Happy 5th Birthday Obama “Stimulus,” or How to Throw $830 Billion in Borrowed Money Down a Socialist Rathole

FLASHBACK: The Real Significance of The Obamas’ Date Night

Remember this wonderful special event, Comrades?


That’s right, Whitey. Reparation have to start somewhere, and Barack and me, we are here to collect!

Back in 2009, the Obamas, our glorious, “historic” new 1st Couple, went out on a romantic Valentine’s Day date in Chicago. That was the day after, appropriately a Friday the 13th, when Congress passed Barack Obama’s $830 billion “stimulus,” which was guaranteed to fix our economy with “shovel ready” jobs, with hundreds of thousands going to work repairing roads, bridges and levees.


This steaming pile was shovel ready, though. It was another couple thousand pages that no one in Congress read. There was no time. It was an “emergency,” so big an emergency that the One didn’t even sign it until 4 days later at a Colorado photo op.

When Obama signed this bill, which was actually just a way to make sure one of his mascot groups, public employee unions, were protected from any layoffs and to funnel cash into cronies coffers, the labor participation rate was 65.9%. Now it’s 63%. What an awesome success!

Well, it’s not like they wasted all the money. From the Wall Street Journal:

Team Obama worked with Democrats in Congress to exceed his minimum request by more than 30%. But after the failure of the stimulus the same liberal economists who had enthusiastically supported the plan would claim that its main flaw was that it was too small.
Shortly after the passage of the Recovery Act in 2009, Vice President Joseph Biden urged local politicians not to spend the money on “stupid things.” They ignored his advice, and so did Mr. Biden. The federal government poured billions into the government and education sectors, where unemployment was low, but spent only about 10% on promised infrastructure, though the unemployment rate in construction was running in double digits. And some of the individual projects funded by the law were truly appalling. $783,000 was spent on a study of why young people consume malt liquor and marijuana. $92,000 went to the Army Corps of Engineers for costumes for mascots like Bobber the Water Safety Dog. $219,000 funded a study of college “hookups.”
In aggregate, the spending helped drive federal outlays from less than $3 trillion in 2008 to $3.5 trillion in 2009, where federal spending has roughly remained ever since.
The legacy is a slow-growth economy: Growth over the last 18 quarters has averaged just 2.4% — pretty shoddy compared to better than 4% growth during the Reagan recovery in the 1980s and almost 4% in the 1990s recovery.
The failure of the stimulus was a failure of the neo-Keynesian belief that economies can be jolted into action by a wave of government spending. In fact, people are smart enough to realize that every dollar poured into the economy via government spending must eventually be taken out of the productive economy in the form of taxes. The way to jolt an economy to life and to sustain long-term growth is to create more incentives for people to work, save and invest. Let’s hope Washington’s next stimulus plan is aimed at reducing the tax and regulatory burden on American job creators.

Of course, the stenographers in state-controlled media think that this “stimulus” was a smashing success. For example, Time Magazine’s Michael Grunewald, in his story about the report on the stimulus to be released this week:

Five years ago Monday, President Barack Obama visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, his $800 billion stimulus bill. At the time, the U.S. economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. In the fourth quarter of 2008, it had contracted at an 8% annual rate, a Depression-level free fall.

“Today does not mark the end of our economic problems,” Obama said on Feb. 17, 2009. “But it does mark the beginning of the end.”

And so it did. The stimulus quickly became a national joke, mocked by the right as a massive boondoggle and by the left as a pathetic pittance. A year after it passed, the percentage of Americans who believed it had created jobs was lower than the percentage of Americans who believed Elvis was alive. But after an epic financial crisis, the Recovery Act did launch a recovery. The economy started growing again in summer 2009. It started adding jobs again in spring 2010.

Here’s the best part:

The main conclusion of the 70-page report — the White House gave me an advance draft (emphasis mine)— is that the Recovery Act increased U.S. GDP by roughly 2 to 2.5 percentage points from late 2009 through mid-2011, keeping us out of a double-dip recession. It added about 6 million “job years” (a full-time job for a full year) through the end of 2012. If you combine the Recovery Act with a series of follow-up measures, including unemployment-insurance extensions, small-business tax cuts and payroll tax cuts, the Administration’s fiscal stimulus produced a 2% to 3% increase in GDP in every quarter from late 2009 through 2012, and 9 million extra job years, according to the report.

“Job years?” So in other words, if the stimulus produced any  jobs, they were part-time ones. Nice Orwellian language.

Mr. Grunewald explains why he loves the “stimulus.”

My obsession with the stimulus has focused less on its short-term economic jolt than its long-term policy revolution: I wrote an article about it for TIME titled “How the Stimulus Is Changing America” and a book about it called The New New Deal. The Recovery Act jump-started clean energy in America, financing unprecedented investments in wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable sources of electricity. It advanced biofuels, electric vehicles and energy efficiency in every imaginable form. It helped fund the factories to build all that green stuff in the U.S., and research into the green technologies of tomorrow. It’s the reason U.S. wind production has increased 145% since 2008 and solar installations have increased more than 1,200%. The stimulus is also the reason the use of electronic medical records has more than doubled in doctors’ offices and almost quintupled in hospitals. It improved more than 110,000 miles of broadband infrastructure. It launched Race to the Top, the most ambitious national education reform in decades.

