AP: Gee, those stimulus projections seem optimistic

posted at 8:45 am on August 26, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Instead of doing a fact-check, all the Associated Press needed to do was replay its own headlines on economic indicators this summer to reach the same conclusion.  Actually, though, the AP didn’t bother to fact-check the claims from the supposedly stimulating Porkulus spending; they focused instead on claims of high-tech victories that came from $100 billion in pork spending on renewable energy, transportation, and healthcare-records projects.  Guess what?  Those have been almost as effective as the rest of the Obama administration’s economic policies:

The Obama administration claimed this week that $100 billion invested in innovative technologies under the economic stimulus law is “transforming the American economy” by putting the nation on track for technological breakthroughs in health care, energy and transportation.

But an examination of details in the 50-page report unveiled Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden reveals something a bit different: a collection of rosy projections that ignore many of the challenges, pitfalls and economic realities in all those areas.

That’s a real shocker, isn’t it?  That last sentence is a perfect description of Obamanomics.  Heck, the Recovery Summer campaign was nothing but rosy predictions based on fantasy and ignorance of the “challenges, pitfalls, and economic realities” of the American economy as a whole.

What did the AP discover on its fact check journey?  The US isn’t really on its way to “doubling U.S. renewable energy generation capacity and U.S. renewable manufacturing capacity by 2012.”  In fact, doubling it would be about the same as tripling or quadrupling it anyway, since the capacity doesn’t exist in meaningful, mass-production form anyway.  Neither are we on the way to halving the cost of solar power, for much the same reason; the recession may have had more impact on lowering cost than the pork did.  High-speed rail is still a vastly expensive investment in a service that few people want to use when airplanes are faster and more economical, for the simple reason that it doesn’t take billions of dollars to build and maintain air rails.  Making health-care records electronic sounds sexy, but no one has really been able to define how that will make people healthier on a large scale — and HHS only just published its standards for the computer systems that can be funded.  None exist at the moment.

Finally, the administration has insisted that its efforts to push electric cars will save on emissions and sell at a competitive price.  The AP scoffs, but misses an important point:

Even a White House task force on the auto industry’s recovery said while General Motors’ extended-range plug-in hybrid, the Volt, “holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short term.” At $41,000, the Volt is about twice the price of a conventional midsize car. The price of electric cars will drop, but automakers are years from being able to sell them at the same price as cars with internal combustion engines. …

And there are questions about whether the large lithium ion batteries needed for electric cars are durable, safe and affordable enough for widespread use.

All true, plus the administration still hasn’t explained how they’re going to provide the power to charge those batteries.  We get our electricity mainly from coal-burning plants, which are less efficient at emissions than most internal-combustion gas engines.  If Obama imposes cap-and-trade, we will produce less electricity, not more, which means that the proposed $10 charge will cost a lot more, and the added demand simply won’t get met with the artificial restriction on supply that cap-and-trade will impose.

Maybe the AP will start fact-checking the rest of the White House stimulus claims, including “Recovery Summer.”  That would be most … unexpected.

Update: Right on Time, guess who doesn’t bother to fact check these claims at all?


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Comments

Star Trek economy; “COMPUTER, tea, Earl Grey”, beep, beep.

Skandia Recluse on August 26, 2010 at 8:49 AM

I’m over here in Europe and I takes 200 euros and a good 8 hours to get to Berlin from southwestern Germany.

Trains are government run.

Whereas Ryanair (private company) will fly me there for 60 euros in one hour.

The more I’m here the more I understand how our liberal elites know absolutely nothing about Europe.

Although Michelle could probably give me some good pointers on five star resorts . . .

NoDonkey on August 26, 2010 at 8:49 AM

The AP needs to stop acting stupidly

KeepOhioRed on August 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM

You expect a propaganda organization like the AP to WANT to put out facts? Big mistake on your part.

You should search back through the Soviet Union propaganda archives, or just watch “1984” again. Newspeak, that’s what the AP puts out — NEWSPEAK.

Obama-Speak … the fusion of sophistry and Newspeak. It’s not a gift, it’s just lies.

tarpon on August 26, 2010 at 8:53 AM

The lameduck Congress will push through a new public mandate: Every citizen will be required to buy a Volt with a windmill attached to the roof and wired to the electrical system.

Problem solved. Now we can get rid of those coal power-plants and move one step closer to Utopia.

Bishop on August 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Maybe the AP will start fact-checking the rest of the White House stimulus claims, including “Recovery Summer.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca9GuwuOVZc&feature=related

rollthedice on August 26, 2010 at 8:56 AM

for the simple reason that it doesn’t take billions of dollars to build and maintain air rails.

Quiet Ed, or else you’ll give Joe Biden an idea.

rbj on August 26, 2010 at 8:56 AM

The province of Ontario tried to computerize all its health records.

