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What They Are Saying About Obama’s New Stimulus

- September 9, 2011

Obama, The Campaigner In Chief, Plays Politics While Touting Another Dubious Stimulus That Even His Own Party Is Not Excited About

The Detroit News“As a re-election strategy, this may be Obama's best hope of avoiding responsibility for where his leadership has brought us. But it won't put Americans back to work.” (Editorial, “Obama Offers Stimulus Lite,” The Detroit News, 9/9/11)

The S Word

The Detroit News“President Barack Obama's much-anticipated plan for putting Americans back to work turns out to be a scaled-down version of his original stimulus package, which is well on its way to becoming one of the most monumental economic policy failures in the nation's history.” (Editorial, “Obama Offers Stimulus Lite,”The Detroit News, 9/9/11)

The Wall Street Journal: “We've had the biggest Keynesian stimulus in decades. The new argument that the 2009 stimulus wasn't big enough isn't what we heard then. Americans were told it would create 3.5 million new jobs and unemployment would stay below 8% and be falling by 2011. It is now 9.1%. But this stimulus we are told will make all the difference.” (Editorial, “The Latest Jobs Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/9/11)

Chicago Tribune: “President Barack Obama didn't use the S-word even once Thursday evening, but his American Jobs Act proposals to grow U.S. employment fully qualify as another stimulus package. … We view as sincere — and not just self-protection — Obama's effort to help those who are out of work. But we've witnessed the failure of Keynesian stimulus programs to dent this nation's jobs crisis. This is the wrong time for a president to tell Americans, ‘I'm from the government and I'm here to spend.’" (Editorial, “The Wrong Stimulus,” Chicago Tribune9/9/11)

Boston Herald“Back in February 2009 the newly minted president with the hopes of a worried nation on his shoulders told a joint session of Congress, ‘Now is the time to jump start job creation.’ The unemployment rate at the time was 7.6 percent. That was before the last great jobs stimulus package that cost some $825 billion. Now it’s 9.1 percent — the 28th month it has been at or over 9 percent and 14 million Americans remain out of work. Isn’t the very definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?” (Editorial, “Same Old Barack Obama,” Boston Herald, 9/9/11)

Los Angeles Times’ Top Of The Ticket: “He then provided a joint session of Congress with a broadly ambitious list of goals that sounded to many people very much like a lot more spending, like, say, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill of 2009 that didn't stimulate much of anything except that national debt.” (Andrew Malcom, “961 Days In, Obama Becomes Sick And Tired Of Someone Dawdling About Jobs,” Los Angeles Times’ Top Of The Ticket, 9/9/11)

The Obama Brand Of Leadership … Punt The Issue To Someone Else And Rely On Budget Gimmicks

Obama’s Plan To Pay For Jobs Bill: Ask Deficit Reduction Committee. “Obama said his plan would be fully paid for by the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. The president requested that the committee come up with more than the $1.5 trillion in cuts they were charged with finding before the end of the year.” (Amanda Carey, “Confrontational Obama Presents Jobs Bill, Leaves Republicans Underwhelmed,” The Daily Caller, 9/8/11)

Obama Administration Using Washington Gimmicks To Pay For Jobs Bill Until After Election.  “The same logic applies to Mr. Obama's claim that everything in his new proposal is ‘paid for.’ Yes, but only according to the usual 10-year Washington budget window that pushes all of the hard choices into the future, in this case after the election. So Mr. Obama gets to spend more now while promising to save later. This is also how the Administration claimed that a new $1 trillion health-care entitlement would reduce the deficit. It also means he can put more money in the pockets of dues-paying teachers unions and government workers.” (Editorial, “The Latest Jobs Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/9/11) 

Politico: “Republicans And Democrats Alike Wondered Where They Would Get The Money To Pay For Obama’s Plan.” “Republicans and Democrats alike wondered where they would get the money to pay for Obama’s plan, which he said could be offset by the congressional supercommittee that is already charged with closing $1.5 trillion of budget deficits over the next decade.” (Jonathan Allen and Elizabeth Titus, “Hope For Jobs Bill? Don’t Believe Hype,” Politico, 9/9/11)

Not Going To Work

The Economist’s Will Wilkinson: “Notice what Obama's not claiming passing this bill will do: stimulate growth or significantly reduce the unemployment rate.” (Will Wilkinson, Twitter Feed, Accessed 9/9/11)

