Surprise: Stimulus not stimulating construction industry, infrastructure repair

posted at 10:15 am on July 31, 2009 by Allahpundit

We begin this morning where we left off last night, with the best laid plans of a top-down economy going predictably awry. The One sure does make blogging easy sometimes.

In fairness, the stimulus isn’t stimulating much of anything these days, but since American infrastructure renewal was a key theme of Obama’s recovery song-and-dance back in February, it’s worth paying extra attention to the bust in this area. First WaPo:

President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan is having little effect on job creation within the general-construction industry, the trade association for the sector said Thursday.

Construction spending was “disappointingly slow” five months into the recovery program, with firms working on stimulus-funded construction projects hiring at no greater rates than those without such work, according to the Associated General Contractors of America, known as AGC…

While few new jobs were reported, 60 percent of firms surveyed by the AGC said they had saved jobs because of the stimulus package, which the AGC estimates is worth $135 billion in construction contracts.

And now the AP, in a report that takes surprising pleasure in reminding The One of how central infrastructure was to his stimulus sales pitch:

A few states, such as Virginia and South Carolina, are targeting their troubled bridges. In all, 1,286 deficient or obsolete bridges are expected to share $2.2 billion in stimulus money for repairs, the AP analysis shows.

But that’s less than 1 percent of the more than 150,000 bridges nationwide that engineers have labeled deficient or obsolete. Of those, more than 39,000 are considered the worst, rated poor in at least one structural component and eligible to be replaced with federal money…

This analysis found that:

• Many states did not make bridge work a priority in stimulus spending. More than half plan work on fewer than two dozen bridges and 18 states plan fewer than 10 projects.

• In 24 states, at least half of the bridges being worked on with stimulus money were not deficient.

• In 15 states, at least two-thirds of the bridges receiving stimulus money are not deficient.

Transportation officials said the stimulus program’s mandates – shovel-ready projects that can be finished in three years and create jobs quickly – made it nearly impossible to focus on bad bridges that weren’t already scheduled for repairs.”

Exit question: Per this morning’s report of less-than-expected contraction among GDP in the second quarter, if it’s true that the recession is finally ending and the economy starts expanding (however sluggishly) next year, will voters really care about stimulus waste during the midterms? The relief that the tide is turning will be so great, I think, that they’ll be willing to forgive The One virtually any Keynesian mistake. There’s a lesson in that for the GOP, too: Since the economy and unemployment are bound to turn around sooner or later, it pays to start shifting their message now from “where are the jobs?” to “how much of our money have you blown?” You can still argue the latter after the recession ends, but obviously not the former.


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so long as I have enough money at the end of the week to buy cupcakes, I’m happy

gatorboy on July 31, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Who cares?

ACORN, SEIU, Citibank, and the UAW got their pound of flesh.

The stimulus was about bailing out lefties and their enablers, not helping the economy.

PimFortuynsGhost on July 31, 2009 at 10:18 AM

People will care if they can see the jobs (especially if it’s their own) get better as a result of the stimuulus. Actually construction always seems to go on, so a few more streets being done won’t really be seen. Oops.

jdfister on July 31, 2009 at 10:19 AM

The only industry getting stimulated under Obama is the grievance industry.

EnglishMike on July 31, 2009 at 10:19 AM

early morning for AP. You looking for overtime hours?

ThackerAgency on July 31, 2009 at 10:20 AM

I thought this was the Dems’ big mantra back when that bridge gave out–”Infrastructure! Infrastructure!”

jgapinoy on July 31, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Exit question: Per this morning’s report of less-than-expected contraction among GDP in the second quarter, if it’s true that the recession is finally ending and the economy starts expanding (however sluggishly) next year, will voters really care about stimulus waste during the midterms?

The GDP number is an estimate, and it will be revised downwards.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 10:21 AM

The relief that the tide is turning will be so great, I think, that they’ll be willing to forgive The One virtually any Keynesian mistake. There’s a lesson in that for the GOP, too: Since the economy and unemployment are bound to turn around sooner or later, it pays to start shifting their message from “where are the jobs?” to “how much of our money have you blown?” You can still argue the latter after the recession ends, but obviously not the former.