The result?

Billions wasted on graft, over spending, and failed attempts.

That was for just one province with 13 million people.

Good luck with an attempt at 50 states and 310 million folks.

Jim708 on August 26, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Meanwhile, financial pundits in Europe and Asia are all in agreement that the USA is going double-dip.

OldEnglish on August 26, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
Everything thats wonderful is what I feel
When we’re together.
Brighter than a lucky penny.
When you’re near the raindrops disappears
Dear and I feel so fine.
Just to know that you are mine.

halfastro on August 26, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Wow … even in the liberal cesspool of the MSM, that TIME article is an epically biased, agenda-driven piece of crap. I’m actually embarrassed for them.

Blacksheep on August 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Meanwhile, financial pundits in Europe and Asia are all in agreement that the USA is going double-dip.
OldEnglish on August 26, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Europe used to be the cool kids on the block, the ones that dumb Americans needed to emulate.

Now they’re mostly racist.

Bishop on August 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Update: Right on Time, guess who doesn’t bother to fact check these claims at all?

Aw, give them a break. It’s much more difficult to check those pesky facts while giving a tongue bath to the precednt-in-thief.

AubieJon on August 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

How the Stimulus Is Changing America
By Michael Grunwald

Michael, you missed a spot.

pain train on August 26, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I enjoyed Biden’s description of turning the ship around so it’s headed in the right direction. He even moved his hands showing how that worked. I assume the hand gestures were for us stupid Conservatives.

Full steam ahead!

Mr_Magoo on August 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Now they’re mostly racist.

Bishop on August 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Always have been. It’s just that immigration has brought it to the boil.

OldEnglish on August 26, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Time sees the whole process as “an interesting debate.” So glad spending 787 billion dollars is an interesting debate.

Mr_Magoo on August 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Full steam ahead!

Mr_Magoo on August 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM

And take no notice of that damned iceberg off the port bow.

OldEnglish on August 26, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Always have been. It’s just that immigration has brought it to the boil.
OldEnglish on August 26, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Well sure, but now they’re turning on America’s historic racially-approved president and that is double-racist.

Bishop on August 26, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Looks like Zero’s USSR 5 year plan needs to be updated after only 18 months. Doesn’t Biteme sound and look more like that Bagdad minister of information every day. That keep spouting the lie until it’s believed isn’t working anymore.

Kissmygrits on August 26, 2010 at 9:09 AM

AubieJon on August 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Dam-straight!!!!!

Phil-351 on August 26, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Full steam ahead!

Mr_Magoo on August 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Yes indeed, the Democrats have given us a real Boston steamer of an economy.

NoDonkey on August 26, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Bishop on August 26, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Ah, me thick. Missed the point above.

OldEnglish on August 26, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Jobless claims down! Wahoo! We’re headed in the right direction! Markets are rising, we made it, the worst is behind us! Whew! That was close!

Mr_Magoo on August 26, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Another thought. Is he praying in that picture? Is that even allowed in a government building?

Kissmygrits on August 26, 2010 at 9:15 AM

If Obama imposes cap-and-trade, we will produce less electricity, not more, which means that the proposed $10 charge will cost a lot more, and the added demand simply won’t get met with the artificial restriction on supply that cap-and-trade will impose.

“Imposes”??? Did I miss this new “democratic” process?

Or will this be one of the feared pieces of lame-duck legislation coming in December?

Rovin on August 26, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Next they will be claiming:

400 renewable technologies saved or created;
3,000 healthcare initiatives saved or created;
23×5^^4/5 transportation dream sequences saved or created.

I still think “destroyed or damned” is more applicable to their actions

tomg51 on August 26, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Remain calm…All is well!

JetBoy on August 26, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Slightly OT:

There’s link on Drudge to ABC report by Jake Tapper. When questioned about the troop withdrawal from Iraq, Obama replies “Guys, we’re buying shrimp. C’mon.”

AubieJon on August 26, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Government learns from the past. The NRA in the early 30’s was a total failure for citizens, but started the creation path to bigger government. Despite the news reels of the Hoover Damn and National Park Lodges being built for the wealthy by, essentially, willing slave labor, the CCC and WPA (forget the sequence) served only to make government bigger.

The New Deal put government growth’s pedal to the metal.

Through all this, states gave up and quit even trying to help. Who fared best through the 30’s? Areas that had township layers of government fared the best by it’s citizens, organizing food pantrys, clothing drives, soup kitchens, working with local banks. Interesting to note that Roosevelt’s administration punished Republican areas by keeping banks closed longer, parceling out less hard assistance and more regulatory oversight than in areas where the DemocRats held sway.

