Now We’re In A Position To Really Accelerate
With the economy apparently not responding to the stimulus President Obama is trying to reassure the nation that everything is on track. At least that is the story of this article.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama assured the nation his recovery plan was on track Monday, scrambling to calm Americans unnerved by unemployment rates still persistently rising nearly four months after he signed the biggest economic stimulus in history.
Obama admitted his own dissatisfaction with the progress but said his administration would ramp up stimulus spending in the coming months. The White House acknowledged it has spent only $44 billion, or 5 percent, of the $787 billion stimulus, but that total has always been expected to rise sharply this summer.
I can’t help but feel that this was precisely the objection that many raised in regards to a massive spending bill. That the time it would take to spend the money would likely mean that very little of it would actually be stimulus spending during the recession.
“Now we’re in a position to really accelerate,” Obama said.
He also repeated an earlier promise to create or save 600,000 jobs by the end of the summer.
Ahhh, don’t you love the smell of politicians weaseling…it smells like cow farts. Of course, even saving those 600,000 jobs puts the Administration well behind its initial stated goals in regards to unemployment. Still it looks like most Americans are not falling for this is “create of save” line of silliness.
The economy has shed 1.6 million jobs since the stimulus measure was signed in February, far overshadowing White House announcements estimating the effort has saved 150,000 jobs. Public opinion of Obama’s handling of the economy has declined along with the jobs data.
For the first time, the administration admitted the economic forecasts it used to sell the stimulus were overly optimistic.
“At the time, our forecast seemed reasonable,” Vice President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, Jared Bernstein, said Monday, explaining that the White House underestimated the scope of the recession. “Now, looking back, it was clearly too optimistic.”
Really? Lets think about this…we are about on track for unemployment with no stimulus spending and we have virtually…no stimulus spending. What a shocking result. How about the forecast was actually not all that bad and the Administration has not been spending the money fast enough. That the “shovel ready” projects really weren’t all that ready?
Some analysts believe the White House is still not being realistic, that Obama will be lucky if any real job creation from his recovery effort is seen by the end of the year, let alone the employment explosion he predicts.
I think this is correct. The past two recessions have had increasingly longer lag times in terms of unemployment responding to a growing economy. The last recession was over in November of 2001, but the unemployment rate didn’t start to decline for another 19 months.
Obama spoke Monday about “modest progress” in the economy, citing fewer jobs lost last month than expected. He said he hopes to build on that in the months ahead with stimulus programs.
“We’ve done more than ever, faster than ever, more responsibly than ever, to get the gears of the economy moving again,” he said.
But he acknowledged, “I’m not satisfied. We’ve got more work to do.”
By any measure, spending $44 billion in less than four months – and with unprecedented openness – is an uncharacteristic feat in Washington: The $44 billion amounts to about 9 percent of the stimulus money that is not going to tax cuts. But the expectations have been even higher.
It may well be true that the $44 billion so far represents rather fast spending, but there is another possibility as well…that this is as fast as it can be spent. If this is the case then we will not see much impact from the stimulus for sometime.