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Obama’s Got A Bridge To Sell You

- September 22, 2011

Obama’s Stimulus Rhetoric Fails To Span The Gap To Realityville

OBAMA WILL TOUT HIS SECOND STIMULUS AT A SUPPOSEDLY SHOVEL-READY PROJECT THAT CAN’T BREAK GROUND FOR AT LEAST FOUR YEARS

“Reality Check: Someone Needs To Tell The President The Brent Spence Bridge Is Not Shovel Ready.” (Ben Swann, “Reality Check: Someone Needs To Tell The President The Brent Spence Bridge Is Not Shovel Ready,” FOX19 [Cinncinnati, OH], 9/20/11)

  • “Listening To The President It Sounds As If, If The Funding Was Just There, Construction Workers Could Start On The Brent Spence Right Away. But They Couldn’t.” (Ben Swann, “Reality Check: Someone Needs To Tell The President The Brent Spence Bridge Is Not Shovel Ready,” FOX19 [Cinncinnati, OH], 9/20/11)

Ohio Would Still Need To Put Up $500 Million To Start The Project But “Only $90 Million Has Been Allocated.” “So what will it take to replace the nearly 50-year-old  bridge that is clearly in need of replacement?  For starters, about $2.4 billion dollars. Typically these projects require 80 percent funding from the Feds and another 20 percent from state and local governments. That means the Feds could kick in $1.9 billion for the project, but that would still require $500 million from state and local governments. So far, only about $90 million has been allocated.” (Ben Swann, “Reality Check: Someone Needs To Tell The President The Brent Spence Bridge Is Not Shovel Ready,” FOX19 [Cinncinnati, OH], 9/20/11)

“Even If 100 Percent Of The Funding Was In Place … The Brent Spence Project Is Still, At Minimum, 4 Years Away From Breaking Ground.” “Even if 100 percent of the funding was in place, meaning the Feds picked up the tab for the entire project, the Brent Spence project is still, at minimum, 4 years away from breaking ground. That is because federal environmental studies are still not complete.” (Ben Swann, “Reality Check: Someone Needs To Tell The President The Brent Spence Bridge Is Not Shovel Ready,” FOX19 [Cinncinnati, OH], 9/20/11)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Was Pushing For The First Stimulus To Fund The Project Back In January of 2009. BROWN: “But we do need to do direct spending on job creation. That means shovel-ready projects for water and sewer systems, whether it's the Brent Spence bridge in Cincinnati, that will put a lot of people to work and help with economic development, or whether it's a water and sewer system in Defiance, Ohio, or in Nashville.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 1/28/09)

But Of Course, Obama Is More Concerned With The Politics Of The Bridge Than The Facts

“[I]t Is Not A Coincidence That The White House Says President Obama Will Make The Brent Spence Bridge The Next Stop On His Tour To Sell The American Jobs Act To The Public.” “The Brent Spence Bridge spans the Ohio River from Cincinnati to Covington, Ky. In terms of political clout, you can’t do much better than this bridge: It connects the home states of the most powerful Republicans in the nation: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). So perhaps it is not a coincidence that the White House says President Obama will make the Brent Spence Bridge the next stop on his tour to sell the American Jobs Act to the public.” (David Nakamura, “Obama To Tout Jobs Plan On Boehner And McConnell’s Home Turf,” The Washington Post’s “44”, 9/16/11)

Obama’s Choice Of Location “Is A Tacit Acknowledgment That His Jobs Package Is As Much A Political Gambit As A Policy Proposal.” “Obama carried Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina in 2008, but George W. Bush carried them in 2004. His stops in those states this month are a tacit acknowledgment that his jobs package is as much a political gambit as a policy proposal.” (David Nakamura, “Obama To Tout Jobs Plan On Boehner And McConnell’s Home Turf,” The Washington Post’s “44”, 9/16/11)

Despite His Rhetoric, Obama Has Been Warned Since He Took Office That There Is No Such Things As Shovel-Ready Projects. “Much of the infrastructure spending, meanwhile, was destined to languish unused, as it was made clear, even during the transition, that there were limits to how quickly money could be spent. Obama would own up to these concerns a year and a half later, admitting that he had learned ‘there’s no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ projects’ Actually, he’d been warned of this well ahead of the bill’s unveiling.” (Ron Suskind, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, And The Education Of A President, 2011)

WITH THE OBAMA ECONOMY ON THE BRINK OF A RECESSION, AMERICANS NEED THE PRESIDENT TO WORRY ABOUT MORE THAN JUST HIS OWN JOB

Reuters Poll: Economists See A One In Three Chance The U.S. Could Enter Another Recession. “Chances the United States will lapse into another recession rose over the past month to nearly one in three as the economy faces a number of road blocks that could derail already weak growth, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.” (Leah Schnurr, “Chances Of Another Recession Increasing: Reuters Poll,” Reuters, 9/14/11)

  • “‘The Economy Is Dangerously Close To Stall-Speed. There Is No Buffer, And Even A Moderate Shock Could Derail The Cycle,’ Said Aneta Markowska, Economist With Societe Generale.” (Leah Schnurr, “Chances Of Another Recession Increasing: Reuters Poll,” Reuters, 9/14/11)

The Wall Street Journal Survey: Economists See A One In Three Chance Of Another U.S. Recession In Next Year. “Economists see a one in three chance the U.S. will slip into recession over the next twelve months and doubt any steps the Federal Reserve might take at its meeting next week can change that.” (Phil Izzo, “Economists Say That U.S. Recession Looks More Likely,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/16/11)

