As people continue to lose jobs, albeit at a slower rate than was expected, our President has claimed that the stimulus is already responsible for 150,000 created or saved jobs. He also promised 600,000 more this summer! Wow! Go Mr. President!!
Now, lest you think I've lost my mind, remember I am a sarcastic d***head.
Let me explain.
Nobody...NOBODY...can explain where these numbers come from. Not the White House, not Congress, not the Bureau of Useless People Assigned to Make Up Numbers Regarding the Stimulus Package (they're working on that name...) - nobody. See, that's because it's impossible to track and/or prove that even a single job has been created by the stimulus.
There is a government organization - the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) whose job it is to compile - you guessed it - labor related statistics. This organization posts data about PAST time periods and STILL has to go in to revise their numbers fairly often. So how is it that even though there's a government group DEDICATED to these statistics that can only estimate PAST job creation (and forget saving - that's just speculation no matter how you look at it), the President can tell you in real time, not to mention guarantee a number for the future?
This is an ongoing mind-game of the Obama Administration: assert something as fact and ridicule you if you oppose it in any way (see: Global Warming; Obama's claim that we could have gotten the same information we gathered from waterboarding another way; the claim that things are SO DIRE we must do everything NOW!; and the idea that Joe Biden is competent).
And what have we heard about all these bailouts and this stimulus package?
#1 - Not much money has gone out yet (IF we are recovering, wouldn't that tend to say then that the near $1 Trillion was wholly unnecessary? If we aren't, then wouldn't it suggest that either the entire thing doesn't work, or the whole point of immediate relief was missed?).
#2 - While only a small percentage of the money has gone into the economy, some economists and legislators have claimed that $800 billion just wasn't enough? Well, what a great position to be in...you continue to clamor for more $$. Eventually the economy turns around and you claim responsibility (because the economy WILL turn around), but if it doesn't turn, you continue to claim that we're not spending enough!! So what IS enough? 2 Trillion? 5 Trillion? 10 Trillion? Latest reports have these economists claiming the satisfactory amount will be 1 Boogledygamillion. I called the White House to get a definition of Boogledygamillion and they said, "Only an idiot doesn't know that!" and hung up on me.
#3 - Stimulus money is doomed to fail. These payments are one time. Take a look at the 25 Ohio police officers who got to keep their jobs because of stimulus money. They've already been told that if things don't turn around soon, they'll be getting laid off anyway. So all we've done is delay the problem...we celebrate about the unemployment numbers decreasing..but what happens in 6 months when they begin to skyrocket again because stimulus money has run out? What have we saved?
#4 - Banks want to give TARP money (bailout money) back. Weird. I mean, if they can give it back that must mean that..wait..um...let me put 2 and 2 together...hold on..carry the one...ok..3!! That's right - they didn't all need it in the first place! In fact, they were FORCED to take it! (Yes, I understand this happened under Bush's watch - I criticized him for the bailouts then and I criticize him now...I criticize Obama for taking a bad situation and making it worse). This isn't the first time banks have tried to give the money back...but they were told no. Now, the government will allow them, if they can provide a plan. Why this sudden rush to return the money? Have you heard of the Pay Czar? Has anybody noticed what the White House has forced upon GM and Chrysler - i.e. breaking the rule of law and screwing the senior investors out of their LEGALLY owed money to appease a Democratic voting constituency? Companies are afraid of what the government will do with their control and want out NOW.
Add on to all this that Obama himself said our current deficit spending is unsustainable (though he blames healthcare and not, um, the $800 Billion dollars we just spent in "stimulus" money) and Fed Chariman Ben Bernanke said Obama's spending is out of control (despite the fact that he, just 2-3 months ago was rigorously defending it), kind of makes the whole thing appear to be a train wreck.
Ahh, but that's just what Obama likes - a train wreck. It gives him the opportunity to scare more people into following him and following him NOW! We have no time to waste!!
No, but apparently we have plenty of money to waste.
J.E. Braun is the author of Paranoia, a 9/11 survivor's tale. 10% of profits from sales of Paranoia will be donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund (www.ttof.org). For more information, visit www.jebraun.com.