So much for the “ramp-up” in stimulus spending

posted at 1:15 pm on June 26, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

For a man who likes to reach so often into other people’s pockets, Barack Obama increasingly has trouble reaching into his own.  He promised to “ramp up” Porkulus spending two weeks ago when the unemployment reports threatened to undermine support for his economic policies.  Instead, the flow of money slowed to the smallest amount since Porkulus launched:

Federal spending meant to jump-start the economy slowed last week, two weeks after President Obama vowed to “ramp up” the pace of that aid.

Last week, federal agencies allocated about $5.2billion in new stimulus aid for projects across the country, according to disclosure reports the agencies released Thursday.

That’s less than at any point in the previous month and less than the roughly $8.6 billion the government has spent, on average, in every previous week since Obama signed the massive spending and tax relief package in February.

In early June, polling started showing that confidence in his economic leadership was declining.  The White House simultaneously minimized that trend and reacted to it, first by conceding that unemployment would exceed their own internal predictions in the absence of stimulus, then by promising to spend the money more quickly and efficiently than ever before,  A failure to do that will only make people question Obama’s economic leadership even more, and perhaps finally his honesty and competence at the same time.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Obama.  New unemployment filings increased to 627,000 last week, news of which broke yesterday.  The White House tried claiming credit for a slight decrease in new filings a couple of weeks ago, putting them even further on the hook for reversals, and less able to blame Bush — an argument that has just about reached its sell-by date anyway.  Nor was that the only bad news on the economic front.  Sales of new homes fell again by 0.6%, when analysts predicted an increase.

Next Thursday, the BLS will release the figures for unemployment in June.  With the so-called stimulus doing nothing to save or create jobs, and indeed hardly moving at all despite promises of a “ramp-up,” a hike from 9.4% will devastate the administration and make it look completely ineffective.  That could help halt the enormously expensive Obama domestic agenda marching through Congress at the moment.  It certainly explains why the Democrats are in such a rush to get votes on cap-and-trade and ObamaCare.


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Us was supposed to auction $110 billion in debt this week, wasn’t it? How’d that sale go?

lorien1973 on June 26, 2009 at 1:17 PM

“Some say this (stimulus package) is a spending bill. What do you think a stimulus is?”

-Barack Obama, February 2009

Barrack on June 26, 2009 at 1:18 PM

When does hobo season start again?

Everyone’s going to fill their tags this year. Thanks Barry!

TexasDan on June 26, 2009 at 1:19 PM

How long before they change the methodology used in calculating unemployment rate? Hey look it went from 9.4% to 5.2% in 3 months. And the MSM will shrug and get ready for the “OBAMA LOOKING TO WIN 50 STATES IN 2012 DUE TO BOOMING ECONOMY” setup.

angryed on June 26, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Three and a half more years of this nonsense.

God help us… because the Libs sure wont.

Yakko77 on June 26, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Hmm.. hire tax cheats and political cronies to run a huge federal govt., fail to staff vital departments fully, make conflicting decisions every week…

What could go wrong?

cs89 on June 26, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Why ramp up stimulus spending now? Better to save it for next year when you can use it buy votes closer to the 2010 elections.

PackerBronco on June 26, 2009 at 1:23 PM

How long before they change the methodology used in calculating unemployment rate? Hey look it went from 9.4% to 5.2% in 3 months. And the MSM will shrug and get ready for the “OBAMA LOOKING TO WIN 57 STATES IN 2012 DUE TO BOOMING ECONOMY” setup.

angryed on June 26, 2009 at 1:20 PM

fify :)

offroadaz on June 26, 2009 at 1:23 PM

It is only important that Obama announced the Stimulus money would be ramped up.

This in not an outcome based presidency.

myrenovations on June 26, 2009 at 1:24 PM

New unemployment filings increased to 627,000 last week, news of which broke yesterday

Probably refugees from that last batch of jobs The Genius “saved.”

whitetop on June 26, 2009 at 1:25 PM

I’M AFRAID OF RISING UNEMPLOYMENT. WHAT IS PRES. OBAMA DOING TO US? PLEASE SAVE US FROM HIM!!!

