for $53.6 billion and tax cuts for those same purposes were $13.9 billion. Expanding food stamps and other similar types of aid was $20.9 billion. Additional Medicaid subsidies for states was $87.1 billion.
Tax credits, child care aid, NASA, Amtrak, high-speed railroads, public transit, the National Institutes of Health, helping low-income people buy digital TVs, cash for clunkers, COBRA health insurance, expanded Pell Grants for college students and $250 cash to recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Social Security, retired railroad workers and veterans.
And let’s not forget the importance of supporting those news outlets that worship Obama. At the end of August it was discovered the U.S. Labor Department spent $495,000 of stimulus money to pay for ads on cable TV programs to advertise the department’s “green jobs” initiative.
John Kline, R-Minn, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Workforce, wrote the labor secretary, “Despite the fact that these funds were made available as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — legislation President Obama said was critical for immediate job creation — an examination of public records shows that the contract that resulted in the advertisements on MSNBC created no jobs.”
Kline did admit that after looking at the $2 million the Department of Labor spent, it was determined that it did created one job at the McNeely Pigott Fox Public Relations firm the Department of Labor hired.
There were 100 commercials bought on the MSNBC programs hosted by Rachel Maddow and Keith Obermann.
If that isn’t the definition of a political slush fund we don’t know what is. It looks like taxpayer financed reelection propaganda and buying favorable news coverage.
“Quite simply, government taxing people more who work and then giving more money to people who don’t work is a surefire recipe for less work, less output and more unemployment,” wrote economist Arthur Laffer in the Aug. 5 Wall Street Journal.
So we’ve seen nearly a trillion bucks bite the dust and all we have to show for it is a cheerleading cable network with declining ratings, 8 percent unemployment, no budget making it out of the U.S. Senate in three years, 46 million more people on food stamps, 23 million unemployed. There’s nothing stimulating about that. We’ve been hornswoggled.