Obama’s ‘failed’ 2009 stimulus, part one

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

By Ira Nirenberg

guess President Donald Trump finally decided that the American people could deal with the truth, which is effectively: If “news” doesn’t come from Fox News or Breitbart’s website, it’s fake news. And, I guess, Republicans, by their collective silence, are relieved to finally have a president with the guts to set the record straight.

So, knowing full well, that I will be shunned by certain family members, friends, and acquaintances, with that most vile label—liberal—I dare comment on a piece of text emailed to me by Senator Roger Wicker. To quote from one of Senator Wicker’s recent emails:

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Reforms to the tax code and checks on regulatory overreach are not the only avenues to encourage economic growth. There is also support for strategic investments, such as President Trump’s pledge to improve our country’s infrastructure.

Updated roads, bridges, railroads, ports, and harbors are important to public safety. Additionally, they facilitate the reliable and efficient transportation of U.S. goods, which supports a healthy economy and American jobs.

“Unlike President Obama’s nearly $1 trillion stimulus, this plan should produce results. The 2009 stimulus failed to live up to its promises for lower unemployment and shovel-ready jobs.”

Permit me to address Senator Wicker’s last sentence first.

This is a quote from a January 30, 2014 Politico article commenting on statements made by Rand Paul regarding Obama’s 2009 $1 trillion stimulus package. Senator Wicker’s comments are aligned with those of Mr. Paul.

Paul said Obama “spent nearly a trillion dollars on make-work government jobs.” It’s plausible that through the stimulus, Obama spent nearly $1 trillion of taxpayer dollars in hopes it would create jobs.

But Paul is wrong to suggest that all $1 trillion was spent on “make-work government jobs.”

Two-thirds of the stimulus was spent on tax cuts and entitlements, and of the remaining one-third, much was paid to private contractors.

Only a modest fraction of the $1 trillion was spent on government jobs, much less on jobs spent doing nothing. We rate his claim False.”

So where did most of the $1 trillion go? The same Politico article states, “Specifically: Tax benefits to individuals and businesses: $290.7 billion; Entitlements: Including Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and unemployment benefits: $264.4 billion; Contracts, grants and loans: In such areas as education, transportation, infrastructure, energy, science and health: $261.2 billion.”

So, please explain to me again how President Obama didn’t do a thing for the poor working guy and why the stimulus was a failure. It seems to have done what it was intended to do: save jobs, and ensure that the fabric of our society remained intact.