USA Today’s Susan Page: “His dilemma: the public's view of him, his leadership and his handling of the economy has soured, making it harder for him to convince Americans that he'll be able to enact his proposals — or that, if enacted, they would work.” (Susan Page, “Analysis: Among The Jobs Obama Hopes To Save Is His Own,” USA Today, 9/8/11)

Time’s Adam Sorensen: “The effects of Obama’s speech — and his plan — will be limited. Some of his proposals, already in place in some form this year, haven’t prevented the recovery from grinding to a halt.” (Adam Sorensen, “Obama Unveils A New Jobs Plan And A Sharper Message,” Time’s “Swampland,” 9/8/11)

Las Vegas Sun: “But even if all of Obama’s recommendations were adopted, it might still not be enough for Nevada, which isn’t just crumbling under the job market. The drag from Nevada’s housing sector and failing education system is equally crippling.” (Karoun Dimirijan, “President Unveils Sweeping $450 Billion Jobs Plan,” Las Vegas Sun, 9/8/11)

St. Petersburg Times: “He also would extend unemployment benefits that are scheduled to expire at the end of the year. With consumer confidence at historic lows, those efforts would help put a bit more money into Americans' pockets and increase their purchasing power. But they would not directly put more people back to work.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Uphill Battle,” St. Petersburg Times, 9/9/11)

The Washington Post’s Zachary Goldfarb: “Some economists warned that even if major tenets of the plan were to pass, overcoming deep Republican skepticism, they might do little more than keep the economy growing at a snail’s pace.” (Zachary Goldfarb, “Obama Announces $447 Billion Plan To Boost Economy, “The Washington Post, 9/8/11)

Jason Fichtner, Policy Researcher At The Mercatus Center: "’The infrastructure bank model that is being promoted by President Obama is all smoke and mirrors and continues to funnel taxpayer dollars to fund projects in a vain attempt to stimulate the economy in the short term without accounting for the long-term costs,’ Jason Fichtner, a policy researcher at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, said in a statement.” (Lesley Clark, “Obama To Congress: Pass My $447 Billion Jobs Plan Now,” The Miami Herald, 9/8/11)

Nothing New To See Here…

The Washington Post’s Zachary Goldfarb: “The program includes the repackaging of some previous Obama proposals and the extension of other initiatives, including temporary payroll tax cuts that were enacted last year.” (Zachary Goldfarb, “Obama Announces $447 Billion Plan To Boost Economy, “The Washington Post,9/8/11)

Los Angeles Times“But his speech offered no new thoughts on how to do so; instead, Obama simply repeated his call for modest reforms in entitlements and more taxes on the wealthy.” (Editorial, “A Jobs Generator?” Los Angeles Times, 9/9/11)

New York Post: “That’s it? After waiting for weeks to hear President Obama’s answer to staggering unemployment and a stalled economy, the nation last night got nothing more than a $447 billion pile of recycled ideas that isn’t likely to pass Congress.” (Geoff Earle and S.A. Miller, “You Call That A Jobs Plan?” New York Post,9/8/11)

The Detroit News“Instead, Obama offered the same ideas that have failed to stimulate the economy.” (Editorial, “Obama Offers Stimulus Lite,” The Detroit News, 9/9/11)

Boston Herald“So that was it? That was President Barack Obama’s really big jobs speech? The one that required a joint session of Congress to be both window dressing and whipping boy? The one that after his nearly three years in office is going to set things right? Honestly? ‘There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation,’ Obama said last night in announcing his American Jobs Act. ‘Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans — including many who sit here tonight.’ Which is just another way of saying there is nothing new here.” (Editorial, “Same Old Barack Obama,”Boston Herald, 9/9/11)

Confrontational And Political

Obama’s $450 Billion Jobs Speech: ‘Confrontational’. “The weather outside wasn’t the only storm enveloping Capitol Hill on Thursday night. Inside the House chamber, a confrontational President Barack Obama presented his $450 billion American Jobs Act to a joint session of Congress.” (Amanda Carey, “Confrontational Obama Presents Jobs Bill, Leaves Republicans Underwhelmed,” The Daily Caller, 9/8/11) 

