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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

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Guest LAW_*

The President spoke last night at a news conference about this issue:


The first step we took was to pass a recovery plan to jumpstart job creation and put money in people’s pockets. This plan has already saved the jobs of teachers and police officers. It's creating construction jobs to rebuild roads and bridges, and yesterday I met with a man whose company is reopening a factory outside of Pittsburgh that’s rehiring workers to build some of the most energy-efficient windows in the world. And this plan will provide a tax cut to 95 percent of all working families that will appear in people’s paychecks by April 1st.

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Guest James Dusenberry

Our government should create a maglev train system like Asia and Europe are already doing, instead of simply putting new trains on old tracks.

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Guest LAW_*

Interesting Read





FROM: Peter R. Orszag


SUBJECT: Updated Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009


On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-5 (“Recovery Act” or “Act”).


This memorandum transmits the second installment of government-wide guidance for carrying out programs and activities enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“Recovery Act”) of 2009. Please bring this memorandum and attachment to the attention of any personnel within your organization that you expect to be involved in these matters.


The guidance issued today supplements, amends, and clarifies the initial guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on February 18, 2009, (Initial Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, M-09-10). All significant updates to M-09-10 are outlined in Section 1.5 of the attached guidance. These updates are based on ongoing input received from the public, Congress, State and local government officials, grant and contract recipients, and Federal personnel.


Significant work is underway at all levels of government and in communities across the nation to carry out the Recovery Act effectively. The attached guidance is intended to reinforce this progress by clarifying existing requirements and establishing additional steps that must be taken to facilitate the accountability and transparency objectives of the Recovery Act.


Specifically, in implementing the Recovery Act, departments and agencies should bear in mind the President’s commitment to ensuring that public funds are expended responsibly and in a transparent manner to further the job creation, economic recovery, and other purposes of the Recovery Act. To that end:


(1) Merit-Based Decision-Making. Consistent with the President’s Memorandum of March 20, 2009, Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds, departments and agencies should develop transparent, merit-based selection criteria that will guide their available discretion in committing, obligating, or expending funds under the Recovery Act for grants and other forms of Federal financial assistance.


(2) Long-term public benefits, optimizing economic and programmatic results. Also consistent with the President’s March 20, 2009, Memorandum, departments and agencies should support projects that have, among other things and to the greatest extent, a demonstrated or potential ability to deliver programmatic results; optimize economic activity and the number of jobs created or saved in relation to the Federal dollars obligated; and achieve long-term public benefits by, for example, investing in technological advances in science and health to increase economic efficiency and improve quality of life; investing in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits; fostering energy independence; or improving educational quality.


(3) Targeting assistance consistent with other policy goals. Federal agencies should take additional policy considerations into account, to the extent permitted by law and practicable, when determining how best to use Recovery Act funds for achieving the Act's objectives, such as supporting projects that ensure compliance with equal opportunity laws and principles, support small businesses including disadvantaged business enterprises, engage in sound labor practices, promote local hiring, and engage with community-based organizations. These policy goals are outlined further in the attached guidance document, at Section 1.6.


An open dialogue on this guidance and other policies and requirements of the Recovery Act is essential to effective implementation. Therefore, the attached guidance includes instructions for how the public can provide additional input and feedback. Specifically, questions and feedback about this memorandum or the guidance document can be addressed to recovery@omb.eop.gov and should have the term “guidance feedback” in the title of the email. OMB will issue a subsequent memorandum within the next 30 to 60 days clarifying any updates to the guidance based on feedback received.

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Guest LAW_*

Governor Martin O’Malley announced that Maryland is the first State in the nation to meet requirements that will allow it to use at least half of its $431 million of highway funding provided by President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). States are required to certify with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that projects are eligible for federal funds and ready for construction within 120 days or the funding will be redistributed to other states. At Governor O’Malley’s direction, Maryland achieved this milestone by obtaining FHWA approval of all 74 Phase I projects by Monday, March 23, only 20 days after the funds were allocated on March 3.