That’s assuming an awful lot. First, that the end of the recession paves the way for an economic recovery. One that includes jobs. Second, that the massive deficits don’t lead to high inflation and huge tax increases. And third, that crap-and-betrayed and Obamacare don’t pass.

If any of those things happen, this economy is screwed. And if two or three come to pass, then God help us.

Doughboy on July 31, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Since the economy and unemployment are bound to turn around sooner or later, it pays to start shifting their message now from “where are the jobs?” to “how much of our money have you blown?”

The GOP focus should always be on less spending\limited government. The reckless spnding of the past can be rebuffed by stating correctly that the GOP house leadership has changed since 2000-2006 and the new leaders understand this. The limited government message is THE best unifyiung message within the GOP and will be the best, and I think always is, message to get 15% to 20% of the “moderates.”

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 10:24 AM

early morning for AP. You looking for overtime hours?

ThackerAgency on July 31, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Needs to cover for Ed since he is on the west coast and posting long hours on Muscle Beach.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 10:25 AM

The least efficient and most poorly run company in PA is PennDot. Guess where 1.25B dollars of stimulus money was to go? Yep, PennDot. These are the guys who will work for 1 hour and hide the rest of the day watching movies. It took them 4 YEARS to resurface an intersection where I work. So we “stimulated” them and then wondered why the economy still stinks? Imagine that…

tflst5 on July 31, 2009 at 10:25 AM

It’s Booooooooosh’s fault!

It’s the media’s fault!

Americans are stupid! It’s their fault!

It’s the fault of stupid white cops!

darwin on July 31, 2009 at 10:25 AM

I heard on Fox that some of the stimulus money for infrastructure went to beautification of highways, studying traffic patterns and other non-essential programs.

What a waste of money.

becki51758 on July 31, 2009 at 10:26 AM

it pays to start shifting their message from “where are the jobs?” to “how much of our money have you blown?”

I forgot to add the tax message his going to be huge in 2010 with Bush tax cuts expiring (what dumb idea that was putting an expiration date on a tax cut), and state and local governments bleeding red and chompping at the bit to raise taxes.

Simple Message:
Less spending. Less Taxes. More Prosperity. More Freedom.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Here is an article that corresponds with AP’s post:

Forget second stimulus; we need economic vision
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25636.html

ICBM on July 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

There’s a lesson in that for the GOP, too: Since the economy and unemployment are bound to turn around sooner or later, it pays to start shifting their message now from “where are the jobs?” to “how much of our money have you blown?” You can still argue the latter after the recession ends, but obviously not the former.

I don’t see those as two separate messages but part of the same one- look what bad stewards you are and we don’t even get job growth out of the deal.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

tflst5 on July 31, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Isnt that the truth! I live in Pa near I-99 and they worked on repairing an exit ramp for years.

becki51758 on July 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

. It took them 4 YEARS to resurface an intersection where I work. So we “stimulated” them and then wondered why the economy still stinks? Imagine that…

tflst5 on July 31, 2009 at 10:25 AM

And let me guess, after 4 years they decided they need to add a right turn lane. That always happens in IL.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Here’s the deal with Porkulus and infrastructure spending (because I am in the construction industry)

State governments were in such bad shape around the country and transportation funding was so off that the so called stimulus let them off the hook. They diverted or did not appropriate funds for infrastructure leaving only the stimulus money available so the net volume of work has shrunk dramatically while states right the ship.

The recession has hit Texas less than some other states but it coincided with a budget busting accounting snafu in the transportation department, some legislative insanity and general asshattery.

The net effect was that there was very little funding available for work and firms like mine had to lay people off or take work at cost or less to keep revenues turning to service debt.

Further, we do things the right way. We are not heavily leveraged and our debt load is light. We own alot of our equipment outright and our advantage is our service on older machinery…..which will totally crush us when cap and trade gets ramped up.

Soo….Perry called a special session of the state legislature and they got some things hashed out and more money appropriated but not all that much. They didn’t have to or at least thought they didn’t have to and just dumped the stimulus money into it and it wasn’t enough.

and it doesn’t help to have firms ranging outside their territory, coming from as far away as Florida, desperate for work.

