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Jobs bill or a stimulus package both all hype Part 2

White House Press Secretary Gibbs
White House Press Secretary Gibbs
Fox News Stock Photos

Is the stimulus actually working? This was the question in Part 1 and as stated “The Democrats want everyone to believe it is with the upcoming mid-term elections looming just around the corner.” “The White House stood its ground Wednesday on the impact of the economic stimulus package, arguing that the bill signed a year ago has given an "undeniable" boost to the economy and that Republican critics are just playing politics”, according to a report by Fox News.

However, reality is quite different from the government’s publicity being thrown about on the subject. The anniversary has prompted the administration and its supporters to argue to a skeptical public that the stimulus has been a major success. Its main argument is that things would have been worse without the stimulus. That claim is a vague and misleading because those numbers of "saved jobs" cannot be objectively tracked.

But the public's response to President Barack Obama's recession-fighting policies has been increasingly dreary. And the reason is simple: six months of unemployment above 9.6 percent. "It doesn't yet feel like much of a recovery," Obama had to concede Wednesday, even as he sought to promote his year-old massive economic stimulus bill. Unemployment trumps all else. It provides a lens through which the public reads an economic narrative of bank bailouts, executive bonuses, expensive health care remedies and exploding debt”, according to the Associated Press as quoted by Money News on Thursday February 18, 2010 who then went on to say “It's a political necessity. As with previous instances of high unemployment, the public's skepticism — anger, even — poses a threat to the president's party in Congress. In 1982, with unemployment above 10 percent and Ronald Reagan in the White House, Republicans lost 26 House seats.

Unemployed people all over the nation are finding the government stimulus not to be so stimulating at least not as the White House would have we the people believe. "Cars are the new homeless shelters," according to Joel John Roberts, CEO of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) Partners, the largest provider of services for the homeless in Los Angeles County [CA], which had nearly 50,000 people homeless in 2009. There are similar stories right here in West Michigan where the available homeless shelters are full and are needing assistance themselves to help those without means of their own.

Many of the unemployed have began running out of benefit eligibility and are not receiving any compensation nor are they able to find work. Of the jobs created by the President’s Stimulus Package many are now being viewed for potential budget cuts. “More than $3.5 billion in economic stimulus funds are going to programs that President Obama has targeted to eliminate or trim in his new budget” according to Stimulated Yet. President Obama's proposed budget also includes $334 million in cuts to programs that got more than $3 billion in stimulus money.

Other Budget cuts that would have a direct affect on jobs include:
• A $100 million cut in funding for maintenance and construction in national forests. The Forest Service got $650 million for such projects in the stimulus package, of which $55.6 million has been spent, according to USDA reports. The White House budget says the Forest Service doesn't need as much money because it is building fewer roads.
• A $44 million decrease in funding for an Interior Department program to thin trees and brush on federal land to mitigate wildfires. The stimulus provided $15 million for the program. The administration says it is reorganizing the program, which has been less effective than it should be because it didn't focus on preventing the fires most likely to threaten homes according to Stimulated Yet.

For more information about proposed Budget cuts click on this link: >> Home

This Writer’s note; wasn’t that the purpose of the “Jobs in 2010” as the President stated as he presented his Budget to the Congress just last week? Building more roads requires additional workers and thinning undergrowth also puts more people to work. By clearing brush and dried wood will perhaps save billions of dollars that will be needed for fire suppression when the wild fires start each year not to mention easier access to the forests due to the new roads built by newly employed people.

The proposed budget released earlier this month also recommends the elimination of Army Corps of Engineers' drinking-water projects, which got $200 million in stimulus funds, and a U.S. Department of Agriculture flood-prevention program, which received $290 million from the stimulus, a USA TODAY  review of stimulus spending news reports show. Another potential job creating project that will be gone, but Mr. Obama is taking credit for it anyway. “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” said President Obama before the Democratic National Committee on February 5.

If that is the case Mr. President then where are the jobs in Michigan? Where are the new businesses in West Michigan? Are they gone already with the budget cuts and just did not get to the Michigan voters. Somehow the news has not reached Michigan as yet because many here are still looking that “Change you can believe in”. With the public losing faith in the stimulus, the White House is begging for some patience. "We've only been halfway through the act," Biden said on CBS Wednesday. "The job-creating portions are really loaded at the second half."

Well that explains it then, people have gone from being employed to 14% unemployment and a 9% foreclosure rate here in Michigan. So if Joe Biden is correct the turn around for Michigan is yet to come, in the second half like in a football game? Somehow that is of little comfort to a constituency that is hurting. Voters will have their opportunity to voice their opinions of your “change” and the stimulus in 2012 when they hand Mr. Obama his report card for his administration’s handling of the economy, for creating jobs and keeping his promises from his perpetual campaigning of 2008 and 2009 and still going and going….

Silver Lining Hard to Find for Some on Anniversary of Stimulus

While the Obama administration and congressional Democrats are out in force this week touting the success of the $787 billion economic stimulus package signed exactly one year ago, critics are pointing to a still-dismal jobs picture and deflating public confidence as signs that the ballyhooed benefits of the stimulus bill, as one GOP leader put it, were a "fiction" and not worth the cost.

Judging stimulus: Jobless rate high, growth real


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