“By moving swiftly to gain the required federal approvals, we can meet our goal of getting jobs out on the street as soon as possible,” said Governor O’Malley. “This is all about preserving jobs. With the recovery dollars starting to flow, we are able to invest in our transportation infrastructure, invest in our people and invest in Maryland families. Together, we are building a better future.”


Phase I of Maryland’s ARRA funded highway projects totals more than $224 million and has the potential to support up to 10,000 jobs. The State Highway Administration (SHA) advertised all state and several Baltimore City Phase I projects by March 17 with one final city project scheduled to be advertised April 3. SHA is now working with FHWA to begin the authorization process for Phase II transportation projects that were announced by Governor O’Malley last week.


In February, just 24 hours after President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, Governor O’Malley announced Maryland’s Phase I transit and highway investments totaling $365 million. The first ARRA project in the nation approved by FHWA was Maryland’s safety and resurfacing project along New Hampshire Avenue in Montgomery County. That project is now underway and is projected to support up to 60 jobs during construction that will last through fall 2009. In addition to announcing Phase II projects last week, Governor O’Malley announced that $62 million in ARRA funding will be allocated by formula directly to the local jurisdictions to use on their own local priority transportation projects.


More information on Maryland’s use of federal recovery funding can be found at www.marylandtransportation.com and click on the American flag icon.

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Guest The White House

2,000th Transportation Project



President Barack Obama today announced funding for the 2,000th transportation project under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), only six weeks after approving the first project. The President made the remarks at the U.S. Department of Transportation with Vice President Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.


"Just 41 days ago we announced funding for the first transportation project under ARRA and today we’re approving the 2,000th project," said President Obama. "I am proud to utter the two rarest phrases in the English language – projects are being approved ahead of schedule, and they are coming in under budget."


"The Recovery Act is being implemented with speed, transparency and accountability," said Vice President Biden. "Don't take my word for it – just look at what's happening today. We have the 2000th transportation project now underway – that's going to help create jobs, make it easier for folks to get to the jobs they have, and improve our nation's infrastructure all at the same time. The Recovery Act is full- steam ahead on helping us build an economy for the 21st century."


"This is the government working for the people, creating jobs today and laying the foundation for a bright economic future," said Secretary LaHood.


The 2,000th project is in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. The $68 million project involves widening of I-94 from two lanes both east and westbound to three lanes in each direction. The project will improve safety and ease congestion by providing a more efficient interchange.


State departments of transportation around the country have reported to FHWA intense competition by contractors for ARRA projects. Bids have been roughly 15 to 20 percent lower on average, and as much as 30 percent lower in some cases, than engineers anticipated. For example, in Colorado, the state’s first five ARRA transportation projects announced on April 2 were 12 percent lower than anticipated. In Maine, one bridge project was 20 percent lower than estimated. In Oregon, during February and March 2009, bids have averaged 30 percent lower than expected.


President Obama secured passage of the ARRA and signed it into law on February 17, less than one month after taking office. Less than two weeks later, on March 3, the President, Vice President Biden and Secretary LaHood released the first funding to the states and localities for highways, roads and bridge projects. That release of funds came eight days earlier than required by law.


ARRA provides a total of $48.1 billion for transportation infrastructure projects to be administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Of that $27.5 billion is for highways and bridges, $8.4 billion is for transit, $8 billion is for high speed rail, $1.3 billion is for Amtrak, $1.5 billion is for discretionary infrastructure grants $1.3 billion is for airports and Federal Aviation Administration facilities and equipment and $100 million for shipyards.


In early February, prior to the passage of the ARRA, Secretary LaHood established within the U.S. Department of Transportation the TIGER (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery) team to ensure that economic recovery dollars for transportation infrastructure projects is rapidly made available and that project spending is monitored and transparent. On March 3, the President unveiled a TIGER logo, as well as an ARRA logo, that will be placed on construction signs across the country, to mark projects being built and jobs created with Recovery Act funds.