Texas74 on July 31, 2009 at 10:29 AM

I know this for a fact because my father and step-mother own their own construction business and they changed their focus to construction supplier because there aren’t that many in Ohio and they thought they could weather this storm a little better.

Well, they’ve sold a few (literally a few) of those flashing lights that go on orange barrels and that’s it. And Ohio is supposed to be construction capital of the U.S. ODOT is ALWAYS doing construction.

MobileVideoEngineer on July 31, 2009 at 10:29 AM

A very good morning to you, Allahpundit.

Since the economy and unemployment are bound to turn around sooner or later, it pays to start shifting their message now from “where are the jobs?” to “how much of our money have you blown?”

Can we do both?

Loxodonta on July 31, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Exit question: Per this morning’s report of less-than-expected contraction among GDP in the second quarter, if it’s true that the recession is finally ending and the economy starts expanding (however sluggishly) next year, will voters really care about stimulus waste during the midterms?

I think that’s a big if. I’d argue that we’re not going anywhere until the outcome of Obamacare and Cap-and-trade are clear. Many will sit on the sidelines until then–and prospective employees too.

BuckeyeSam on July 31, 2009 at 10:30 AM

so long as I have enough money at the end of the week to buy cupcakes, I’m happy

gatorboy on July 31, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Don’t forget your Obamabeer and porn.

ladyingray on July 31, 2009 at 10:30 AM

You’re missing the point:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iWdjkXwOUs

Don’t you just love it when liberals speak the truth!

Laura in Maryland on July 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

BTW, most state governments’ fiscal years end June 30. I am waiting to see the Q3 numbers, once all of the state budget cuts have their impact on the economy. The latest GDP numbers were positively weighted by state and federal spending.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Wasn’t this the plan all along to delay much of the so-called stimulus spending until 2010 to impact the mid-term elections? There is inherent danger in this strategery that could backfire on the Dems. I’d feel a whole lot better if the GOP had a master tactician a la Gingrich — but not Gingrich again — to start leading a new conservative revolution now.

Terrie on July 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

I think that’s a big if. I’d argue that we’re not going anywhere until the outcome of Obamacare and Cap-and-trade are clear. Many will sit on the sidelines until then–and prospective employees too.

BuckeyeSam on July 31, 2009 at 10:30 AM

And the prospect of higher taxes in 2011(if not sooner) will also stifle investment.

Doughboy on July 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Wait…the government wastes money and blows it on things they don’t tell the voters they’re going to waste it on instead of the things they tell voters they’re going to spend it on?

I am SHOCKED.

Now about their “Underpants Gnomes” Health Care model:

1) Tens of millions demand more care after government mandates it
2)Government disincentives entering medicine by “dictating” costs and pay for doctors
3) ???
4) REDUCED COSTS AND IMPROVED CARE

Good Lt on July 31, 2009 at 10:33 AM

And let me guess, after 4 years they decided they need to add a right turn lane. That always happens in IL.

Yep! They added an extra lane for about 30 feet (that server no identified purpose). We also got some “sweet” double turn lanes that turn into a 1 lane road.

tflst5 on July 31, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Can we do both?

Loxodonta on July 31, 2009 at 10:29 AM

You are brilliant. Unfortunately, our leadership is not. They were barely able to get the “Where’s the jobs?” message out with the GOP shouting it into the same microphone. You’re right, we need to hammer both at the same time to really be effective.

Laura in Maryland on July 31, 2009 at 10:37 AM

If this is a jobless recovery as predicted, then “Where are the Jobs?” will still be a good mantra!

Anyone else getting confused about the intentions of the various spending programs? When Obama and Emanuel claimed earlier this week that they saved the economy, were they talking about their stimulus bill or spending the rest of Bush’s TARP money?

joedoe on July 31, 2009 at 10:37 AM

With only 5% of the Porkulus money having been distributed, where was the RUSH and CRISIS Mr. Obama to pass this 800 billion dollar debacle? Why did you push this program into the hands of Pelosi and her liberal hacks to feed their special interest pigs that have wasted our taxpayer dollars? Here’s an idea—if the recession is over, as your spoon-fed media is proclaiming, why not recind or reclaim the balance of the unspent money and return it to the people? Or re-fund the clunker program, that seems to fit your community organizer skills.