JiangxiDad on June 26, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Us was supposed to auction $110 billion in debt this week, wasn’t it? How’d that sale go?

lorien1973 on June 26, 2009 at 1:17 PM

There appears to be an auction almost ever day.

WashJeff on June 26, 2009 at 1:26 PM

what a disaster, its going to take decades to repair the damage.

rob verdi on June 26, 2009 at 1:27 PM

… an argument that has just about reached its sell-by date….

Sell-by date. I love it. How appropriate!

I hope you don’t mind, Ed, but I’m going to steal that one and use it often when referring to Obama’s broken promises.

UltimateBob on June 26, 2009 at 1:27 PM

…a hike from 9.4% will devastate the administration and make it look completely ineffective.

Whoa, we’re talking about Obama here. In a sane world, the popularity of this administration would already be in the crapper.

forest on June 26, 2009 at 1:28 PM

It is only important that Obama announced the Stimulus money would be ramped up.

This in not an outcome based presidency.

myrenovations on June 26, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Exactly. Remember, with liberals it’s always the good intentions that must be remembered…never the results.

Youngs98 on June 26, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Does ANYONE know where the money bho, team, and the D’s have already gotten IS? Why isn’t ANYONE demanding an audit to find out? Now they want more and we need it fast or Monday America will be toast. This has got to stop and quick!!!
L

letget on June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

At an average of $8.6 billion per week, it would take 92 weeks to spend the $787 billion Porkulus bill–and the money runs out just about at the time of the 2010 elections.

But if they slow down now, they can spend MORE money right before the elections, and tell the voters all the wonderful things they’re doing for the district right before the election.

They’re keeping the money back for the October Surprise. Don’t waste a good crisis–keep it around for 2 elections!

Steve Z on June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Three and a half more years of this nonsense.

God help us… because the Libs sure wont.

Yakko77 on June 26, 2009

Last year I didn’t believe it was electable. Now I don’t think it can be defeated in 2012. I still think Ogabe’s counting on fear-induced paralysis to greatly overwhelm anger-induced activism. Elections will not save us. Something else must.

SKYFOX on June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Us was supposed to auction $110 billion in debt this week, wasn’t it? How’d that sale go?

lorien1973 on June 26, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Fed Willing to Print Money to Buy More Bonds to Keep U.S. Interest Low

http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/fed-willing-to-print-money-to-buy-more-bonds-to-keep-us-interest-low/2009/05/22/

izoneguy on June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

So when Obama told us we are in a crisis nearing catastrophe, the stimulus bill must be passed without ever reading it and waiting would only intensify a worsening situation, what he really meant was …… no biggy, how cool do I look with my feet up on the desk and where’s my puppy?

fogw on June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Elections will not save us. Something else must.

SKYFOX on June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Yes, ask the Iranian protesters about elections. The difference between Iran & America? We the people are well armed.

izoneguy on June 26, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Steve Z on June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Yes, I think so, although events may overtake him in that regard.

a capella on June 26, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Fed Willing to Print Money to Buy More Bonds to Keep U.S. Interest Low

izoneguy on June 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

This sucks. I thought the Fed’s primary, objective is a stable currency, NOT how the economy is doing. This function would not be necessary if we stayed on a commodity\gold standard.

While reports show no inflation, I am sure there is inflation of currency right now if you consider what the natual value of money would be without all this fed interference.

WashJeff on June 26, 2009 at 1:34 PM

All the treasury auctions went off without a hitch surprising many. There was strong bidding which has led to a rally in the bond market.

patrick neid on June 26, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Ramp-up it in stimulus spending.

Fixed it.

Star20 on June 26, 2009 at 1:38 PM

If only it would grind to a halt.

Count to 10 on June 26, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Not good.

Americannodash on June 26, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Me thinks the wheels are coming off the Obama express. Even morons wake up and smell the sewage every now and then. Go morons !

saiga on June 26, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I’m really starting to think that the only guy who honest enough to fix this mess is Beck!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on June 26, 2009 at 1:44 PM

I’m sure Barry would call these ‘mere distractions’. People are dying in the streets! We need to pass HEALTH CARE and CAP AND TRADE now! NO TIME TO WASTE! Don’t bother to read the bills, just pass them!