Due to heightened competition among contractors for recovery construction work, Transportation agencies across the nation are receiving project bids substantially lower than engineers’ initial estimates. These lower than expected bids are allowing states to stretch economic recovery funds to pay for additional projects, which the Department of Transportation predicts will create even more jobs and yield further infrastructure repair nationwide. Below is a sampling of state transportation projects set to break ground across the country at a fraction of initial estimates.


"At Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, a recent project to reconstruct the area around Piers C and D received six bids instead of the usual two or three. The result: The estimated $50 million project will be built for $8 million less than was budgeted, and the savings will be allocated to other projects. There were 21 bidders for a $200,000 drainage project in Carroll County, more than anyone could remember." [Washington Post, 4/8/09]


"In Connecticut, a project on the Merritt Parkway was budgeted at $75 million. The final bid amount: $66.6 million. In North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, bids are coming in 19 percent, 15 percent and 10 percent lower, respectively, according to data provided by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials." [Washington Post, 4/8/09]


"Pennsylvania officials said contractors competing for their first round of road and bridge projects had offered bids 15 percent lower than the state had expected. Utah officials said some of their bids were coming in 25 percent lower than expected. And a bid to build a 4.7-mile extension of Interstate 49 from Shreveport, La., toward the Arkansas state line came in at $31.1 million, about $4.7 million less than the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development had estimated the project would cost." [New York Times, 3/28/09]


"From major highway construction to small sidewalk improvements, bids are sometimes close to half as much as public works officials had projected… When the Santa Clara County Roads & Airports Department recently sought a contractor to do bicycle and pedestrian improvements along three streets, it expected the cost to be about $975,000. The winning offering was just $543,533…On the carpool lane project on Interstate 680 from Fremont to Milpitas, the three contracts awarded last month totaled about $88 million — compared with the $136 million Caltrans anticipated." [san Jose Mercury News, 3/30/09]


"On April 2, the Colorado Department of Transportation opened bids for five road projects worth nearly $15 million — the first ones bid as part of Colorado’s share of the federal stimulus package… Contractors hungry for work — any kind of work — offered bids that were under what CDOT’s engineers thought the work might cost, meaning the extra money can be poured back into the pot for use later, CDOT officials said. The low bids undercut the agency’s estimates by up to 30 percent." [Denver Business Journal, 4/10/09]

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Guest GSA Press Office

GSA Announces $300 Million Efficient Vehicle Plan


The U.S. General Services Administration has announced plans to buy and deliver $300 million worth of energy-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


The GSA plan announced today balances energy-efficiency goals with the need to expedite the purchase and maximize economic benefit for the auto industry and the economy as a whole.


“GSA will focus on vehicles that will provide long-term environmental benefits and savings by increasing the energy efficiency of the federal fleet,” said GSA acting Administrator Paul F. Prouty. “We will achieve this by using newer, more energy-efficient vehicles and advanced technologies while spending the money quickly to stimulate the economy.”


GSA will spend about $285 million for 17,600 commercially available fuel-efficient vehicles by June 1. Included are 2,500 hybrid sedans to be ordered by April 15.


GSA will also dedicate $15 million to pilot advanced technology vehicles in the GSA Fleet. Pilot programs will focus on commercially available compressed natural gas and hybrid buses and all-electric vehicles. These orders will be placed by September 30.


“GSA will use existing, competitively bid contracts for all orders and does not intend to award new contracts to spend Recovery Act money,” said Commissioner James A. Williams of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.


GSA will buy new motor vehicles only to replace, on a one-for-one basis, operational motor vehicles in the federal inventory that currently meet replacement standards. Each vehicle purchased must have a higher miles-per-gallon rating than the vehicle it replaces with the overall goal of at least a 10 percent increase in fuel-efficiency for the entire procurement.

