Obama hits back at Republicans over stimulus

February 22, 2010


The White House is stepping up its efforts to call out Republicans for what Democrats see as hypocrisy over the $787 billion stimulus package.

Republicans have slammed the bill as wasteful and ineffective at creating jobs but the Obama administration says some of the same politicians who have lambasted the package have lined up for a share of the money for their states and districts.

“Independent economists credit the Recovery Act with growing the economy and for two million jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist,” President Barack Obama told a gathering of the nation’s governors at the White House.

“Now, I understand that some of you still claim it’s not working or wasn’t worth it, but I also know that you’ve used it to close your budget gaps or break ground on new projects,” he added. “I’ve seen the photos, and I’ve read the press releases, so it must be doing something right.”

At a conservative gathering in Washington last week, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney blasted the stimulus package, saying it had failed to spur private-sector hiring.

Obama got some support over the weekend from California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who credited the stimulus with creating 150,000 new jobs in his state.

For more Reuters political news, click here

Picture Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama speaks at a meeting with state governors in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, February 22, 2010)


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Mitch, no matter how hard you try, Conservatives in the Bible Belt don’t believe in magic underwear. Your best chance is to do as Bobby Jindal did and change, unfortunately.

Posted by Streetfighter | Report as abusive

Obama is right…conservative should generally not be promoting a waste of dollars.

However, that doesn’t mean that the stimulus was worthwhile. It was not stimulative, doesn’t appear that it will be stimulative going forward, and the $15 billion jobs bill (or less than 2% of last year’s stimulus) passed this week isn’t going to make a difference.

And now that Obama is concerned more about health care, clearly jobs is not priority #1.


Posted by neoavatara | Report as abusive

Economists unanimously agree that the Recovery Act kept the economy from falling off the cliff. They also agree that, if anything, the Recovery Act was too small, because of Republican sandbagging.
As it stands, the Recovery Act created hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs, something at least 100 Republican members of Congress have boasted to their constituents at home. (Despite having voted against it)

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

“Unanimously” No, I don’t think so.

The issue which will test this country will be if the long term effects of spending this money will be worth the cost to our children because it is money we never had in the first place.

Again, we can’t spend money we can’t keep spending money in our personal life without dire consequences down the road. It will be time to pay the piper with this out of control spending.

There are a lot of government jobs that have been created in this “recovery” act. Well, sort of. I know people who were hired years ago as civilians who now have to rebid a job created for them which is a GS job. It is smoke and mirrors to look like jobs have actually been created when in fact they have not.

Interesting how job creation works sometimes….But we still have about a 10 percent unemployment rate.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

The three best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody’s Economy.com. They all estimate that the Recovery Act added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, in the fourth quarter of 2009, the Recovery Act added “between 1.0 million and 2.1 million to the number of workers employed in the United States.”
The stimulus also “boosted the country’s economic growth by 1.5 to 3.5 percent during the time period and lowered the nation’s unemployment rate by between 0.5 and 1.1 percent.”

So yes, the concensus is pretty much unanimous.

When conservatives issue a new talking point, count on them to all come out in lock-step and repeat it as often as possible. Their stategy is now to downplay developments that are good for the country, and work to prevent things from getting much better between now and November. They look completely ridiculous but it’s not going to stop them from repeating their new lie over and over again. It’s never stopped them before.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

“Pretty much” unanimous is not unanimous.

As for the jobs they are government jobs and which is easy for the president to manipulate. How about all those census workers? Sure they look good now, but their jobs end when the census ends.

Again, many of those civilian jobs at private companies with government contracts are being switched to GS jobs to make it appear jobs are created. Again, government jobs. I know several people who must rebid to the GS jobs to keep their once “civilian” employment. That is the kind of smoke and mirrors going on.

As for the economic data. Only time will tell what all this spending (money we do not have. Has anyone seen the deficit spending and the total debt in just one year?) will do to our long term health as a nation. Just try doing in your own life what our nation’s politicians are doing. You can’t….

Looks good today to some, but won’t look very good tomorrow when we have to pay the piper….

