"In these last few months, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved or created nearly 150,000 jobs."
- President Barack Obama, May 27, 2009.
In an attempt to justify Democrats’ massive $1 trillion “stimulus,” the Administration “plays a little loose with the facts.” However, the reality is far different than the fiction the President is writing.
Fiction: When he signed the stimulus, President Obama said that the legislation “will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.”
Reality: According to the Administration, $112 billion from the stimulus has been spent or obligated so far. Assuming that the President’s unsubstantiated claim that the legislation has saved 150,000 is correct, each job saved by the first $112 billion in stimulus spending cost $746,600. At that rate, the entire stimulus would “save” 1 million jobs—far less than the 1.6 million lost since the stimulus was signed. At a total cost of $787 billion, that is a net loss of at least 600,000 jobs.
Fiction: The stimulus has already created 150,000 jobs, as President Obama has stated repeatedly.
Reality: The country has lost 1.6 million jobs since the stimulus was passed into law, and unemployment has increased from 8.1 percent in February to 8.9 percent in April.
Fiction: $45.6 billion of the stimulus has been spent and is helping struggling Americans.
Reality: The Administration is exaggerating the amount of stimulus money that has actually been spent. For instance, the White House reported on May 5, 2009, that the Department of Labor had made $11.5 billion in payments to the unemployment trust fund. It was later revealed that the Department had only been given $1.1 billion. In reality, about $36 billion of the stimulus has been spent — less than five percent of the stimulus.
Fiction: As President Obama has proclaimed, the stimulus is “what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs, to provide relief for families worried they won't be able to pay next month’s bills.”
Reality: According to analysis conducted by the Associated Press (AP), those Americans hardest hit by the economic downturn have received the least stimulus money. The AP stated that their study revealed that “states are planning to spend 50 percent more per person in areas with the lowest unemployment than in communities with the highest.”
Fiction: The stimulus funds are being spent on hundreds of important projects, which are closely tracked and specifically reported by the White House.
Reality: The Administration has reported misleading and false information about how the stimulus money is being spent. In Vice President Biden’s report, “100 Days, 100 Projects,” the White House falsely claims that the very first project highlighted in the report had received $27 million for a public housing development in Washington, D.C. However, it was later revealed that the Administration’s report was false and the project had only received $59,000.
Fiction: The President is committed to “transparency and accountability” and has created Recovery.org so the American people can “see how the money is being spent.”
Reality: According to a Washington Post report titled, “Tracking Stimulus Spending May Not Be as Easy as Promised,” it was revealed that Recovery.org offers “little beyond news releases, general breakdowns of spending, and acronym-laden spreadsheets and timelines.” Even House Education and Labor Committee Chairman, Brad Miller (D-CA), admitted the Administration “may not achieve the transparency they set out to.”