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Guest Peggy Abrahamson

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $271,075 grant to assist approximately 75 workers affected by the closure of GE Lighting located in Willoughby, Ohio.


"This grant will allow affected Ohio workers to gain access to the services they need to help prepare them for new jobs in high-demand industries in the region, such as health care," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "These workers have expressed an interest in long-term training, among other employment-related services."


Today's grant will be awarded to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and operated by the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services. All affected workers will be given access to the full array of dislocated worker services, which may include skills assessment, individual counseling, education and occupational skills training.


On Aug. 25, 2008, GE Lighting announced the closure of the Willoughby plant. Between Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 2008, a majority of the workers were laid off. The remaining workers will be laid off when the plant closes in September 2009.


Resources for this National Emergency Grant are from the secretary of labor's discretionary fund under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


National Emergency Grants are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit www.doleta.gov/NEG/.

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Guest East Penn Manufacturing

Berks Company Receives Recovery Funds for Next Generation Batteries, Electric Vehicles


Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger today lauded East Penn Manufacturing Co. in Lyon Station, Berks County, for receiving a $32.5 million grant under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant, announced this week by the U.S. Department of Energy, is part of a nationwide effort to accelerate manufacture and deployment of electric vehicles, batteries, and components.


East Penn Manufacturing, a third-generation family business with more than 63 years in battery manufacturing, will use the grant to increase production capacity for its lead-acid batteries and the UltraBattery, a lead-acid battery combined with a carbon supercapacitor, for micro and mild hybrid applications.


"This grant will allow East Penn Manufacturing to scale up production to more than 2.8 million batteries annually by 2013," Hanger said. "Such funding creates new high paying, sustainable jobs while at the same time it strengthens the diversification of this critical manufacturing sector for batteries and electric drive components."


East Penn Manufacturing received one of 48 grants awarded nationwide for new advanced battery and electric drive projects. The $2.4 billion in projects marks the single largest investment in advanced battery technology for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles ever made.


East Penn is the largest manufacturing employer in Berks County. It has a 490-acre plant site, the largest in its industry, with over two million square feet under roof. The grant will enable East Penn to:


* Support the future of the hybrid electric vehicle market by producing 4.2 million advanced batteries;

* Play a significant role in producing a viable, cost effective, and highly recyclable battery for the HEV market; and

* Save approximately 200 million gallons of petroleum over the next four years, and 1.2 billion gallons of petroleum by 2020.


"East Penn has adapted and responded to the current economic crisis by developing innovative technologies to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century," Hanger said.

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Guest Brock

e U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has received an additional $29.1 million in DOE Office of Science (SC) funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for a range of improvements and upgrades to major scientific facilities and other projects.


The new funds come in addition to an earlier $15.1 million in Recovery Act funds provided for laboratory infrastructure modernization and $99 million in Recovery Act money provided by DOE's Office of Environmental Management for clean-up and remediation of legacy nuclear waste and facilities. The new funds bring Argonne’s total Recovery Act funding to date to more than $140 million.


"These new initiatives will help to create new jobs while allowing the U.S. to maintain its scientific leadership and economic competitiveness," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The projects provide vital funding and new tools for research aimed at strengthening America’s energy security and tackling some of science’s toughest challenges."


Approximately $7.9 million will be used to upgrade equipment and acquire and install new detectors at the Advanced Photon Source (APS). The APS is a national synchrotron X-ray research facility supported by SC’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The APS provides the brightest X-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere and is used annually by nearly 3,500 scientists conducting advanced research in energy, materials science and other fields.


About $8.9 million of the Recovery Act funds will be used for upgrades at the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS), a national user facility supported by the SC’s Office of Nuclear Physics (NP). ATLAS is a superconducting linear accelerator for heavy ions used by scientists to study the atomic nucleus and to understand the processes by which heavier elements—those with an atomic number greater than iron—are formed within stars.