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

You’re a joke. So IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers, Moody’s Economy.com, and the non-partisan CBO are putting out smoke and mirrors? Is THAT your argument? The economic data is not smoke and mirrors. Wishing these truths away only makes you look desperate, TC. So does simply reposting the same argument with the word “again” in front of it. If “pretty much” unanimous isn’t unanimous, where are all the economists who say the government hired 2 million employees? Name some. Let’s see their numbers.

Even the most conservative Republicans are telling their constituents at home the Recovery Act created thousands of jobs in their districts. Are they part of the big smoke and mirrors plot too?

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

I always knew you had access to data most people don’t have. You or the people you work for spend a fortune on data.

Anyway, recovery.gov has job announcements for government contracts and government positions. There are a lot of jobs for government jobs. I don’t think the government can create “private” sector jobs. I think the private sector can create private sector jobs.

So my question is, what are the long lasting private sector jobs? I am sure a lot of people want to know. it’s kind of like the “Cash for Clunkers” program. The car dealers had record sales when the money was flowing. However, once the government money stopped flowing car sales languished once again.

My point is that it appears the stimulus/recovery/whatever they call it today, is doing a world of good for our economy. However, I am more concerned with our long term economic health. Once the money stops flowing for these government sponsored funds like highway projects, light rail, urban renewal, etc. There are lots of jobs created that will go away once the money stops flowing.

Which gets me back to my original statement. It’s money we don’t have and I don’t need to tell you what our debt is, you have all that paid for economic data at your disposal. There will come a time when we have to pay for gross overspending. This economic stimulus will eventually turn in to an economic nightmare. I really do hope I am wrong, but I really don’t think so.

That’s my concern and it really doesn’t matter if you want to call me names and tell me how wrong I am. I am used to it from you, so I have no expectation for anything better.

Okay, I am a joke. But I truly care about the country I live in and the problems I see with policies that I think are bad for for us long term.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

I realize I am a joke, but The Washington Times ran a story yesterday and some of my concerns for our future are discussed.

“Stimulus contractors say they’ve created about 600,000 jobs directly from spending, but CBO uses economic modeling to reach its conclusions. That accounts for the wide range of potential job creation.

Going forward, CBO said, the effects of the stimulus on GDP will peak next quarter, and its effects on job creation will peak over the next six months before diminishing.”

The private sector jobs are really government jobs because the government gave a contract to the company for a specific purpose. So, like Cash for Clunkers, once the money dries up, so do the jobs.

My concern is about the future and the American people are not upbeat about their or our future financial condition.

Everything looks rosy now based on economic data that is already available.

However, how long can our government continue to spend when we keep adding trillions in a matter of months to our debt?

Perhaps we need to take a closer look at Greece. They have grossly overspent and look look at the problems they are experiencing right now.

It seems to me the American people have cause for concern about their economic health as a nation.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

Getplaning ran for the hills rather than answer the simple question about “what private sector jobs have been created?”

The answer is zero because any private company that has private jobs created got money through a “government” contract. Those are called government jobs not private sector jobs.

As I said in my last post, look to Greece and the problems they have because they grossly overspent and created unbelievable debt.

Now the WSJ writes Spain is in deep trouble and the Euro may be in trouble. Why? Because of gross overspending.

The rosy picture Getplaning painted is all a sham. The president is spending us into oblivion and what is happening in Europe is going to happen here. Can’t spend forever what we don’t have.

I realize I am a joke and I hope I am wrong about our future if our spending policy is not reigned in, but I don’t think I am wrong. And that is no joke.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

Just to set the record straight. Those are government sponsored job and those jobs created with a government contract will go away once the spending stops.

It’s insane what our government is doing to our future.

Nov 2010 can’t get here soon enough.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

Come on, TC, the Moonie Times, really? I’ll trust financial analysts like Global Insight and Moody’s over the editorial page a political newspaper like the Moonie Times any day.

