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Obama’s Phony Jobs Act Rises Again

- June 7, 2012

President Obama’s latest campaign ad urges Congress to pass his American Jobs Act, claiming that more bailouts and spending on shovel-ready projects will put struggling Americans back to work “right now.” But these proposals didn’t withstand scrutiny the first time Obama proposed them last fall. The infrastructure bill for construction workers would spend less than half the funds by 2015 and Obama’s fellow Democrats were not interested in a repeat of the failed state government bailouts from the first stimulus. Overall, for nearly $500 billion in new stimulus spending economists found that it would barely put a dent in the number of jobs that the economy needs to create.

“The President’s Jobs Plan Would Put Teachers, Firefighters, Police Officers And Construction Workers Back To Work – Right Now.” (Campaign Ad, “Jobs,” Obama For America, 6/7/12)

FactCheck.org: Economists Estimated That The $447 Billion Bill Would Only Save Or Create 288,000 Jobs Over Two Years, Not The 2 Million Obama Claims. “President Obama exaggerates when he claims ‘independent economists’ say his jobs bill ‘would create nearly 2 million jobs.’ The median estimate in a survey of 34 economists showed 288,000 jobs could be saved or created over two years under the president’s plan.” (Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley, “Obama’s Spin On Jobs Bill,” FactCheck.org, 10/19/11)

  • Since Obama Took Office, The Nation Has Lost 552,000 Jobs And 23 Million Americans Are Unemployed, Underemployed Or Have Given Up Looking For Work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 6/7/12)

Most Of Obama’s Emergency Infrastructure Spending Would Have Been Allocated After 2015

Less Than 8 Percent Of The Obama Infrastructure Stimulus Bill Would Be Spent This Fiscal Year. (“Budgetary Effects Of S.1769 The Rebuild America Jobs Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/1/11)

Less Than Half Of The Obama Infrastructure Stimulus Bill Would Be Spent By 2015. (“Budgetary Effects Of S.1769 The Rebuild America Jobs Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/1/11)

  • More Than A Quarter Of Obama Infrastructure Stimulus Bill Would Be Spent After 2016. (“Budgetary Effects Of S.1769 The Rebuild America Jobs Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/1/11)

“Jobs Are Needed Now – Not In A Few Years,” And Experts Doubt That Obama’s Proposed Infrastructure Spending Can Move Quick Enough To Provide Those Jobs. “With the jobless rate hovering at 9 percent and an uneasy economic recovery, jobs are needed now — not in a few years. But experts are skeptical that projects would come fast enough. A tremendous amount of money and time is needed to get a project through a detailed design process, permitting, environmental hurdles, public hearings and land acquisition.” (Kendra Marr, “‘Shovel Ready’ Jobs Could Take Time,” Politico, 9/26/11)

 “Infrastructure Experts Doubt That Billions In Emergency Spending Will Be The Quick Jobs Fix The President Is Promising.” “Here we go again. President Barack Obama hasn’t yet used the term ‘shovel ready’ in his latest jobs pitch, but he faces a familiar problem: Infrastructure experts doubt that billions in emergency spending will be the quick jobs fix the president is promising.” (Kendra Marr, “‘Shovel Ready’ Jobs Could Take Time,” Politico, 9/26/11)

  • Infrastructure Expert William Ibbs: “Unfortunately, There Aren’t Many Jobs Ready To Go At The Snap Of A Finger …” “‘Unfortunately, there aren’t many jobs ready to go at the snap of a finger,’ said William Ibbs, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, who also consults on major construction projects.” (Kendra Marr, “‘Shovel Ready’ Jobs Could Take Time,” Politico, 9/26/11)

Obama Has Tried To Sell This Shovel-Ready Disaster Before

2008: President-Elect Obama Was Confident That Shovel-Ready Infrastructure Projects Would Lead Recovery And Create Jobs Immediately. OBAMA: "Now, here's what I'm confident about, that our economic recovery plan, our 21st-century investments will create jobs immediately that would not otherwise be created. We've got shovel-ready projects all across the country that governors and mayors are pleading to fund. And the minute we can get those investments to the state level, jobs are going to be created." (President-Elect Obama, "Remarks in Chicago Announcing Energy and Environment Team," 12/15/08)

  • Despite His Rhetoric To The Contrary, Obama Had Been Warned Since He Before 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, Harper, 2011)

2010: “[Obama] Realized Too Late That ‘There’s No Such Thing As Shovel-Ready Projects’ When It Comes To Public Works.” (Peter Baker, “Education Of A President,” The New York Times, 10/12/10)

2011: Obama: “Shovel-Ready Wasn’t As Shovel-Ready As We Expected.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks Before The President’s Council On Jobs And Competitiveness, Durham, N.C., 6/13/11)

Obama’s State Bailout Package Wouldn’t Help The Economy Or Save The Jobs He Says It Would