Rovin on July 31, 2009 at 10:38 AM

But, but, but they put up all those cool Obama signs here in Chicago that tell me the govt is putting America to work. I drive through mazes of orange cones, averting a blown tire in one of these craters they call a “pothole.” At least Chicago’s getting stimulated!

conservative pilgrim on July 31, 2009 at 10:38 AM

The Republicans don’t want you to take bridges.

NickelAndDime on July 31, 2009 at 10:38 AM

The relief that the tide is turning will be so great, I think, that they’ll be willing to forgive The One virtually any Keynesian mistake

I disagree for this reason. The GOP largely was defeated in 2006/2008 because of the way they were spending. It didn’t help that they put up a candidate that hates Republicans, but fiscal responsibility resonated and some of these “Bluedogs” were hired on specifically because of their predecessors spending habits. Fast forward to 2010 and whatever spending the GOP Congress did pales in comparison to what has come out of this Congress on a strictly party-line vote. With the exception of TARP I, this is all Democrats doing. I don’t think that any change in the economy is going to turn the filthy liar in the White House and his party into heroes.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Transportation officials said the stimulus program’s mandates – shovel-ready projects that can be finished in three years and create jobs quickly – made it nearly impossible to focus on bad bridges that weren’t already scheduled for repairs.”

What about constructing essential cupcakes and cupcake delivery systems?

Loxodonta on July 31, 2009 at 10:44 AM

They were barely able to get the “Where’s the jobs?” message out with the GOP shouting it into the same microphone. You’re right, we need to hammer both at the same time to really be effective.

Laura in Maryland on July 31, 2009 at 10:37 AM

I so often see brilliance in analysis from Ed and AP, many of the Hot Air posters and other Obama opponents on the internet. From the GOP, not so much.

Hello! GOP! Wakey! Wakey!

Loxodonta on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Uncle Sugar cuts out jobs from the defense industry, long term, good wage jobs, and throws money at horse killing and mice protecting, trash pic-up, and census workers.

Is it really so hard for Americans to see what is wrong with that picture?

Who am I kidding?

Limerick on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Can we do both?

Loxodonta on July 31, 2009 at 10:29 AM

YES WE CAN! :)

scalleywag on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Well, we learned one thing. Want stimulus? Target specifically.

The Cash for Clunkers is actually working. The other parts of the stimulus are a flop.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

I don’t think that any change in the economy is going to turn the filthy liar in the White House and his party into heroes.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Whatever…. just wait until 3Q or 4Q GDP goes positive…. the MSM won’t stop proclaiming Obama and the Stimulus to be the best thing to ever happen to the USA.

You think the MSM is sick now… just wait. It will be UNREAL. Katie Couric might actually swallow on live TV.

BPD on July 31, 2009 at 10:49 AM

I think that’s a big if. I’d argue that we’re not going anywhere until the outcome of Obamacare and Cap-and-trade are clear. Many will sit on the sidelines until then–and prospective employees too.

BuckeyeSam on July 31, 2009 at 10:30 AM

Exactly. If their initiatives are defeated the economy has a chance to recover (although if they get rid of the Bush tax cuts, the prospects are still dim).

While we’re waiting, the G.O.P. should start a fundraising initiative called “Cash for Clunkers”. We donate cash to the G.O.P. and they help get rid of the clunkers in Congress in 2010.

Buy Danish on July 31, 2009 at 10:50 AM

The Cash for Clunkers is actually working. The other parts of the stimulus are a flop.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

What? Just yesterday there were 2,000 applications from Minnesota alone. A survey of the car dealers holding the cars were asked how many applications have been approved.
Not a single one. None, zip, nada. The businessmen have been left holding the bag for Barry. Imagine that.

Limerick on July 31, 2009 at 10:50 AM

There’s a lesson in that for the GOP, too: Since the economy and unemployment are bound to turn around sooner or later,

He can’t let that happen. He needs something to “fix”. To remake. To change. That’s ALL he’s about. His appeal has never been sustaining success. Learn that lesson first.

Weight of Glory on July 31, 2009 at 10:51 AM

With our current deficit at 110% of GDP — and that’s before the huge add-ons that Cap and Trade and ObamaCare would bring — combined with the increasing difficulty we’re experiencing in the sale of our bonds, job growth of any kind, certainly in the next two years, is pie in the sky.