All I can say to your last three posts is, “So?” So what if every last one of those 2 million jobs was a government job? Do you really hate government so much that you would rather see millions starve than work on a government contract? It’s not like it is welfare, but to radicals like you, it must seem like it. The recession began in December 2007, and the economy fell off a cliff in September 2008. The month Obama took office, the economy lost 741,000 jobs. A month later, it was 681,000. A month after that, it was 652,000. What jobs were being created in the private sector? The private sector was in a state of collapse.

Your concern about the debt to GDP ratio is legitimate. See, I am agreeing with you. But we will need to have large deficits now for the next several years in order to boost the economy back to full employment. GDP has already returned to growth. The private sector will recover, and the ratios will be brought back into balance. Forcing a large portion of the country to endure a prolonged period of unemployment will inflict an enormous cost on these people and on their children, the future generations whom you deficit hawks claim as their main concern.

By shifting your focus to government jobs, you are effectively conceding that the Recovery Act DID create jobs, and, while unemployment is certainly high, you must admit the country would be even worse off if the program hadn’t passed. You need something negative to say, and pointing to public sector job growth may fool a few people. But not many.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

As usual you really take things and twist them around. I think anyone who reads your response will see I never said the government creating (many of those are just reclassifications from government contracts to GS level jobs…that’s a fact. I know a few hundred in my local area alone…) jobs is bad for the people who get those jobs.

What is bad is the issue that those jobs are given to people with money we don’t have and that creates a big problem for our future.

However, here is what you claimed in your first rosy post, “the Recovery Act created hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs.”

You did not address the question about what those long term “private sector” jobs are that were created.

Well, as I stated more than once, there aren’t any, so you have well written prose to appear you are talking about pure facts, when in reality you aren’t.

Government doesn’t create private sector jobs, only the private sector creates private sector jobs. If a private company takes government funds to gain a contract and jobs are given to people to fulfill the contract, then those are government jobs that will go away once the government funds dry up.

There is no concession about government job growth. But you fail to discuss anything in an honest manner and skirt the very things you know you can’t defend.

We’ll see how that unsustainable debt spending does in the long run. You proved you are a master with paid data already available to paint a rosy picture, but you are no more adept at predicting the future than anyone else. I happen to think it will be bad unless taxes and spending are both cut (for the record, that is my opinion…).

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

So I skirt the very things I know I can’t defend? Is that why you never explained your comment that the Fed was bringing on hyperinflation?
Your points about the nature of the jobs created by direct government investment have merit. Your points about the deficit have some merit. But the vast majority of authorities on our economy disagree with you. Say what you will about what I write, this one fact is indisputable.
It will be neccessary to run deficits to help the economy get back on it’s feet after the collapse, which is exactly what is happening. Partisans like you will continue to call it the end of the world in hopes that things don’t improve too much by November.
Sad. Hoping America fails.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Yes, you do skirt a lot of “things” you can’t defend. You always have. However, if it makes you happy, I am glad I have given you “one thing” to hang your hat on.

I hope those who have read this exchange who said you make you are right because you have such well written posts see that you are not always right. And you aren’t.

To admit merit, means you are admitting you are wrong about government rather private job creation. You weren’t right about the deficit and what that means for our long term financial health as a nation.

You finally admit by replacing “unanimous” with “vast majority” of economists when pushing your viewpoint about the economy. For the record, I never said the majority of economists were wrong in their viewpoint about today. My point was that not all economists agree. That is an absolute and there is rarely 100 percent in any viewpoint with a bunch of data that is interpreted differently by different people. I had no argument with any of that.

But you state everything as an indisputable fact and never say it is your opinion and that is just what you give…Your opinion.

I still disagree with you on the long term outcome “if the spending policy does not change.” I believe we need lower taxes and spending needs to be cut. Just like we need to cut spending in our own lives if we can’t pay our bills. Look to Greece and Spain to see what out of control spending does to an economy. I hope they can fix their mess.

You have my point of view all wrong. I don’t hope we fail and you know it. Since when is being concerned with our financial health as a nation wishing we would fail?

My sincere hope is our long term financial health as a nation is taken seriously. But all signs show it is not taken seriously at all and that concerns me greatly for our future.