While Addressing Congress, Obama Sounded “Prepared For Political Battle.” “In fact, Obama implored Congress to ‘pass this bill’ nearly twenty times during his address. Still, he sounded prepared for a political battle.” (Amanda Carey, “Confrontational Obama Presents Jobs Bill, Leaves Republicans Underwhelmed,” The Daily Caller, 9/8/11)

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank: “Obama Spoke Quickly, Urgently, Even Angrily.” (Dana Milbank, “The Irrelevancy Of The Obama Presidency,” The Washington Post, 9/9/11)

USA Today’s Susan Page: “While he decried the partisanship and ‘political circus’ he said had led to gridlock — and the electoral implications for 2012 as the obsession of reporters — the politics of the moment were hard to miss.” (Susan Page, “Analysis: Among The Jobs Obama Hopes To Save Is His Own,” USA Today,9/9/11)

  • Page: “Among the jobs president Obama hopes to save with Thursday night's proposals to a joint session of Congress is his own.” (Susan Page, “Analysis: Among The Jobs Obama Hopes To Save Is His Own,” USA Today, 9/8/11)

Obama Scolded Congress For “Political Circus” But Not Before Using Speech To Fundraise. “While he decried the partisanship and ‘political circus’ he said had led to gridlock — and the electoral implications for 2012 as the obsession of reporters — the politics of the moment were hard to miss. An hour or two before Obama spoke, his re-election campaign sent an e-mail to millions of supporters with the subject line ‘Before I head to the Capitol,’ urging them ‘to pressure Congress to act — or hold them accountable if they do not.’” (Susan Page, “Analysis: Among The Jobs Obama Hopes To Save Is His Own,” USA Today, 9/8/11)

Obama Speech Showed Few Signs Of Willingness To Negotiate With Congress. “Indeed, Obama and his team did little to suggest that he planned to roll up his sleeves and negotiate with Congress — a strategy that failed to produce the “grand bargain” he had sought in conjunction with a debt-limit increase over the summer.” (Jonathan Allen and Elizabeth Titus, “Hope For Jobs Bill? Don’t Believe Hype,” Politico, 9/9/11)

Despite Calls To Put Politics Aside, “The President Sounded Like He Was Campaigning.” “Although President Obama urged the assembled members of Congress to ‘stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy,’ there were plenty of times during tonight’s speech that the President sounded like he was campaigning.” (Amy Walter, “Analysis: An ‘Urgent’ Obama Tries To Rally Congress Behind Him,” ABCNews.com, 9/8/11)

Democrats Not Exactly Enthusiastic About Obama’s “Plan”

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE): “Tonight, The President Set Out Some Ideas. Others Have More Ideas.” “U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, (D-NE) responded to President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress Thursday night with a lukewarm statement, hardly addressing the proposals the President laid out to reboot the economy and create jobs, saying only, ‘Tonight, the President set out some ideas. Others have more ideas.’” (Robyn Wisch, “Nebraska’s Response To Obama Jobs Speech,” KVNO, 9/8/11)

The Hill“[O]bama did not get the same boisterous response from his party as at past State of the Union addresses.” (Alexander Bolton, “Obama Gets Cool Response From Republicans, Even Some Dems,” The Hill, 9/8/11)

House Democrat Leadership Refused To Clap When Obama Brought Up Trade Agreements. “Democratic leaders including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (S.C.) refused to clap when Obama called on Congress to approve trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, which elicited raucous applause from Republicans.” (Alexander Bolton, “Obama Gets Cool Response From Republicans, Even Some Dems,” The Hill, 9/8/11)

The Hill“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stood reluctantly and belatedly clapped his rolled-up copy of the speech when the president called for cutting the growth of Medicare.” (Alexander Bolton, “Obama Gets Cool Response From Republicans, Even Some Dems,” The Hill, 9/8/11)

Rank-And-File Democrats Balked At Extending Payroll Tax Holiday. “Several rank-and-file House Democrats, including Reps. Ted Deutch (Fla.) and Peter DeFazio (Ore.), balked at Obama’s idea to extend and expand the payroll tax holiday, which the White House estimates would give a $1,500 tax break to the typical working family.” (Alexander Bolton, “Obama Gets Cool Response From Republicans, Even Some Dems,” The Hill, 9/8/11)