And, when you factor in the massive inflation that is just around the corner because of the Fed’s need to print hundreds of billions or more to fund the deficit, any job growth at all will be wiped out, not to mention individual savings.

Finally, given that the destruction of free markets and the economy as we know it is job one for Obama and Company, rest assured that they will do whatever they can to keep as many people as possible dependent on the government, meaning fewer — not more — jobs.

TXUS on July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

The Cash for Clunkers is actually working. The other parts of the stimulus are a flop.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Well look who crawled out from under her rock. We’ve been worried. Did you go into talking points withdrawl? You can tell a drive-by troll by their failure to READ other major threads!

Thanks Anni, I needed the laugh.

Laura in Maryland on July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

While we’re waiting, the G.O.P. should start a fundraising initiative called “Cash for Clunkers”. We donate cash to the G.O.P. and they help get rid of the clunkers in Congress in 2010.

Buy Danish on July 31, 2009 at 10:50 AM

EXCELLENT idea! That’s priceless.

scalleywag on July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Whatever…. just wait until 3Q or 4Q GDP goes positive…. the MSM won’t stop proclaiming Obama and the Stimulus to be the best thing to ever happen to the USA.

They’ll ignore, of course, the sea of red ink they’ve saddled future generations with, as well as the inflation that they were directly responsible for causing with their irresponsible and economically illiterate “economic policy.”

But they need not worry – basic economics is not a requirement in most public schools or in college. And hence, economic illiteracy continues from generation to generation unabated, empowering collectivists and Democrats by default and by design.

Good Lt on July 31, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Here, Ann. It ain’t working.

Limerick on July 31, 2009 at 10:53 AM

With our current deficit at 110% of GDP

TXUS on July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

huh?

BPD on July 31, 2009 at 10:53 AM

In fairness, the stimulus isn’t stimulating much of anything these days

zzzzz

Profits at companies from Caterpillar Inc. to Dow Chemical Co. signal the slump is abating as government efforts to revive lending and President Barack Obama’s stimulus gain traction.

sesquipedalian on July 31, 2009 at 10:54 AM

The latest GDP numbers were positively weighted by state and federal spending.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

GDP can be manipulated by deficit spending since GDP does not show liabilities incurred. I wish the media would talk up the national balance sheet more. Seems like you hear mentioned only once a year.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Well look who crawled out from under her rock. We’ve been worried. Did you go into talking points withdrawl? You can tell a drive-by troll by their failure to READ other major threads!

Nope, just on vacation here. Great trip.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:56 AM

What? Just yesterday there were 2,000 applications from Minnesota alone. A survey of the car dealers holding the cars were asked how many applications have been approved.
Not a single one. None, zip, nada. The businessmen have been left holding the bag for Barry. Imagine that.

Limerick on July 31, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Obama probably planned this to get at those evil profits.

farright on July 31, 2009 at 10:58 AM

er this morning’s report of less-than-expected contraction among GDP in the second quarter, if it’s true that the recession is finally ending and the economy starts expanding (however sluggishly) next year, will voters really care about stimulus waste during the midterms?

Dont worry.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aNivTjr852TI

“Recession Worse Than Prior Estimates, Revisions Show “

the_nile on July 31, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Exit question: Per this morning’s report of less-than-expected contraction among GDP in the second quarter, if it’s true that the recession is finally ending and the economy starts expanding (however sluggishly) next year, will voters really care about stimulus waste during the midterms? The relief that the tide is turning will be so great, I think, that they’ll be willing to forgive The One virtually any Keynesian mistake. There’s a lesson in that for the GOP, too: Since the economy and unemployment are bound to turn around sooner or later, it pays to start shifting their message now from “where are the jobs?” to “how much of our money have you blown?” You can still argue the latter after the recession ends, but obviously not the former.

You are assuming that the Democrats cannot continue to hold the economy down with all of their “reforms”. FDR managed it for at least eight years after Hoover had already done if for three.

Count to 10 on July 31, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Yeah, but just imagine how awfully awful things would be without Obooba doing all his wonders for us?

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 10:59 AM

The Cash for Clunkers is actually working.