Unfortunately November 2010 will be ugly for those in power.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

Just to add to my previous post, I want to show why massive government spending is a valid concern for our future. Let’s look at Greece from an article posted on Yahoo and written by FT’s Martin Wolf:

“Greece needs to massively cut its long-term deficits, which means slashing government spending, Wolf says; that, in turn, could tip Greece into a steep recession. The problem is Greece remains “hopelessly uncompetitive” as an exporter. It will struggle to rekindle the kind of private sector growth needed to supplant government stimulus, he says.

For now policymakers seem likely to “paper over” Greece’s problems and “kick the can down the road,” he laments. “I don’t see a proper resolution” for these long-term structural problems.

Many observers believe “as Greece goes, so goes the EU,” so the resolution of Greece’s debt crisis – or lack thereof – could have profound implications for the global economy.”

Add to that Spain. It appears their economic problems are worse than the debt in Greece which all threat the Euro.

We may be looking at what America in store for itself if massive government deficit spending adding to our massive government debt doesn’t come under control.

I do not want us to fail. Otherwise, I would hope the spending continues because I want us to fail just to get at Obama and the progressive led congress.

No, I am not saying anything of the sort. I want America to succeed, but we need to change course fast. Otherwise we will have a Greece and Spain (soon to be other EU countries…) on our hands.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

Greece and the United States are apples and oranges, as you like to say. Greece is a country with an economy built on tourism, shipping, and some agriculture. The world recession hit them particularly hard. Spain went through a real estate and construction bubble similar to ours, but most real estate investors in Spain were foreigners, so when that money withdrew, they were on hard times too. Neither country will be allowed to default. Neither will the next domino in line, the UK.
The central banks will refinance them and the world will continue to turn.
The United States has run higher debt ratios than this, and we as a country have capacity to produce and export that little Greece and Spain do not. California has a larger GDP than both of those countries.
This sudden obsession conservatives have with debt is political. They are really only concerned with Democratic deficits, just as they are only offended by the affairs of Democratic husbands. These same politicians voted for measures that exploded America’s deficit and passed many of them through reconciliation, once even requiring Vice President Cheney’s vote to get to 51.
The same Vice President Cheney who famously said, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Let me just make this clear Mr. Getplaning.

This has nothing to do with politics for me. I stated my opinion honestly because that is how I feel about the out of control spending.

I didn’t like it when the republicans were in control and I certainly don’t like it now that the democrats are in control. So stop with the petty partisanship. It isn’t warranted in my discussion of this issue.

However, I particularly don’t like what this administration and this congress are doing to intensify the spending. I have stated my position on this in a clear and precise manner. As I have also said, we have a clear difference of opinion. I can live with that, but apparently you want to blame what I say on politics and throw in senseless barbs about affairs and oh BS. Fine, that’s your personality showing through and I am sure you are as cold to others in your life as you are on here…..

As for Spain and Greece, I agree the world will continue to turn. I don’t know what your point was there. However, they are in a world of hurt and it really doesn’t matter what you say, there are plenty of others who are concerned. One thing am just going to say, you are usually wrong even though you have such well written posts.

In the end, I am usually right. I was totally right about the past elections (uh…Virginia, NJ and MA) and that the democrats would be the ones who are judged, even though you called me names and provided poll after poll showing how you were right and I was wrong. Well, in the end, I was right and you were wrong.

I stated my position and opinion clearly here and I was to the point, but you just keep throwing in the political bullcrap that has nothing to do with anything.

You really are a child who needs to grow up. You really have a disgusting personality.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

TC, your posts of late are really starting to sound a little nuts. You are coming unhinged. You really need to take a break from this.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

I will take that as a compliment from you getplaning.

You obviously don’t have anything to add to the discussion.

You really are an empty vessel.

You and your friend Yellow are a great team. Have fun.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

We are a great team, but only because we deal in facts, not opinion. After reading through this long thread, it seems that Get added much to the discussion, to which TC merely added his honest opinion after ignoring several undisputed facts.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive