Two months ago, Barack Obama ordered his Cabinet to pick up the pace of stimulus spending after the public began losing confidence in its ability to generate an economic recovery. With the unemployment rate heading to 9.5%, the need for Obama’s urgency was obvious. So the federal government must really have turned on the cash spigots, right? Wrong:
Stimulus bill spending has slowed to a trickle, despite President Obama’s June order to his Cabinet to speed it up.
The average stimulus spending per week has dropped severely, to just $4.2 billion over the past month from $9.7 billion during the prior four months. The government spent $2.9 billion in the week ending Aug. 7.
Taxpayer groups say the numbers show spending decisions are random and prove that the $787 billion stimulus program has had no effect on the economy.
“This is a typical bureaucracy. They don’t operate in an efficient way. They can’t operate in an efficient way and make an impact,” said Leslie Paige, media director for Citizens Against Government Waste.
When Casey Stengel managed the New York Mets in the team’s debut season — a team that had as many rookies, retreads, and screw-ups as the Obama Administration apparently does — he moaned, “Can’t anyone here play this game?” It’s been six months for Team Obama, and they keep proving themselves inept at governance. Instead of picking up the pace, they’ve cut the flow by two-thirds.
This has two salutary effects, of course. First, the less they spend now, the more Congress could conceivably get back from Porkulus if they decide to call a halt to the farce. Second, with their continuing ineptitude, the White House demonstrates why the federal government should not be in charge of health care in the US. If they can’t figure out how to spend $787 billion in a one-time stimulus package, why should we trust them to handle an industry that generates 15% of American GDP, somewhere north of $2 trillion annually?