Interesting note: at the start of the economic collapse in Illinois, counties that fared best instituted pay cuts to elected officials and public employees from county level on down, starting at 10% and going as high as 50%. One can only wonder where that shared pain is today.

MarkT on August 26, 2010 at 9:23 AM

The AP needs to stop acting stupidly

KeepOhioRed on August 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM

And they ain’t being invited over for no free beers either!

pilamaye on August 26, 2010 at 9:25 AM

The Boy Wonder is “transforming the American economy” from bad to worse.

Really Right on August 26, 2010 at 9:31 AM

If they had just used half of the stimulus money to give grants to new start-up companies and allowed a 10 year tax break to these businesses, somebody might have hired someone this past year, and the impression of growing employment could have gotten the country out of the psychological and economic rut that Obama dn his crew are content with.

profitsbeard on August 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

But an examination of details in the 50-page report unveiled Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden

Can you imagine having to put together this 50 pages of BS? No wonder they use so many interns. It was probably just like one of thier mid-term papers.

barnone on August 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Yeah the MSM is all atwitter about the HUGE drop in unemployment claims. We are all saved now….

sandee on August 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

“Imposes”??? Did I miss this new “democratic” process?

Or will this be one of the feared pieces of lame-duck legislation coming in December?

Rovin on August 26, 2010 at 9:17 AM

He can go around Congress by using the EPA. The problem is he’ll take all the political heat for the inevitable negative economic consequences resulting from that move.

Doughboy on August 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

The mainstream media continues to perpetuate the “Big Lie” for this administration. They are the enemy within, n’est pas?

DrStock on August 26, 2010 at 9:37 AM

That article in Time is a real piece of work.

Purple Fury on August 26, 2010 at 9:43 AM

a collection of rosy projections that ignore many of the challenges, pitfalls and economic realities in all those areas.

When has this administration ever let reality get in the way of their narrative.

All they have to do is shove money through their Keynesian models then tout the calculation results as evidence of success.

Dam# the facts.

Baxter Greene on August 26, 2010 at 9:53 AM

that grunwald piece is an embarrassment.

rob verdi on August 26, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Making health-care records electronic sounds sexy, but no one has really been able to define how that will make people healthier on a large scale — and HHS only just published its standards for the computer systems that can be funded. None exist at the moment.

It will be a monumental challenge to digitize medical records safely, but it will have some effect on healthcare, probably less than the boosters say, but an appreciable difference nonetheless. The big gain is in continuity of care, so tests do not need to be repeated, for doctors to easily be able to see a progression of something from MRIs, CTs, Xrays, etc..

For example, my wife just switched gastro specialists, and it took about a month to get all the records switched over, while I recently went to a new ortho clinic and the Dr. I saw was able to pull up (digitally) an MRI I had had done 3 years ago because the clinic had consolidated with the one I had had that MRI at. That is the benefit of the digital medical records.

Now, the real question is would those benefits outweigh the risks inherent in a digital system. I would pretty safely wager yes. Look at all of the secure digital systems we have, banking going online didn’t lead to massive theft, etc.

kerncon on August 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

ObaMao and his crew of wreckers must have used AGW computer modeling for their projections. GIGO

onlineanalyst on August 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Intentional destruction, aided by a lying Media.
Or – Liars, aided by a destructive Media. Shame on all of them. Shame.

redwhiteblue on August 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Losing losers and the losses they lose.

Almost the same as:

Lying liars and the lies they lie.

Mojave Mark on August 26, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Star Trek economy; “COMPUTER, tea, Earl Grey, hot.”, beep, beep.
Skandia Recluse on August 26, 2010 at 8:49 AM

FIFM

July 10 on August 26, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Watching the Obama administration handle the economy reminds me of the Seinfeld episode in which Kramer concocted some enterprise (Kramerica Industries) just so he could offer an internship to a college student who’d then serve as his personal assistance. Plenty of nonsense busyness, but in the end Kramerica Industries had no product except a ball that couldn’t hold oil.

Total incompetence.

http://kramerica.tv/about.htm

BuckeyeSam on August 26, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Sooooooooo conservative economic principles work and Keynesian economic principles FAIL every time they are attempted.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insane

dthorny on August 26, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Whereas Ryanair (private company) will fly me there for 60 euros in one hour.

NoDonkey on August 26, 2010 at 8:49 AM

But Ryanair flies to airports that are in the middle of nowhere, whereas the train station is usually right in the middle of the city.