Does any of this sound familiar? Dems were constantly harping on the Republican ‘mantra of fear’. Guess it’s different when Barry does it. Then it’s an EMERGENCY!

GarandFan on June 26, 2009 at 1:44 PM

When I was in graduate school in the 1970s I had a conversation with Arthur Okun, who was a die hard Keynsian and and economic advisor to President Kennedy, about how fiscal stimulus worked. He said that it didn’t primarily because of the lag caused by the Federal procurement system. The bureacracy is worse now then it was in the 1960. Okun told me that we were still spending stimulus funds from the early 60′s in the 1970s. Even if government spending stimulated the economy (it doesn’t, see Robert Barro) the practicalities of the federal bureaucracy spread the funds out for such long time that you could get much of an effect even if the theory was right.

jerryofva on June 26, 2009 at 1:46 PM

angryed on June 26, 2009 at 1:20 PM

5 months in a row with over 600,000 new people unemployed. Last month they TRIED to cook the number but got caught. They reported 345,000 but someone attempting to explain their cheezy math (based on bozo’s “job savings” and other blather) admitted the number was actually 787,000.

I am willing to bet the actual percentage is already way over ten percent. Remember, people who exhaust their unemployment benefits ARE NOT COUNTED.

I would like to see the actual count of H1-B “guestworker” visas put up side by side with the actual count of unemployed US citizens. On the front page of the Washington Times.

You all know the H1-B scam, right? Companies are allowed to hire “guest workers” from other countries and pay them one third to one half of what citizens get paid, if and only if they can’t find a citizen who can do the work. So they make damned sure they can’t find a citizen who can.

dogsoldier on June 26, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Will the new mantra be, unemployment is rising, but look at all the money we saved, and not created, by not spending what we said we were going to spend?

ICBM on June 26, 2009 at 1:49 PM

If you had a fictional president bent on destroying the US economy, how would he/she do things differently then Obama?

Because I cannot think of a single thing.

Rebar on June 26, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Obviously, he’s trying to time the spending for election purposes. Whatever, the less he spends before the next Congress, the less damage there is to undo.

james23 on June 26, 2009 at 1:51 PM

What could go wrong?

cs89 on June 26, 2009 at 1:22 PM

A lot! To really make things run smoothly you need to fire a few pesky IG’s too!

taznar on June 26, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Obamacare will not be voted on by next week…The Senate is already in recess. Cap and Tax might pass as a lot of folk have been bought but it still will have trouble in the senate.

Remember, no one has read the Cap and Tax bill. Over the next few weeks, as folk do read the bill, opposition and anger will increase.

JIMV on June 26, 2009 at 1:54 PM

The road to ruin is paved with Obama’s intentions.

Thunderstorm129 on June 26, 2009 at 1:57 PM

How can he release more funds from the stimulus, and porkulus, when it’s all sealed, and secured in a Swiss Bank account, awaiting him, when he’s deposed?

capejasmine on June 26, 2009 at 1:57 PM

dogsoldier on June 26, 2009 at 1:47 PM

There are only 65K hib visas a year. There are 7 million unemployed people. It’s a drop in the bucket.

The real scam is the L visas. These are indented for foreign workers of US companies to come here temporarily for assignments, exchanges, training, etc. These are uncapped and without time limits. And the scam is a shell American company is set up by an Indian company. They then bring the workers over on the L visa as “temporary” workers and stay here for years and years.

I’ve seen this happen at a few places.

angryed on June 26, 2009 at 1:59 PM

a hike from 9.4% will devastate the administration and make it look completely ineffective.

“Look”?

But to be fair, the Obama “administration” has been very effective in shoveling taxpayer money and political favors to major Democrat donors.

Everyone from trial lawyers (no limits on frivilous malpractice lawsuits) to unions (GM/Chyrsler takeover on terms favorable to the crooked unions) has their hands in the cookie jar.

And the taxpayers will be funding the tab for centuries.

Hope and change, for the next generation.

NoDonkey on June 26, 2009 at 1:59 PM

dogsoldier on June 26, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Wasn’t it the death/birth ratio they played with.

the_nile on June 26, 2009 at 2:00 PM

I’M AFRAID OF RISING UNEMPLOYMENT. WHAT IS PRES. OBAMA DOING TO US? PLEASE SAVE US FROM HIM!!!

JiangxiDad on June 26, 2009 at 1:26 PM

WAVING MY ARMS AND PLEADING FOR A SAVIOR TO SHOW ME THE WAY TO THE PROMISED LAND!!

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 2:02 PM

There won’t be any “ramp up” in any spending. The money is gone. Unless there is a corresponding ramp up in taxation there won’t be any “ramp up” in spending.

And North Korea knows this. ;)

crosspatch on June 26, 2009 at 2:03 PM

All Obama cares about is creating a national crisis which he can “solve” with full-blown radical socialism with himself as dictator.

If spending the stimulus doesn’t get us to the breaking point sooner, then it’s low-priority.

Daggett on June 26, 2009 at 2:04 PM

people who exhaust their unemployment benefits ARE NOT COUNTED.

No. People who exhaust their eunemployment benefits are no longer counted in the continuing claims number. There are still counted as unemployed as long as they are actively looking for work.

People who have run out of their standard 26 weeks of unemployment, but who are on extended unemployment benefits, also no longer count in continuing claims.

People who are no longer looking for work are “counted” (somehow) as “discouraged workers.”

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 26, 2009 at 2:04 PM

If you had a fictional president bent on destroying the US economy, how would he/she do things differently then Obama?

Because I cannot think of a single thing.

Rebar on June 26, 2009 at 1:51 PM

See my post above.

Daggett on June 26, 2009 at 2:05 PM

oboobi want’s to eliminate the f-22 program.. how many jobs go with it? he has the nerve to talk about stimulas, what a absolute joke were stuck with.

SHARPTOOTH on June 26, 2009 at 2:06 PM

All Obama cares about is creating a national crisis which he can “solve” with full-blown radical socialism with himself as dictator.

Welcome to the permanent crisis.

It works just like the permanent revolutions in Iran, USSR, PRC, etc.

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 26, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Welcome to the permanent crisis.

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 26, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Yeah. We’re doing just fine without crap-and-tax, but they’re ramming it through as if the world will explode tomorrow if it doesn’t get approved.

But the crisis I’m talking about is real (although it’s entirely orchestrated by Obama & cronies), and a total collapse of our economy and the dollar. If they lose on Obamacare and crap-and-tax, it’ll make it harder to orchestrate the crisis. So I’m hoping they lose big.

Daggett on June 26, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Us was supposed to auction $110 billion in debt this week, wasn’t it? How’d that sale go?

lorien1973 on June 26, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Treasuries rose, driving yields lower, after the last of three government debt auctions this week drew higher-than- forecast demand

DaveS on June 26, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Instead, the flow of money slowed to the smallest amount since Porkulus launched

Anyone still not believe me that it’s not that Obama is incompetent… It’s that he’s deliberately destroying our economy and the Republic along with it?

RightWinged on June 26, 2009 at 2:37 PM

“reach into HIS pocket”???

By the way, the plan is to flood money into the system in 2010 so it gets funneled into the hands of vote-buyers. You see how the relatively small amount of money is damn near untrackable now, right? Wait till 2010 when hundreds of billions of dollars find its way into the hands of ACORN and related organizations. THAT’S the plan.

marklmail on June 26, 2009 at 2:39 PM

RightWinged on June 26, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Maybe a little of both.

NoDonkey on June 26, 2009 at 2:40 PM

It takes a while to work out all the kinks to spending so much money. Which supporters get what, if you know what I mean.

Big Daddy Barack, Big Momma Pelosi and Weird Uncle Reid are sitting on a gold mine. They can’t just hand it out to anyone. Every dime must be given to those who will use it to further cement their power.