In addition, the new Recovery Act funding includes the following:


* $3.8 million for equipment upgrades at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials, one of five Nanoscale Science Research Centers supported by SC’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences and located at national laboratories around the nation;

* $3.8 million for advanced research on particle detector technology, supported by SC’s Office of High Energy Physics;

* $220,000 for NP’s U.S. Nuclear Data Program to enhance the program’s efforts to compile, evaluate and disseminate experimental nuclear data for use in basic research and as a resource for a variety of applied programs such as reactor technology and national security.


Finally, Argonne has been allocated $4.5 million in Recovery Act funds from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, part of $60 million provided to upgrade equipment for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility (ACRF). The funds will be used to improve observational capabilities related to cloud and aerosol properties to study the critical role that these phenomena play in regional climate and atmospheric circulation changes. The ACRF, supported by SC’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research, is a collaboration of nine national laboratories, including Argonne.


Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America 's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

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Guest ustreas

As part of an effort to highlight the success of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) in revitalizing communities across the country, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released a report providing state-by-state data on Treasury program funding. The report, issued around the 200 day anniversary of the Recovery Act, details funds provided to states, local communities, and families through a variety of programs, including the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, payments for renewable energy production, funds for affordable housing development, and Build America Bonds.


"In 200 days, the Recovery Act has made significant progress in revitalizing our communities and providing the basis for economic growth," said Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin. "Through innovative programs established by the Recovery Act, the Treasury Department has provided tax relief to millions of families, supported increased development of affordable housing and clean energy projects, and provided new tools for states and communities to fund much needed infrastructure projects."


Highlights of the impact from Treasury's Recovery Act programs during the first 200 days include:


· $66.1 billion in estimated tax benefits provided to individuals, families, and businesses through the implementation of various tax provisions. The Making Work Pay credit has been a significant element of these provisions.


· $502 million in payments made to promote renewable energy production throughout the country


· $2.3 billion provided to 37 states to spur the development of affordable housing


· $28.2 billion in Build America Bonds issuances to help 37 states finance a variety of public improvement projects


The report also provides information on the First Time Homebuyer's Tax Credit, the $250 one- time stimulus payments, New Markets Tax Credits, Qualified School Construction Bonds, and Recovery Zone Bonds. The comprehensive report is available here. Additional information on Treasury's Recovery Act programs follows:


Making Work Pay Tax Credit: In 2009 and 2010, the Making Work Pay provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a credit of up to $400 for working individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns. The tax credit is calculated at a rate of 6.2 percent of earned income and will phase out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000, or $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.


Recovery Zone Bonds: Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds are one type of taxable Build America Bond that allow state and local governments to obtain lower borrowing costs through a new direct federal payment subsidy, for 45 percent of the interest, to finance a broad range of qualified economic development projects, such as job training and educational programs. Recovery Zone Facility Bonds are a type of traditional tax-exempt private activity bond that may be used by private businesses in designated recovery zones to finance a broad range of depreciable capital projects. Both of these are allocated directly to counties and large municipalities


Qualified School Construction Bonds: Investors who buy these bonds receive tax credits worth 100 percent of the interest, allowing state and local governments to obtain financing without having to pay any interest. States may directly issue the bonds on behalf of eligible schools or provide school districts with the authority to issue the bonds within the state.


Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds: These bonds are authorized under an expanded tax credit bond program of the Recovery Act of 2009 for states and large local governments based on population data. The bonds are tax credit bonds that provide a federal subsidy for repair and rehabilitation of public schools and related authorized purposes through a federal tax credit to investors intended to cover 70 percent of the interest on the bonds.


Build America Bonds: Under the Build America Bonds program, Treasury makes a direct payment to the state or local governmental issuer in an amount equal to 35 percent of the interest payment on the Build America Bonds. Potential investors include pension funds that traditionally do not hold tax exempt bonds and foreign investors. These investors have been important additions to the market for municipal debt.


