Why Obama should run on the success of the stimulus
Everything you think you know about it is wrong: stimulus saved the US economy, and only Republicans stopped it working better.
"That conclusion may seem odd to the casual observer of US politics. In the more than three years since it passed, the stimulus has been tagged as a boondoggle that exploded the debt and did precious little to turn around the country's economic malaise. It is derided en masse by Republicans and largely ignored by Democrats.
But, in exhaustive detail, Grunwald points out how everything you think you know about the stimulus is wrong. While the Recovery Act created 2.5 million jobs, stopped the country's economic hemorrhaging and launched a weak recovery, its long-term, transformative impact is the real story.
According to Grunwald, the stimulus measure was "the biggest and most transformative energy bill in history", and "the biggest and most transformative education reform bill since the Great Society". It was also a "transformative healthcare bill", the "biggest foray into industrial policy since FDR", the "biggest expansion of antipoverty initiatives since Lyndon Johnson", and – ironically, for a president oft-accused of raising taxes – the "biggest middle-class tax cut since Reagan". It rebuilt bridges and paved roads; weatherized and retrofitted homes; and spurred the move toward high-speed rail.
It pumped an extraordinary $90bn into the clean energy industry, propelled the US battery industry and expanded rural broadband adoption. It revamped the country's unemployment system, tackled the challenges of homelessness, began the digitizing of millions of health records, and fostered education reform through the innovative Race To The Top program. It doubled renewable power generation, significantly expanded solar production and basically birthed the country's transition to a low-carbon economy.
In short, while Republicans blast the bill as socialist government spending run amok, the stimulus has, in just a few years, transformed America and laid the foundation for future economic growth. To paraphrase Vice-president Biden, that's "a big fucking deal". So, the question is: why is the first we're hearing about it?
Although Grunwald is himself a card-carrying member of the mainstream media, he takes his fellow scribes to task on this point. By focusing on picayune stories of fraud (the stimulus was, amazingly, almost completely graft-free) and "gotcha" reporting on projects that sounded like boondoggles, major media outlets have largely ignored the bill's seismic impact. That, three and a half years after it was passed into law, most Americans simply have no idea what the Recovery Act wrought is a truly damning indictment of the US media."
If you weren't allowed to lie, you'd have exactly ZERO posts here.
The Interstate Highway System and the St. Lawrence Seaway were useful projects that still produce dividends.
Porkulus spent $1 trillion and produced nothing of value. In fact, produced nothing at all.