Jvette on June 26, 2009 at 2:40 PM

I predict that the BLS will start manipulating unemployment numbers in an even more flagrant fashion….must keep lying to cover The One and try to convince everybody that this economy isn’t cratering.

AUINSC on June 26, 2009 at 2:50 PM

By the way, the plan is to flood money into the system in 2010 so it gets funneled into the hands of vote-buyers. You see how the relatively small amount of money is damn near untrackable now, right? Wait till 2010 when hundreds of billions of dollars find its way into the hands of ACORN and related organizations. THAT’S the plan.

marklmail on June 26, 2009 at 2:39 PM

I agree with what you are saying but it will be the greatest magic trick of all time if he can maintain cover for the next 18 months while the country crumbles in higher unemployment, rising gas prices, etc. I realize the media will serve and protect but the reality of life will still exist. As much as he thinks he can, a few eloquent words will not feed moderates and independents. He will always have his core constituency but the middle is his gamble.

sherry on June 26, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Obama could have just set all that money on fire, at least it would have given us some heat for a few minutes.

southsideironworks on June 26, 2009 at 3:28 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h1oRP7FfBw&feature=related

The tax
mans taken all my dough,
And left me in my stately home,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
And I cant sail my yacht,
Hes taken everything Ive got,
All Ive gots this sunny afternoon.

Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
I got a big fat mama trying to break me.
And I love to live so pleasantly,
Live this life of luxury,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
In the summertime
In the summertime
In the summertime

scalleywag on June 26, 2009 at 3:47 PM

The democrats know in a few weeks
soi many will be out of work
that they might be facing a REVOLT..

and they are desperate to pass anything
to keep some of their NUT roots base
from revolting as well

Heck all the Democrats are REVOLTING (crash) :)

veteranoutrage on June 26, 2009 at 4:14 PM

the_nile on June 26, 2009 at 2:00 PM

And his fictional “saved jobs” and his fictional “created jobs”

When I heard they were hiring 75,000 temporary interns, I thought, ‘Gee Bubba must be droolin’.

dogsoldier on June 26, 2009 at 5:13 PM

I’ve began to spend entirely too much time hoping they all burn in hell.

Griz on June 26, 2009 at 6:16 PM

We cannot go back to the failed Booooooooooooshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Redumbacans policys of

2001 with 4.7% unemployment
or
that disaster us Booooossssh year of

2006 with 4.6%unemployment
Thankfully since the Democats took both houses in Congress
Unemployment has improved dramatically.

Even though 2007 started out with an unemployment rate of 4.6% by the end of 2008
Unemployment had improved to 5.8%!

Currently we are only half way through 2009 and we up to 9.4%! Ya HOOO!

Think about that, Since gaining TOTAL power in Washington we have more than doubled the number of Americans Unemployed!

In Fact we almost doubled it in just 6 months! That’s got to be a record! Ya buddy!

Just think of it? If we can (Say it people “YES WE CAN” “YES WE CAN”) double the unemployment every 6 months then we will have achieved

18.8% by Jan 2010
37.6% by jun 2010
75.2% by Jan 2011
Right on track for 97.2% unemployment by March 2011!

Finally I will be able to PROVE I saved 3 million jobs cuz that’s all that will be left!

DSchoen on June 26, 2009 at 8:29 PM

Curious to see what dead fish Rahm promised the weak kneed politicain in the last minute dealing on the Cap & Trade. Need some strong principled republican to educate us on waht was hidden in the bill and expose the cronie package that changed minds and to explain to us what is indeed in the bill that once again the communist did not read before voting on. Who will it be?

bluegrass on June 26, 2009 at 10:20 PM

why haven’t they fixed the banks/ they are not lending money for much of anything. no car loans, no home loans and still cutting lines of credit to employers or reducing them. All these idiots need to do is fix the lending and things will go back to normal…. but they can’t do something this simple, they just want to pass more legislation that continues to scare the crap out of the lenders or make them think everyone is going to default.

Help.

workingforpigs on June 27, 2009 at 1:42 AM

Change you just thought you could believe in.
S U C K E R S !

bluegrass on June 28, 2009 at 8:52 AM