So I was away for a bit thanks to the endless benefits the Obama Stimulus has provided the economy and small businesses. Now that I have returned I see that the Obama Stimulus is once again at the forefront of political conversation. Once again Republicans are pointing out how the Stimulus has failed, and Democrats are trying to justify it.
The latest salvo is the top 100 list of wasteful spending, really earmarks that were lumped into the Stimulus. The list is a showcase of the dumb, awful, and ludicrous. Perhaps jobs were created, more likely “saved” under the baffling mathematics only Government can understand, but the value of the jobs can scarcely be justified at the cost per job.
One example which was double checked by CNN was a University of North Carolina at Charlotte project that received $762,372 in stimulus finds to develop a computerized choreography program.
So effectively, the program will tape dancers, and transfer the images to a computer. This way a choreographer will need to use less dancers (meaning less jobs) to plan a dance routine. Because there are just so many dancers and they provide a pivitol force to the economy (no offense to dancers). Best of all one day, IF someone creates an application and IF someone creates an interactive system, audiences can rate the dancers of the future based on this software. Thus it could create jobs, potentially, at some point in the future – if the concept were to take off and be finanicially profitable.
CNN was not concerned with the waste of money this seems to obviously describe. They only stated the the amount of funding for the program is incorrect. That the GOP report did not include the fact that 44% of the funds will be taken by the University of North Carolina as an overhead fee. They also added that the funds will be granted over 3 years. Which obviously clarifies the whole thing and makes it a justifiable Stimulus expense. Right?
That is to say that taking some $335,000 and creating say 10 jobs paying $33,500 a year for 3 years fixing roads or renovating factories or opening stores or whatever would NOT be more productive (and beneficial in the long-term) than potentially allowing an audience that can afford to watch dancers being able to rate the experience – someday in the future. Maybe.
How about the $71,623 in Stimulus funds going to research how cocaine affects monkeys at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. This study is supposed to have major implications on how people are affected by cocaine and what can be done about abuse of the drug. Of course that assumes that since 1920, people have been unclear about the effects of cocaine on humans.
Given that there is large debate about how the Stimulus has been spent over the last year and a half. Given is the fact that the Stimulus costs more (currently up $62 billion in the first year alone) every year than was initially promised to the public – just like every aspect of Government spending. But what is critical is what the Stimulus has done for the economy.
Proponents publicly claim that the Stimulus has created 3 million jobs, though it has been revealed that many like Vice President Biden believe the 8 million jobs that have been lost (over 4.2 million of which are under President Obama) will NEVER be recovered. Proponents claim that the unemployment rate has been reduced 1.5% – though they fail to note that if those not receiving unemployment checks (who don’t count as unemployed though they are not working) and those in the temporary Census jobs were counted unemployment would be in excess of 10.2%. They also fail to note that according to the promises made to pass the Stimulus, America should currently be UNDER 7.5% unemployment.
Is the GOP picking on the Obama Stimulus to gain votes in the upcoming mid-term elections? Yes. Is there any justification to their claims of waste and failure? Plenty. The 2 are not mutually exclusive.
The net result is that Democrats, the Obama Administration, and their supporters are unwilling to say or even consider that they are wrong. They refute any hint that the economy has failed to prosper though the average America finds the reality more than a hint. Worse yet they insist on doubling down on this course of action, even as the G20 demands America not do that.
Therefore the public is left with a simple question.
Has the Stimulus improved your life and economy enough that you will re-elect Democrats so they can do it again?