  • “The Highest Odds For A New Downturn That The Economists In The The Wall Street Journal Survey Have Given Since The Start Of The Recovery.” “Those are the highest odds for a new downturn that the economists in the The Wall Street Journal survey have given since the start of the recovery—and up four percentage points from last month's poll.” (Phil Izzo, “Economists Say That U.S. Recession Looks More Likely,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/16/11)

Pessimism About The Economy Worsens, With 61 Percent Of Americans Expecting Economic Conditions To Be Similar Or Worse In A Year. “Three in four Americans assess the U.S. economy as no better than a year ago, with 35% saying it is about the same and 42% saying it is worse. Looking ahead to a year from now, Americans remain largely pessimistic, with 61% expecting economic conditions to be similar to now, or worse.” (Jeffrey Jones, “In U.S., 6 In 10 Do Not Expect Economy To Improve Soon,” Gallup, 9/21/11)

“Economists, Builders And Mortgage Analysts Are Predicting The Weakened U.S. Economy Will Depress Housing Prices For Years, Restraining Consumer Spending, Pushing More Homeowners Into Foreclosure And Clouding Prospects For A Sustained Recovery.” (Nick Timiraos, “Home Forecast Calls For Pain,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/11)

  • “Housing Faces A Lost Decade.” “If the economists' forecast is accurate, it means housing faces a lost decade in which home prices recover just a fraction of what was lost between 2005 and 2015, leaving millions of homeowners with little, if any, equity in their homes.” (Nick Timiraos, “Home Forecast Calls For Pain,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/11)

Small-Business Confidence Fell To Lowest Level In Over A Year. “Small-business owner confidence fell to its lowest level in just over a year, according to data released Tuesday. The National Federation of Independent Business‘s small-business optimism index fell to 88.1 in August, down from 89.9 in July. The drop was the sixth consecutive decline and put the index at its lowest reading since a similar 88.1 posted in July 2010.” (Kathleen Madigan, “Small-Business Confidence Dips To Lowest Level Since July 2010,” The Wall Street Journal’s “Real Time Economics,” 9/13/11)

The US Now Ranks 10th In Economic Freedom, Behind Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Chile, The United Kingdom, And Mauritius. “The principal authors of the report, James Gwartney (Florida State University), Robert Lawson (Southern Methodist University), and Joshua Hall (Beloit College) found that using these criteria, the United States has dropped four places to 10. The United States now ranks behind Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Chile, the United Kingdom, and Mauritius in economic freedom.” (Jennifer Rubin, “Obama’s Results: Less Economic Freedom And More Poverty,” The Washington Post’s “Right Turn,” 9/20/11)

 “Working-Age America Is The New Face Of Poverty.” “Working-age America is the new face of poverty. Counting adults 18-64 who were laid off in the recent recession as well as single twenty-somethings still looking for jobs, the new working-age poor represent nearly 3 out of 5 poor people — a switch from the early 1970s when children made up the main impoverished group.” (Hope Yen, “Working-Age Poor Population Highest Since ‘60s,” The Associated Press, 9/6/11)

AFTER THE RESULTS OF OBAMA’S FIRST STIMULUS, OHIO NEEDS BETTER THAN “MORE OF THE SAME” FAILED STIMULUS POLICIES

The Columbus Dispatch: “Today, Following That First Stimulus Plan, Unemployment Is 20 Percent Higher, At 9.1 Percent, With 14 Million Americans Unable To Find Work And 8.4 Million Underemployed.” (Editorial, “More Of The Same?” The Columbus Dispatch, 9/11/11)

  • Dispatch: Beyond The Failure Of The Stimulus, Obama’s “Subsequent Budgets Have Added $3 Trillion To The National Debt.” “Not only that, but stimulus spending coupled with other spending increases in the president’s subsequent budgets have added $3 trillion to the national debt, raising it to $14.7 trillion, virtually equal to the nation’s entire annual economic output.” (Editorial, “More Of The Same?” The Columbus Dispatch, 9/11/11)
  • Dispatch:  “So It Is Reasonable To Ask The President To Explain Why Doing More Of The Same Will Produce A Different Result.” (Editorial, “More Of The Same?” The Columbus Dispatch, 9/11/11)

Dispatch: Obama’s Plan To “Pay For” Another Stimulus “Barely Touches The Problem.”  “Obama said he would ‘pay for’ the new stimulus by asking the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to add $447 billion to the $1.5 trillion the panel is charged with trimming from the nation’s deficit over the next 10 years. But considering that the government is projected to add $10 trillion or more to the national debt in a decade, the committee’s $1.5 trillion trim barely touches the problem.” (Editorial, “More Of The Same?” The Columbus Dispatch, 9/11/11)

  • Dispatch: When Facing $10 Trillion In Deficits “Calling Anything ‘Paid For’ Is An Accounting Fantasy.” “Raising the panel’s goal to $1.947 trillion is a marginal improvement at best. And when the government is on track to spend $10 trillion that it doesn’t have, calling anything ‘paid for’ is an accounting fantasy.” (Editorial, “More Of The Same?” The Columbus Dispatch, 9/11/11)

Dispatch: The President’s “Vast Intrusions Into The Economy Have Left Business Leaders And Investors Peering Into The Fog As They Try To Plan For The Future.” “Obama failed to address another significant harm to economic recovery: uncertainty. His vast intrusions into the economy have left business leaders and investors peering into the fog as they try to plan for the future.” (Editorial, “More Of The Same?” The Columbus Dispatch, 9/11/11)


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