CBO: Federal Aid To States Would “Probably Be Used To Replenish Or Avoid Drawing Down States’ Reserve Funds; Aid Used In That Way Would Not Boost The Economy In The Short Term.” “But some of the federal aid would probably be used to replenish or avoid drawing down states’ reserve funds; aid used in that way would not boost the economy in the short term.” (Douglas Elmendorf, “Policies For Increasing Economic Growth And Employment In 2012 And 2013,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/15/11)

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR): “I’m Not Sure Federal Taxpayers Should Be Paying For Teachers And First Responders.” “‘It’s a little philosophical in the sense that I’m not sure federal taxpayers should be paying for teachers and first responders. That’s traditionally a state and local matter,’ Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said in an interview. ‘I have a big question mark about whether the teacher portion benefits our state at all because of some of the stuff we’ve done on the state level over the past few years.’” (Manu Raju and Scott Wong, “Spending Bill Hits Wall With Moderates,” Politico, 10/18/11)

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT): “Our Economy Needs A Jolt. Paying For More State Jobs Is Not Going To Be That Jolt.” “‘We’re not at an ordinary time anymore, and to me the best thing we can do to get our economy going and create jobs is to adopt the partisan debt reduction program out of the joint special committee,’ Lieberman also said Tuesday. ‘Our economy needs a jolt. Paying for more state jobs is not going to be that jolt.’” (MJ Lee, “Lieberman: ‘Bite-Size’ Won’t Work,” Politico, 10/18/11)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT): “I’ve Got More Of A Concern About A State Aid Package And What It’s Going To Do And How The Money Is Going To Spent And Whether It’s Really Going To Create Jobs.” “Tester said he wasn’t as concerned about the 0.5 percent surtax on families making more than $1 million to pay for the $35 billion plan. But he was unsure whether the new spending proposals would actually create more jobs. ‘I’ve got more of a concern about a state aid package and what it’s going to do and how the money is going to spent and whether it’s really going to create jobs,’ he said Monday.” (Manu Raju and Scott Wong, “Tester, Nelson Unsure On Teachers Bill,” Politico, 10/17/11)

  • Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT): “There's Money For The States That Quite Honestly There's No Assurances It'll Be Created, Even Used To Create One Job.” (KECI Staff, “Tester Voted Against Job Package, Didn’t Agree With Spending,” KECI, 10/12/11)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Opposes More State Bailouts Since The First Stimulus Sent West Virginia $218 Million To Prevent Teacher Layoffs Despite No Teacher Jobs Being In Danger Of Cuts. “Manchin, the former governor, said it doesn’t make sense for the federal government to send that money to states that aren’t planning to lay off teachers. That’s exactly what happened in 2009, when the president’s first stimulus package passed Congress. That time around, the federal government sent West Virginia $218 million in money meant to prevent teacher layoffs. Then, as now, the state had no plans to lay off teachers.” (“Manchin Touts Federal Loan Idea,” The Associated Press, 9/20/11)

The Associated Press Fact Check: President Obama Claims That Over 280,000 Teacher Jobs Are At Risk But To Get To That Number The “White House Makes A Lot Of Assumptions.” “Obama is predicting that without his legislation, nearly as many jobs will be lost this school year as in the past three school years combined. In a report released this month titled ‘Teacher Jobs at Risk,’ the White House says ‘as many as ‘280,000 teacher jobs are at risk in the coming year. But to get to that number, the White House makes a lot of assumptions.” (Kimberly Hefling, “FACT CHECK: Jobs Plan Makes Many Assumptions,” The Associated Press, 10/11/11)

  • AP: Obama White House Calculations Rely Upon Dubious Assumptions That Even The Group The White House Relies On For Its Data Says Is Not Viable. “The administration says it started with projected state budget shortfalls in a report from the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It then made a series of assumptions, including that spending cuts in each state would be applied proportionally across major budget categories, and that school salaries would be cut in proportion to their share of total spending for K-12 education. The spending cuts were then converted into numbers of jobs based on teacher pay in each state. Even the group the White House relied on for its data says you can't do that. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in another report that ‘it is not possible to calculate directly the additional loss of jobs resulting from state education budget cuts.’” (Kimberly Hefling, “FACT CHECK: Jobs Plan Makes Many Assumptions,” The Associated Press, 10/11/11)
  • AP: “It's Nearly Impossible To Quantify How Many Jobs Are Created Or Saved Through Infusions Of Federal Dollars.” “As the Obama administration learned in its first round of economic stimulus spending, it's nearly impossible to quantify how many jobs are created or saved through infusions of federal dollars. In that $787 billion program two years ago, the White House eventually abandoned its controversial method to count jobs after numerous errors were found.” (Kimberly Hefling, “FACT CHECK: Jobs Plan Makes Many Assumptions,” The Associated Press, 10/11/11)

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