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA): “The President gave a nice speech tonight, but the time for speeches is long gone. The American people aren't looking for more of the same rhetoric from Washington. Now is the time for action.” (Rep. Jason Altmire, “Altmire Comments On President’s Jobs Proposal,” Press Release, 9/8/11)

Obama United Democrat And Republican Members Of Arizona Delegation To Come Together But Not In Support Of His $447 Billion Plan. “President Barack Obama called on Republicans and Democrats to come together and support his $447 billion jobs plan Thursday evening. He managed to get Democratic and Republican members of the Arizona delegation to come together, but not in support of the plan that he presented to a joint session of Congress.” (Max Levy and Cassondra Strande, “Arizona Lawmakers Disappointed By Obama’s Jobs, Economy Plan,” Cronkite News, 9/8/11)

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN): Odds Of Obama Getting His Plan “Are Probably As Good As The Nationals Winning The League This Year.” “‘I thought it was a great speech,’ said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) But the odds of Obama getting his plan through Congress ‘are probably as good as the Nationals winning the league this year.’” (Dana Milbank, “The Irrelevancy Of The Obama Presidency,” The Washington Post, 9/9/11)

“The Empty Seats Were On The Democratic Side” Where They “Struggled At Times To Demonstrate Enthusiasm.” “In fact, the empty seats were on the Democratic side. Democrats lumbered to their feet to give the president several standing ovations, but they struggled at times to demonstrate enthusiasm. When Obama proposed payroll tax cuts for small businesses, three Democrats stood to applaud. Summer jobs for disadvantaged youth brought six Democrats to their feet, and a tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed produced 11 standees.” (Dana Milbank, “The Irrelevancy Of The Obama Presidency,” The Washington Post, 9/9/11)

Notable Liberal Democrats “Stared At The Ceiling … Scanned The Gallery … Seen Reading A Newspaper.” “Obama spoke quickly, urgently, even angrily. Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-Ill.) stared at the ceiling. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) scanned the gallery. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) was seen reading a newspaper.” (Dana Milbank, “The Irrelevancy Of The Obama Presidency,” The Washington Post, 9/9/11)

Democrat Adviser/Former Clinton Aide Bill Galston: “‘I've now gotten old enough so every new movie strikes me as a sequel, and this is beginning to feel a little like 1979 and 1980 to me,’ says Bill Galston, a former White House aide to President Clinton and veteran Democratic adviser who is now at the Brookings Institution. At that time, ‘the American people were coming to the conclusion that they would like to replace Jimmy Carter, if the Republicans presented a reasonable alternative to him, and then that was what the general election was about.’ Of Obama, Galston says, ‘His presidency is in peril.’” (Susan Page, “Analysis: Among The Jobs Obama Hopes To Save Is His Own,” USA Today, 9/9/11)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Said He’d Wait To See The Fine Print Before Going Any Further. “Even some Democrats also said they would wait to see the fine print before signing on. ‘I will spend the coming days evaluating at this proposal more closely, and will work hard with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to pass a commonsense agenda that creates jobs, restores confidence and rebuilds our great nation – without adding to our exploding debts and deficits,’ Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said. ‘This nation cannot afford to take on one more dollar of debt, and I will not support any plan that adds to our crushing debt.’” (Jonathan Allen and Elizabeth Titus, “Hope For Jobs Bill? Don’t Believe Hype,” Politico, 9/9/11)

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA): “I Believe That Extending Existing Programs Won’t Be Enough.” “Some members of the Massachusetts delegation said they had hoped for an even bolder plan. Some aspects of the proposal, such as a tax break for companies that buy new equipment, may do little to create jobs, they said. They are already in effect, and extending them may only ensure the economy does not get worse. ‘I believe that extending existing programs won’t be enough,’ Representative Niki Tsongas of Lowell said.” (Donovan Slack, “Obama Lays Out $447b Jobs Plan,” The Boston Globe, 9/9/11)

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) On Tax Credit For Hiring: “I Don’t Think People Will Hire Because OF That.” “Representative Barney Frank of Newton said that overall he was pleased by the plan but skeptical about the tax credit for businesses that hire the longtime unemployed. ‘I don’t think people will hire because of that,’ he said.” (Donovan Slack, “Obama Lays Out $447b Jobs Plan,” The Boston Globe, 9/9/11)


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