Yeah, the government has done a great job making that program sustainable.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2009-07-30-cash-for-clunkers-program-suspended_N.htm

Good Lt on July 31, 2009 at 11:00 AM

This is all intersting, but unless the republicans take advantage of this quickly they will run out of time. The economy will turn around to some extent even if it isn’t as much with Obama’s policies impeding it.

He will be given credit for anything and everything that would have happened anyway. That is the big issue…making people understand how much more they would have gotten under a republican leadership in congress.

tomas on July 31, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Only 8% of the budget is going to “transportation” which is presumably the category that includes those famous shovel ready projects we were promised (which I had little faith in anyway, but I digress).

They are shoveling out bucks to the states in these proportions:

64% for health + 18% for education+ 6% for “income security”. See the pie chart here.

Buy Danish on July 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM

sesquipedalian on July 31, 2009 at 10:54 AM

You quoted someone’s opinion. Showing a profit does not equate to increased revenue. It may simply show that a company has drastically cut costs (layoffs).

BPD on July 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM

The Cash for Clunkers is actually working. The other parts of the stimulus are a flop.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

It ran outa money in one week! Gee, how wonderful, my tax money went into my nighbor’s new car. Awww.

Socialism is stoopid, everytime, everyplace.

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM

CNBC just report that Congress is trying to rush another 2 billion for the CFC program. Two thoughts, where they getting that money (yes rhetorical). Secondly, this will help the program last, what, another 2 weeks. Hey, did you guys hear that Obama says Health Care reform will actually save us money? True story.

Weight of Glory on July 31, 2009 at 11:02 AM

GDP can be manipulated by deficit spending since GDP does not show liabilities incurred. I wish the media would talk up the national balance sheet more. Seems like you hear mentioned only once a year.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Yes, the more government spends, the more GDP goes down.

Count to 10 on July 31, 2009 at 11:02 AM

The things this “stimulus” package have been spent on are a crime. There is no way you can convince me that every locale in the nation doesn’t have some serious needs that are just waiting for funding. So either the stimulus money is not there or it’s going to line the pockets of donors. Add to that the pass they can give themselves on corruption and I think the GOP has all sorts of campaign message.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D99OUTF03&show_article=1

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2009 at 11:03 AM

The Cash for Clunkers is actually working. The other parts of the stimulus are a flop.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Well let’s expand the program to $8000 credit per car. Any why put a $1B cap on it. Let’s make it a permanent entitlement. I sometimes wonder why you do not expand on your beliefs and go all the way.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 11:03 AM

In fairness, the stimulus isn’t stimulating much of anything these days

zzzzz

LALALALA ICANTHEARYOU

Caterpillar profits fell 66% in Q2.

Good Lt on July 31, 2009 at 11:03 AM

I don’t think that there are a lot of people who are surprised the stimulus is not stimulating.

Since we are coming out of the recession why doesn’t congress repeal the rest of the stimulus.

Brat4life on July 31, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Well let’s expand the program to $8000 credit per car. Any why put a $1B cap on it. Let’s make it a permanent entitlement. I sometimes wonder why you do not expand on your beliefs and go all the way.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Give it time.

BPD on July 31, 2009 at 11:05 AM

This just breaking: solution to CFC shortfall reached.

Weight of Glory on July 31, 2009 at 11:05 AM

insult to injury

This is not good:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124896282178793797.html

Shaky auctions of Treasury notes this week reignited concerns about whether the government can attract buyers from China and elsewhere to soak up trillions in new debt.

A fuse was lit this week when traders noted China’s apparent absence from direct participation in two Treasury bond auctions. While China may have bought Treasurys just before the auctions, market participants read the country’s actions as a worrying sign that China and other foreign investors may be ratcheting back purchases at a time when the U.S. is seeking to fund a $1.8 trillion budget deficit.

BPD on July 31, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Surprise: Stimulus not stimulating construction industry, infrastructure repair

Keynesian economics failed for FDR in the 1930s, and will repeat for the ONE in 2009/10. Like FDR, Oblahblah blathers, and spins rubber, meanwhile unemployment keeps rising. Other than lining their own pockets, the RAT party hasn’t learned how to make an economy move.