Green technology? You mean like Solyndra and the many sons of Solyndra?

Secular Left-Wing Rag Time Magazine’s New “Historic” Fave is The Pope

I have repeatedly warned you that the use of the word “historic” by the media to create a cult of personality around their latest left-wing celebrity is a HUGE red flag (see Carol Moseley Braun, and Barack Hussein Obama). I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that the reason is not only because he’s “historic” because he’s the first pope from Latin America. No, it’s also because he embraces the touchy-feely, emotionally-driven, Outback Steakhouse view of the Catholic Church; that is, forget those irritating prohibitions against abortion and homosexuality, come back and pretend to be a true believer. Put down your crystals and whatever other crap you got from the Oprah to help you feel spiritual and we will welcome you even if you want to join the club without following the rules. The money quote from the Time editor explaining this rationale occurs at ~1:30 in the video above.


Barack Obama: My Voters are Idiots and I am Their King


Barack Obama is Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year!” Be still my beating heart! As if. As if anyone cares. Most of his low and no-information supporters probably haven’t noticed. They should have, though, because it is because of them that he won this coveted honor for the second time. The first time he won as America’s first affirmative-action assisted president. This time, it was for something equally unworthy; specifically, as I have frequently noted, his campaign’s ability to mobilize the “American Idol,” and “Oprah” audiences to vote for America’s first celebutard president. From Reuters:

In announcing its annual selection on Wednesday, the magazine called Obama the “Architect of the New America.”

“He’s basically the beneficiary and the author of a kind new America – a new demographic, a new cultural America that he is now the symbol of,” Time editor Rick Stengel said of Obama, who was also selected for the honor in 2008 when he became the nation’s first black president.

Obama beat Republican challenger Mitt Romney last month with clear majorities from Latinos and other minorities as well as among young adults, a result that has forced conservatives to rethink their policy positions and political strategy.

There are many reasons Obama won again, “but the biggest by far are the nation’s changing demographics and Obama’s unique ability to capitalize on them. When his name is on the ballot, the next America — a younger, more diverse America — turns out at the polls,” Time contributor Michael Scherer said in an article accompanying the selection.

The One himself also noted in the Liberal Death Star that

his winning coalition reflected “the much-noted demographic shift in this society,” and that one of his points of pride of the first term is, “I think I’ve helped to solidify this incredibly rapid transformation in people’s attitudes around L.G.B.T. issues — how we think about gays and lesbians and transgender persons.”

Isn’t that special? Can there possibly be any more important job for the leader of the free world than making sure that we all get our minds right about homosexuality?

Saving the Bill of Rights, and the Latest on the Debt Ceiling: Today on the Teri O

This week we’ll be discussing the continuing assault on our Constitution by “progressives,” their Priority One project of the last one hundred years. Previously, the Constitution’s detractors paid lip service to respecting it, while doing all they could to use the courts, administrative agencies and executive orders to undermine it so that they could implement their income-redistributionist, big government hidden agenda. Now, the mask is off. Time magazine asks “Does it Still Matter?,” joining allegedly serious analysts in suggesting that because the Founders didn’t have iPads, their amazing work product is a quaint, antiquated relic of a bygone era.

As our guest, Frank Miniter, author of the terrific new book, Saving the Bill of Rights, Exposing the Left’s Campaign to Destroy American Exceptionalism, explains, while the Constitution might be old, its ideas are not. We’ll discuss how our freedoms are being eroded by activist judges, special interest groups, parasitic bureaucrats, and, the current occupant of the Oval Office. Barack Obama is on the record as saying that the Constitution is defective because it is doctrine of “negative rights.” Mr. Miniter will explain just how dangerous that philosophy is, and share his thoughts on which of the ten amendments is the most important and why. (Hint: As I think you’ll agree, he’s absolutely right.)

We’ll also discuss what happens when not keeping it real goes horribly wrong, starring Tim Pawlenty, David Plouffe and Lady Gaga.

Speaking of Gaga what’s got Michelle more steamed this weekend: the collective swooning of the Lame Stream Media and Hollywood over Kate Middleton, a genuinely elegant beautiful lady whose presence shines a light on everything that, despite the full-time makeup artist and staff of over 20, Her Highness Michelle is distinctly not, or the cancellation of the family’s planned vacation to Whitefish, Montana?

Now that Obama’s mind is temporarily off his three obsessions: fundraising, golf, and celebrity soirèes, perhaps he can finally get his ostensibly agile mind around the idea that this time the Republicans may finally caught on to the democrats’ “tax increases in exchange for entitlement cuts” gambit. Dare we hope? We’ll have the latest on the planned debt confab tonight at the White House.

Tune in later for the rest of the story.


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