Rail travel has its advantages. It will be more price competitive once the European carbon trading scheme goes into effect for aviation.

year_of_the_dingo on August 26, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Stimulust: Chicken Chicken nuggets in every pot, and a car scooter in every garage.

ziggyville on August 26, 2010 at 10:41 AM

just to be as clear as possible.

the Depression Stimulus had nothing whatsoever to do with stimulating the economy.

it was payola, pure and simple.

with the bonus kicker of ladling more debt on the country in hopes of bankrupting us as quickly as possible.

notagool on August 26, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Obama certainly is transforming the economy. Maybe we should head to Greece to see what our life will be like.

hawksruleva on August 26, 2010 at 11:05 AM

It will be more price competitive once the European carbon trading scheme goes into effect for aviation.

In other words, it will be more competitive once we force competitors to raise their prices. How’s that good for people?

hawksruleva on August 26, 2010 at 11:07 AM

just to be as clear as possible.

the Depression Stimulus had nothing whatsoever to do with stimulating the economy.

it was payola, pure and simple.

with the bonus kicker of ladling more debt on the country in hopes of bankrupting us as quickly as possible.

notagool on August 26, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Stimulus paid the unions, which are paying the politicians who passed stimulus. Probably the most efficient system Democrats ever built.

hawksruleva on August 26, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Why should aviation have to pay for carbon usage while the rail system doesn’t? How does that make any sense? Shouldn’t both be forced to pay for their energy?

blink on August 26, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Rail already operate under ETS though their electricity usage.

year_of_the_dingo on August 26, 2010 at 11:14 AM

You think?

No, they don’t think … they feel. We could fill schools to overflowing by sending all the feelers back to learn how to think. But let’s face it, our woeful public education system gas no intention of teaching people how to think.

ya2daup on August 26, 2010 at 11:21 AM

The MSM sold this administration to a gullible public. They’re stuck with it. They talked DOWN the Bush economy for eight years, now their forced to talk UP a faltering economy. Telling people its a steak sandwich, rather than the crap sandwich it actually is. And they wonder why they hold no credibility with the general public.

GarandFan on August 26, 2010 at 11:28 AM

That last sentence is a perfect description of Obamanomics. Heck, the Recovery Summer campaign was nothing but rosy predictions based on fantasy and ignorance of the “challenges, pitfalls, and economic realities” of the American economy as a whole.

As was Stimulus itself.

unclesmrgol on August 26, 2010 at 11:29 AM

kerncon, there are a number of really bad problems with digital records. You simply have not “HEARD” of the major theft going on in the banks, nor have you thought of a little thing I call data mangling. Computers are not secure, nor are the records they contain reliable. What if someone, or heck being electronic bits, what if the machine itself simply changed a number in your dosing history? These kinds of docs need security AND tracability.

HINT: electronic banking is so easy to destroy, and would lead to worldwide meltdown, I shouldn’t even be telling you.
Its would be just like the WallStreet auto-selloff that nearly crashed the whole show.

Then theres the ‘discrete’ problem. What if your problem does NOT fit one of the checkboxes in the form??? Do you think the Dr will just type out all the details of whats wrong with you? Do you think he will be PAID for the long description, or by the checkbox????

No a better solution would be for you to be able to keep a copy of your own medical records. You are far more likely to safeguard your own info, than a bunch of nameless hacks.
But wait, that doesn’t cost anywhere near as much money as instituting a grandoise “system”.

orbitalair on August 26, 2010 at 11:40 AM

How the media is trying to fool a nation, again.

It won’t work this time. The nation is shamed for having been such schmucks the last two rounds.

Hate the reporters and hate the news agencies. Just listening to the hourly news summary on the radio is enough to make one hurl. The AP is soooo deceiving. “The job seekers number down first time in 4 month…great news…hurray for Obama…yeahhhh…stock market reacts positively…it’s up by 10 points this morning”.

Fools. Do they think the populace is all moronic and doesn’t know that it’s down by hundreds/thousands?

Hate them with all you have, don’t believe them, and may they ‘die’ a sudden business ‘death’.

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2010 at 11:51 AM

The electronic health record has been in the works for years. The Bush administration was the first to make it a matter of policy.

Bush also funded research for renewable energy, and was right to do it — up to a point.

What the Obama administration has done is to expand the spending beyond any reasonable hope of return, including trying to build high-speed trains where there is no demand for them.

tom on August 26, 2010 at 12:02 PM

The AP needs to stop acting stupidly

KeepOhioRed on August 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM


The AP == stupidity

Fixed that for you!

jackal40 on August 26, 2010 at 12:25 PM

The MSM aren’t even trying to be journalist anymore but a lot of people still biew them as such. hopefulyl enough are waking up and the Dems get the elctoral bloodbath they deserve.

Yakko77 on August 26, 2010 at 1:11 PM

the administration still hasn’t explained how they’re going to provide the power to charge those batteries.

Silly Ed.

Didn’t you notice the new 200′ windmill hood ornament!

Texas Gal on August 26, 2010 at 1:13 PM