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The $825 Billion Big Fail

- November 7, 2011

The $825 Billion Big Fail 
Obama’s $825 Billion Stimulus Continues To Fall Short Of The Lofty Promises He Used To Sell It

Romer Bernstein Graph

Obama’s Advisors Predicted That The Stimulus Would Keep 
Unemployment Below Eight Percent

WHAT WE WERE TOLD: Obama’s Advisors Predicted That Unemployment Would Not Rise Above 8 Percent If We Passed The Stimulus. (Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, "The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan," 1/9/09)

  • Obama Released A Graph So “The American People Can See Exactly What This Plan Will Mean For Their Families, Their Communities, And Our Economy.” “I asked my nominee for Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Christina Romer, and the Vice President-Elect’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Jared Bernstein, to conduct a rigorous analysis of this plan and come up with projections of how many jobs it will create – and what kind of jobs they will be. Today, I am releasing a report of their findings so that the American people can see exactly what this plan will mean for their families, their communities, and our economy.” (President-Elect Barack Obama, The President Elect’s Radio Address, 1/10/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: Despite Obama’s Advisors Predicting That The Stimulus Would Keep Unemployment Below Eight Percent, The Unemployment Rate Has Remained Above Eight Percent For A Post-WWII Record 33 Straight Months. (Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, "The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan," 1/9/09; Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 11/4/11)

  • Since The Stimulus Passed, The Unemployment Rate Has Increased From 8.2 Percent To 9.0 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 11/4/11)

Obama Said That The Stimulus Would Save Or Create 3.5 Million Jobs

WHAT WE WERE TOLD: President Obama Promised That His Stimulus Plan Would Create Or Save 3.5 Million Jobs Over Two Years. OBAMA: “Now, what makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years ...” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Signing Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act, Denver, CO, 2/17/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: Since President Obama’s $825 Billion Stimulus Bill Passed, The Nation Has Lost 1.3 Million Jobs. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 11/4/11)

  • FactCheck.org: “It’s Accurate To Say The Stimulus Has Failed To Live Up To Initial Expectations.” “CBO's high estimate is still short of the 3.5 million jobs that Obama had said would be created by the end of 2010, so it's accurate to say the stimulus has failed to live up to initial expectations.”(Lori Robertson, “Dueling Economic Ads,” FactCheck, 6/30/11)

Obama Said That The Stimulus Would Lift Two Million Americans Out Of Poverty

WHAT WE WERE TOLD: President Obama Said That The Stimulus Bill Would Lift Two Million Americans Out Of Poverty. OBAMA: “And it's a plan that rewards responsibility, lifting 2 million Americans from poverty by ensuring that anyone who works hard does not have to raise a child below the poverty line. So as a whole, this plan will help poor and working Americans pull themselves into the middle class in a way we haven't seen in nearly 50 years.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Signing Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act, Denver, CO, 2/17/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: Since President Obama Took Office, 6.3 Million Americans Have Fallen Into Poverty. (Press Release, “Income, Poverty And Health Insurance Coverage In The United States: 2010,” U.S. Census Bureau, 9/13/11)

  • In 2010, The Number Of Americans Living In Poverty (46.2 Million) Reached The Highest Level On Record. (Press Release, “Income, Poverty And Health Insurance Coverage In The United States: 2010,” U.S. Census Bureau, 9/13/11)

Obama Promised The Stimulus Would Create 400,000 Infrastructure Jobs

WHAT WE WERE TOLD: Obama Said The Stimulus Would Put 400,000 Americans Back To Work Rebuilding Our Infrastructure. “Because of this investment, nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, repairing our faulty dams and levees, bringing critical broadband connections to businesses and homes in nearly every community in America, upgrading mass transit, building high-speed rail lines that will improve travel and commerce throughout our nation.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Signing Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act, Denver, CO, 2/17/09)