One-time $250 Payments: Treasury's Financial Management Service, in coordination with the Social Security Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, have issued more than 54 million Economic Recovery payments to beneficiaries totaling more than $13 billion.


Community Development Financial Institutions: The CDFI Fund makes monetary awards (grants, loans and other investments) on a competitive basis to certified CDFIs. A CDFI is a specialized financial institution that works in low-income communities or serves individuals or businesses that lack access to mainstream financial institutions. Among many financial services, CDFIs provide capital to small businesses and micro-enterprises; mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers; financing to support the development of affordable housing projects and community facilities; and retail banking services to the unbanked.


New Markets Tax Credit: With the increased investment authority made available through the Recovery Act, this program incentivizes private-sector capital investment in distressed communities across the country to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and jumpstart the lending necessary for financial stability. The credit provided to the investor totals 39 percent of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period.


Affordable Housing Payments: Under this program, state housing agencies that apply receive funds to finance the construction or refurbishment of qualified affordable housing developments. Applicants agree to forgo tax credits down the line in favor of an immediate payment. Through this program, the Treasury Department works with state housing agencies to jump start the development or renovation of qualified affordable housing across the country.


Renewable Energy Payments: The Recovery Act authorized Treasury to make direct payments to companies that create and place in service renewable energy facilities. Previously, these companies could file for a tax credit to cover a portion of the renewable energy project's cost. Under the new program, applicants would agree to forgo tax credits down the line in favor of an immediate payment.


First Time Homebuyer's Tax Credit: Taxpayers who qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit and purchase a home this year before December 1 have a special option available for claiming the tax credit either on their 2008 tax returns or on their 2009 tax returns next year. The maximum credit is $8,000.


View Report Here:



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Guest doug

Here is some thing that President Barack Obama is saying about the "Spending Bill" Stimulus package.


[Don't waste stimulus, Obama warns And don't look for more help if you do, states told "http://www.freep.com/article/20090313/NEWS15/903130367"]


And Since I AM GOING AFTER A THIRD OF IT; At least in the state that I live in "To be Honest" I WILL have a field day.


[in the article I wish that they would re-state this "About 125 people from 49 states filled an auditorium with theater-style seating in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. Idaho was unable to send a representative.


" as the OLD EXECUTIVE OFFICE BUILDING, and I know the lay out of that place well enough to go into detail if it so pleases me, But I wont for security reasons.]


Just Fantasy typing right now, If I were one of those representatives? I would have taken the stairs instead of the elevators, because there is alot of history in that place, and to really get a feel for it?


The Stairs are more representative of the history of the old executive office building than the elevators are in the sense that elevators came in later in the history of the old executive office building.


But that's just me, also I did take the stairs starting from the top down, and I did get stuck a couple of times, but I did do it, and yeah! It was a stupid thing to do "I tore my wheelchair apart in doing it, but it really was worth it".

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Guest Human

To you democrats out there; Don't EVER tell me my business again. I called it right, and you all "Democrats" played with this economy like it was a game, and I got news for you? THIS AINT NO GAME.....................................................





What was done was done for this countrys' Economic security.


what you democrats are doing is playing with this country economic security.


Your "Democrats" programs haven't worked in the past, and it sure aint going to work in the future.

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Guest Human

Just maybe the general public will finally learn that leaving it up to the left wing of the democrat party was really a bad idea, and a rather costly one on top of it.


Where are the Jobs that the Spending Bill was supposed to have been created?


Where are the jobs??????




It seems the president has a new trick up his sleeve to convince us his bloated "stimulus" packages are solving our economic woes: deception.

ABC News called out the Obama administration the other day when, on the official Recovery.gov Web site, the administration reported "jobs added" in Congressional districts which didn't even exist.


Now, those responsible for the Web site say they're just reporting the number they're given, and Vice President Biden has told them to fix it. So that's all good, right? We're in the clear; the president is on top of it ...

Not likely.