The 2010 mid term elections can come fast enough…

byteshredder on July 31, 2009 at 11:10 AM

BPD on July 31, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Brace for impact.

Count to 10 on July 31, 2009 at 11:10 AM

“Shovel ready” projects aren’t happening here.

Elsewhere?

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 11:18 AM

BPD on July 31, 2009 at 11:08 AM

kyrie

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2009 at 11:03 AM

The first thing out of Obama’s mouth at the Bristol VA town hall was that the stimulus had no pork in it.

That is a greatsound bite all by itself. Clearly that is all the porkulus was.

And yes, there are two different pending highway widening projects in my county alone that are in the state pipeline…maybe they could be sped up or something…STIMULUS!

ladyingray on July 31, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Good Lt on July 31, 2009 at 11:03 AM

the first link is about the first 12 months (dec 2007 – dec 2008) of the recession, which was worse than previously thought. it’s not a forecast, but thanks for the info.

caterpillar’s Q2 profits exceeded estimates, and its CEO is very happy with the stimulus.

sesquipedalian on July 31, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Are we seeing cracks in Obama’s “infrastructure”?
The deficit is certainly one of the wounds into which we should be pouring salt. We have no shortage of salt and his character shows many wounds. Let’s have at him.

SKYFOX on July 31, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Michelle Malkin @ Ingraham now

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 11:25 AM

We begin this morning where we left off last night, with the best laid plans of a top-down economy going predictably awry. The One sure does make blogging easy sometimes.

While The Won makes blogging all-too-easy, I submit that the lack of construction/infrastructure stimulus is a design feature and not a bug. Porkulus was designed first, last, and always to stimulate the government growth glands.

steveegg on July 31, 2009 at 11:28 AM

caterpillar’s Q2 profits exceeded estimates, and its CEO is very happy with the stimulus.

sesquipedalian on July 31, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Yes, but their revenues, year over year, DECLINED by 10%

So, how did they become more profitable than expected with DECLINING revenues? Here’s a hint: LAYOFFS.

BPD on July 31, 2009 at 11:29 AM

So, how did they become more profitable than expected with DECLINING revenues?

i suppose china’s got a lot to with that, actually.

sesquipedalian on July 31, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Keynesian economics failed for FDR in the 1930s,

byteshredder on July 31, 2009 at 11:10 AM

It also failed for Nixon in the 60′s.

MarkTheGreat on July 31, 2009 at 11:44 AM

No surprise there.. My husband is in the construction industry, construction management, self employed.. We went to a decent income to nothing last winter. Finally has a couple of contracts, barely enough to pay bills. It will take a several years to catch up. Thank GOD we were able to hang onto our home.

reshas1 on July 31, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Per this morning’s report of less-than-expected contraction among GDP in the second quarter

What’s the betting line on the second quarter loss to be revised to a larger loss and/or at least one of the next four quarters will be worse than 1% loss?

burt on July 31, 2009 at 12:00 PM

if it’s true that the recession is finally ending and the economy starts expanding (however sluggishly) next year, will voters really care about stimulus waste during the midterms?

If anyone believes that, they’re closet KoolAid drinkers. This recession ain’t over by a long shot, the worst is yet to come. To think otherwise is thinking stupidly.

Knucklehead on July 31, 2009 at 12:03 PM

This recession ain’t over by a long shot, the worst is yet to come. To think otherwise is thinking stupidly.

Knucklehead on July 31, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Democrat administration- Economy contracts less than expected=recovery
Republican administration- Economy expands less than expected=recession/depression on the scale of the 1930′s

thomasaur on July 31, 2009 at 12:13 PM

So you’re telling me that a bunch of pols and their staffers sitting around dreaming up way to would get infrastructure projects moving didn’t know the reality of how “their” money would actually be spent?

Imagine that. I’m so glad they have such a better handle on the problems with health care. I’m sure their solution will get right to the heart of the problem.

rockhead on July 31, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Before you read the rest, it looks like today the US$ is tanking, 10 yr government bonds are also crashing driving up interest rates, and, not coincidentally, gold is on the way up. But, I’m sure the O-man, Helicopter Ben and Little Timmy are solving that breach in the wall as we read this.