  • Biden Said The Stimulus Was “Balanced” Enough To Create Three To Four Million Jobs – “Particularly With Regard To Infrastructure.” BIDEN: “So I think it's as close to as good a balance as you can get, because I think it will create three to four million new jobs, I think it will in fact have--begin to lay the foundation for some of the changes in the 21st century we need, particularly with regard to infrastructure, and tax structure, as well.” (CNBC, “CNBC Reports,” 1/29/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: The Associated Press FoundThat Stimulus Infrastructure Spending “Had No Effect On Local Employment And Only Barely Helped The Beleaguered Construction Industry.” “A January 2010 Associated Press analysis of Recovery Act spending on roads and bridges ‘had no effect on local unemployment and only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry,’ regardless of how many dollars lawmakers threw at the various projects.” (Devin Dwyer, “Shovel-Ready, Take II: Would Obama Infrastructure Plan Create Jobs Now,” ABC News, 9/8/11)

Since Obama’s Stimulus Passed, The Nation Lost 55,600 Jobs In Heavy And Civil Engineering Construction. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 11/4/11)

  • During The First Two Years The Stimulus Was In Effect, The Nation Lost 19,500 Jobs In Highway, Street And Bridge Construction And 24,900 Jobs In Water And Sewer System Construction.  (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 11/4/11)

Obama Was Confident That Infrastructure Would Lead The Recovery Because There Were So Many Shovel-Ready Jobs

WHAT WE WERE TOLD: 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, Chicago, IL, 12/15/08)

  • Obama Said “14 Days After I Signed Our Recovery Act Into Law, We Are Seeing Shovels Hit The Ground.” OBAMA: “Because of Joe, and because of all the governors and mayors, county and city officials who are helping implement this plan, I can say that 14 days after I signed our Recovery Act into law, we are seeing shovels hit the ground.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President On Transportation Infrastructure, Washington, D.C., 3/3/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: Obama “Realized Too Late That ‘There’s No Such Thing As Shovel-Ready Projects.” “He let himself look too much like ‘the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.’ He realized too late that ‘there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects’ when it comes to public works.” (Peter Baker, “The Education Of A President," The New York Times10/12/10)

  • President Obama: “Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected.” (President Obama, Remarks In Durham, N.C., 6/13/11)

Obama Said His Actions “Broke The Back Of The Recession”

WHAT WE WERE TOLD: Obama Said That His Actions Had “Broke The Back Of The Recession.” OBAMA: “And because we took bold and swift and coordinated action, we can stand here today and say we averted another depression. We broke the back of the recession. The economy is growing again.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Democratic National Committee Fundraiser, Washington, D.C., 2/4/10)

  • Biden Claimed The Stimulus “Put The Brakes On The Recession.” “Biden said the administration's efforts have helped ‘put the brakes on the recession’ and reminded the audience of how far they have come since the economy's bottom fell out.” (‘Biden: Stimulus 'Put The Brakes' On Recession,’” Chicago Breaking News Center7/31/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: “Americans Are Two Years Into A Recovery That Doesn't Feel Much Different To Many Of Them From Life During The Most Bruising Recession In Seven Decades.” (Brenda Cronin, “Slow Recovery Feels Like Recession,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/31/11)

  • “No Recession Since The Great Depression Was Deeper Or Longer Than The Most Recent.” (Brenda Cronin, “Slow Recovery Feels Like Recession,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/31/11)
  • “Only 21% Of Americans Responding To The October Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Said They Expected The Economy To Improve In The Next 12 Months.” (Brenda Cronin, “Slow Recovery Feels Like Recession,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/31/11)

Obama Said The Stimulus Would Include An “Unprecedented Oversight Effort”

WHAT WE WERE TOLD: Obama Pledged That Joe Biden Would Lead An “Unprecedented Oversight Effort” For The $825 Billion Stimulus, “Because Nobody Messes With Joe.” OBAMA: “Here in Washington, we’ve all seen how quickly good intentions can turn into broken promises and wasteful spending.  And with a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right. That is why I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort – because nobody messes with Joe.” (President Barack Obama, Address To Joint Session Of Congress, Washington, DC, 2/24/09)