This is the transparency we were promised? Huge sums of money going to clearly unknown places to create clearly nonexistent jobs? In Oklahoma alone, this Web site tells us $19 million went to parts nonexistent. $11 million in Iowa. $48 million to Puerto Rico. $34 million in Arizona. $140.5 million in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


That is, we think. But as none of the districts mentioned in Oklahoma, Iowa, Arizona, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands seem to exist on any Congressional map, we really have no idea. Perhaps we're stimulating Tolkein's Middle Earth, instead!


Even these fictional stimulus projects seem unable to do much. That $19 million in Oklahoma only managed to create 15 jobs. Nice salaries, those.


This isn't simply a matter of changing a few numbers on a Web site, a mistyped district there, an extra "4" over there. No, this is a desperate floundering to appear to meet unmet promises.

Even in the real districts, these numbers, this great transparency we've been offered, mean nothing. If someone thinks a transaction saved someone a job, it gets counted. Not only is that job hypothetical, it's also one of those "saved" jobs, not actually new employment created. Not even the slightest bit of help to an unemployment rate higher than anything we've seen in over two decades.


There's talk of yet another stimulus to "create jobs." Are we supposed to have simply forgotten that creating jobs was the stated purpose of the last stimulus?

The most recent package promised to "create or save" 3.5 million jobs by next year. Even the unbelievable Recovery.gov doesn't believe that has happened. Moreover, 90 percent of those jobs were supposed to have been created in the private sector. Instead, most of the jobs we're seeing claimed are in fact public sector jobs, and there have been multiple challenges to the accuracy of those reports.


And as more and more taxpayer money goes to unnecessary and inefficient projects, we are only told that the effort is working, we're saving jobs and President Obama has us on the right track.


He might need a little bit more of your money to get us all the way there, of course, but that's only because what we're doing is accomplishing so much.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of this. Real people are struggling to keep their jobs and to make ends meet. Real people are circling ad after ad in the Sunday paper praying this time, please, let it work. Real people are seeing their tax dollars frittered away on foolishness. Real people and real problems should not be made into political semantics.

On one level, it makes for an entertaining story. Heard the one about my brother-in-law taking one of those stimulus jobs? Yeah, he had to move to Missouri's 83rd District to take it. It was only after he arrived he found Missouri only had nine.


Yet on every other level this is the sad story, already grown stale in the repeating, of an administration which promises things it cannot deliver and then backs away from responsibility.

Mike Reagan is the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan. E-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.

© 2009 Mike Reagan.

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Guest Human

When it came to the Spending Bill? The only thing that Barack Obama was doing was making a Lawyers argument.


When I posted on here that the democrats were cashing out? I think you now know what I meant by it.


I kid you not, what the democrats can't do to all of us "General Public" Legislatively? They WILL do all of us administratively.

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Guest Union Rep

I hope you are wrong Human. Investment in rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure can put millions of people to work now and improve our country for the long term. The United States has some $2.2 trillion in unmet infrastructure needs. That’s a lot of work that needs to be done, at a time when 26 million people are unemployed or underemployed.


Here are some infrastructure priorities that can create jobs now while laying out a strong foundation and offering benefits for years to come:


* Transportation, including high-speed rail, ports, transit, roads and bridges.

* School construction and repair.

* Drinking water and wastewater systems.

* Clean energy and green technology investment, as outlined by the Apollo Alliance.

* Retrofitting buildings to make them more energy-efficient.

* Improvements to National Parks.


These investments would benefit jobless workers as well as communities across the country.

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Guest The White House

Looking at the situation we face today, what's clear is that our economy is in a very different place than it was when I took office last year. Our economy at that time was on the brink of collapse. The credit and the housing markets were in deep trouble and we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. Economists of every stripe were concerned that we might be slipping into a second depression.