The “less than expected” decline in GDP is a mirage. This comes via one of the go-to guys on the internet, Ken Denninger at The Market Ticker. ONLY government expenditures – federal, state, local – have kept the decline anywhere close to zero. If you think that’s sustainable, put on the dunce cap and sit in the corner. When one examines what happened in the real, productive economy here’s what happened vs 1stQ 2009:

“Real personal consumption expenditures decreased 1.2 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of 0.6 percent in the first. Durable goods decreased 7.1 percent, in contrast to an increase of 3.9 percent. Nondurable goods decreased 2.5 percent, in contrast to an increase of 1.9 percent. Services increased 0.1 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 0.3 percent…

Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 8.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 39.2 percent in the first. Nonresidential structures decreased 8.9 percent, compared with a decrease of 43.6 percent. Equipment and software decreased 9.0 percent, compared with a decrease of 36.4 percent. Real residential fixed investment decreased 29.3 percent, compared with a decrease of 38.2 percent.”

That, folks is not a “green shoot.” The economy over the last 20 years was built on debt leverage. Thus, probably as much as 20% of GDP growth during that period – up to 3rdQ 2008 – was an illusion. The law of economic gravity will require an overall decline in private debt outstanding to GDP from 350% back to the historical mean of 150%. The deleveraging will require paydown or default of large quantities of current private debt and a decline in U.S. GDP of 20% overall. Reversion to the mean will be a bitch so hang on.

boqueronman on July 31, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Since the economy and unemployment are bound to turn around sooner or later, it pays to start shifting their message now from “where are the jobs?” to “how much of our money have you blown?”

Right, it’s far easier to determine his spending than it is to prove jobs were/were not created by stimulus. This should be our new focus.

with firms working on stimulus-funded construction projects hiring at no greater rates than those without such work

This doesn’t surprise me. I had a nice (not) debate on Hufpost with some guys saying that stimulus saved thousands of construction jobs, because construction has picked up. I told them that many of the construction projects going on now have been planned for years (if they are big), and funding for them has been planned out as well. They were all projected to start this summer, and now Obama is taking credit for those projects.

ConservadorRebelde on July 31, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Stimulus not stimulating construction industry, infrastructure repair

Well duh.

Despite the rhetoric used to pass it, it was never intended to which was clear as day to those of us who at least tried to read it.

Yakko77 on July 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

You’re missing the point:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iWdjkXwOUs
Don’t you just love it when liberals speak the truth!

Laura in Maryland on July 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Geez. Ever since these guys got their supermajorities and their First Ever Negro President, they just don’t even bother to conceal their true beliefs anymore. Whether it’s this guy or Holder or Bwaney Fwank or Waxman, they’re just crawling out from under the rocks and saying the most blatant things. Of course, Dear Leader is foremost.

Only among the permanent political elite could this little dwarf continue to command attention decade after decade, administration after administration, when every policy he’s ever promoted has been a dismal failure.

But then, he is from Haavad

guntotinglibertarian on July 31, 2009 at 1:23 PM

I still feel that if they had to spend our money to help our nation that money would have best been spent in constructing nuclear power plants all around country. As it is I don’t see how spending this money advancing liberal causes and paying for peoples mortgages and cars is going to help in the long run.

SGinNC on July 31, 2009 at 1:25 PM

That, folks is not a “green shoot.” The economy over the last 20 years was built on debt leverage. Thus, probably as much as 20% of GDP growth during that period – up to 3rdQ 2008 – was an illusion. The law of economic gravity will require an overall decline in private debt outstanding to GDP from 350% back to the historical mean of 150%. The deleveraging will require paydown or default of large quantities of current private debt and a decline in U.S. GDP of 20% overall. Reversion to the mean will be a bitch so hang on.

boqueronman on July 31, 2009 at 12:42 PM

That’s what should happen, but it won’t. Whether it’s Dems of the GOP, they will try to prop the thing up with excess liquidity and avoid dealing with bad assets.

So we’ll get something even worse: something that looks like Japan’s Lost Decade. But with inflation, to boot.

guntotinglibertarian on July 31, 2009 at 1:26 PM

boqueronman on July 31, 2009 at 12:42 PM

++++

the_nile on July 31, 2009 at 1:42 PM

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