  • Last Year, Biden Praised The Stimulus Program For Its Lack Of Fraud And Called Critics Wrong For Believing There Would Be “Massive Fraud.” “Biden told federal fraud investigators meeting here this week that they've built ‘an exceptionally well-lit house’ that burglars don't want to break in to. ‘Remember what critics were saying in the beginning? Go back and Google it. They said there's no way this can be done without massive fraud,’ Biden said. ‘I stand before you today to say firmly, our critics were wrong because of you.’” (Greogry Korte, “Biden Boasts About Curbs On Stimulus Fraud, Abuse,” USA Today, 11/17/10)

WHAT HAPPENED: At The Energy Department Alone, Over 100 Criminal Investigations Have Been Launched Into The Way Stimulus Money Was Spent. “The Energy Department's inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations related to 2009 economic stimulus spending. In written testimony prepared for delivery to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, Inspector General Gregory Friedman said the investigations have involved ‘various schemes, including the submission of false information, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, and other improper uses of Recovery Act funds.’” (Darius Dixon, “DOE IG: 100+ Stimulus-Related Criminal Probes,” Politico, 11/2/11)

  • $2.7 Billion Went To Projects That Began Construction Before The Stimulus Measures Started. “Of the 50 highest dollar grants awarded, 64 percent -- worth a combined $2.7 billion -- went to projects that began construction before the stimulus measures started, a Greenwire analysis of the program found. That portion represents more than half of the $5.2 billion total given so far under the renewable energy grant effort.” (Anne C. Mulkern “Stimulus Cash Flowed To Completed, Under-Way Renewable Energy Projects,” The New York Times, 10/14/10)

Obama Said The Stimulus Was “Paving The Way To Long-Term Growth And Prosperity”

WHAT WE WERE TOLD: Obama Said The Stimulus Was The “Beginning Of The End” And The First Step To “Paving The Way To Long-Term Growth And Prosperity.” OBAMA: “But today does mark the beginning of the end -- the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs; the beginning of what we need to do to provide relief for families worried they won't be able to pay next month's bills; the beginning of the first steps to set our economy on a firmer foundation, paving the way to long-term growth and prosperity.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Signing Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act, Denver, CO, 2/17/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: Obama “Admitted That The Enormous Sums Of Money” In The Stimulus “Had Fallen Short.” “Yet he also admitted that the enormous sums of money had fallen short. ‘If we’re honest, part of the controversy also is that despite the extraordinary work that has been done through the Recovery Act, millions of Americans are still without jobs.’” (Richard Wolffe, Revival: The Struggle For Survival Inside The Obama White House, 2010, p. 155)

  • “Economic Growth Never Lived Up To The Expectations” Of The Obama White House – “Remember ‘The Summer Of Recovery’?” “And because economic growth never lived up to the expectations set early by different White House officials at different times – remember ‘the summer of recovery’? – voters simply don’t have the money or confidence to buy big things like they use to.” (Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, “Obama’s Big Drags,” Politico, 8/4/11)

Unemployment Next Year Could Remain Higher Than 8 Percent Meaning No Job Growth After “The Biggest Stimulus Package In The History Of The World.” “The White House anticipates unemployment at 8.25 percent and Goldman Sachs and others warn the number could be higher — close to 9 percent, which would mean no net job growth after the biggest stimulus package in the history of the world.” (Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, “Obama’s Big Drags,” Politico, 8/4/11)

  • With “Little Prospect For Rapid Economic Growth Over The Next Two Years,” Obama’s Economic Team Is “Angry And Morose.” “The Federal Reserve’s finding on Tuesday that there is little prospect for rapid economic growth over the next two years was the latest in a summer of bad economic news. One administration official called the atmosphere around the president’s economic team ‘angry and morose.’” (Helene Cooper, “A Test for Obama’s View of a One-Term Presidency,” The New York Times, 8/9/11)

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