That's not what happened. Because of the Recovery Act and a number of other measures, and because of distasteful but necessary steps to help our auto industry recover and stabilize our banks, we've pulled our economy back from the abyss. And while there's a lot of work left to do, our economy is now growing for the first time in over a year and we just received the best jobs report in over two years.


Of course, it's a sign of how tough times are that the best job report in two years still shows a loss of 11,000 jobs. And I'm not going to rest until every American who’s looking for work can find a job; until we put America back to work.


It's no secret that there's been less than full bipartisan support for the Recovery Act and some of the steps that have broken the freefall of our economy. But my hope is that as we move forward, we can do so together, recognizing that we have a shared responsibility to meet our economic challenges on behalf of all Americans -- those who elected us to make sure that we're doing the people's business.


Small businesses, for example, are the engines that drive much of the hiring in our economy. So we should be able to forge a consensus around a series of steps to help small businesses grow and hire new employees. These steps include elimination of the capital gains taxes on small business investment along with an extension of write-offs to encourage expansion in the coming year. And I've urged congressional leaders to create a tax incentive to create -- to encourage small businesses to add and keep workers.


I’ve proposed making an additional investment in the nation’s infrastructure beyond what was included in the Recovery Act, to continue modernizing our transportation and communications networks. We've already begun to do so. In the first six months of 2010, Recovery Act outlays on projects related to infrastructure will actually double what was done over the previous six months. This is not only going to put more Americans back to work, but this is also work that America needs done and will help fortify our economy for years to come.


I’ve called on Congress to provide temporary incentives for consumers to buy the materials needed to retrofit their homes for greater energy efficiency. This program will spur hiring and spending, promote energy conservation, and help Americans put more money in their pockets by saving on their energy bills. I’ve also proposed that we extend proven initiatives that promote energy efficiency and clean energy jobs. And to help Americans weather this economic storm, I’ve called for an extension of emergency relief to states, seniors, and citizens who need it most.


Finally, to support these efforts, we're going to wind down the Troubled Asset Relief Program, what’s known as TARP -- the emergency fund created to stabilize the banking system. This program has served its original purpose and the cost has been much lower than we expected, giving us a chance to pay down the deficit faster than we thought at the time and also allowing us to invest in job creation on Main Street rather than on Wall Street. More will need to be done to put our nation on a firm fiscal footing, and I’m looking forward to working with the group of leaders that I just met today about how we can structure a plausible scenario to get to medium- and long-term deficit reduction.


Now, it's appropriate that I met with leaders of both parties. Spurring hiring and economic growth are not Democratic or Republican issues. They are American issues that affect every single one of our constituents. I am absolutely committed to working with anybody who is willing to do the job to make sure that we can rebuild our economy and make sure that Americans all across the country, regardless of political persuasion, are seeing the kinds of opportunities that we expect here in the United States of America.


I'm confident we can do so. I'm confident we can put our economic troubles behind us. But it's going to require some work and cooperation and a seriousness of purpose here in Washington. And I hope that as we enter into the holiday season the leaders that I just met with will feel the same way.

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Guest Human

Union Rep; I really wished to god that I was wrong. In the media it's being played out right now. What Barack obama can't do legislatively? He Will do Administratively; EPA is just one of many examples, but it's the most prevalent at the moment.


I also know how Latin America is going to shape up. But what does that have to do with the Stimulus packages? LOL do your home work. You will learn some thing "Not all of it , but a few things".

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Guest Human

With 15 million American workers Unemployed! This administration next year must promise the American worker that they will do everything in their power to get the American worker employed.

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Guest Human

Hey unionrep! just so there are no misunderstandings; I should have phrased it better.


I wished to god that I was wrong, and what this administration can't do to everyone legislatively? they will do it administratively.


You do understand that under the law there is a Union hierarchy, as to which are safe, and which ones will be left up to the winds of fate. Not all unions are treated equally.


I lost a dear friend, who was hardcore union, and some of us are also for unions, just not at the expense of the economy as a whole "It's a brutal balancing act".

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