The jig is up.
The stimulus is a bust. That has some serious political ramifications for Democrats who will be on the ballot in 2010.
The president sold the stimulus on the promise he’d save or create 3-4 million jobs this year and that unemployment would be held to 8%. Reuters reports:
So far, it has saved or created nearly 150,000 jobs, a relatively small impact on an economy that is still losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month due to the recession.
While the monthly tally of jobs lost appears to be shrinking, the National Association for Business Economists on Wednesday predicted total U.S. job losses of roughly 4.5 million in 2009, leading to a jobless rate of 9.8 percent. …
Obama’s top economic adviser, Cristina Romer, told MSNBC she was optimistic about some improving economic indicators, that it appeared “we are nearing the bottom” of the economic trough and that growth may well resume by year’s end.
“The gold standard is going to be jobs numbers. And realistically, we’re not going to see us adding jobs for a while,” she said.
It is not surprising that the Republicans are pointing to the pork barrel program and decrying the plan as a flop. Minority Whip Eric Cantor (who organized the unanimous Republican opposition to the stimulus) explained, “In the 100 days since that misdirected bill was enacted, well over 1 million Americans have lost their jobs. … These are not the results America hoped for.”
To make their point, Republicans have put out a handy chart showing the magnitude of the job losses. And they have come out with rhetorical guns blazing at the president.
Majority Leader John Boehner was scathing in his assessment:
What’s most remarkable about this latest stimulus report is what’s missing: funding for a skateboard park in Rhode Island, checks to the deceased in Maryland, taxpayer money for John Murtha’s “Airport For No One” in his own backyard, and other well-chronicled examples of old-fashioned government waste. The trillion-dollar “stimulus” has fallen short of the administration’s claims, and middle-class families and small businesses are paying dearly. It hasn’t created the jobs American families hoped for, brought the transparency to government the President promised, or moved money into communities as quickly as the administration pledged. On every score, it has not lived up to the expectations set out for it, all while leaving our children and grandchildren to foot the bill.