Sep 15 2009

America Concerned About Jobs, Stimulus Goes To Select Few

It’s the economy, stupid.

A famous one-liner from James Carville that reminded the last Democrat administration that ideology is all well and good, but if the economy is not performing the voters will not tolerate or accept a bunch of ideology in place of jobs and financial security.

In 1994 the last attempt by liberals to destroy our health care and herd us into government rationed health care ended up with a political backlash that dumped the democrats from congressional power for over a decade. Back then the economy was smoking, money was flowing, and people were buying luxury items like there was no tomorrow (the bust was still 5 years away). That hot economy blunted the backlash against the Dems and Libs in DC. Most people neglect to realize how bad it would have been if the economy was hurting.

This time around there is no hot economy to lull the masses into complacency. This time around unemployment and underemployment are at historic highs, as can be seen in the following chart tracking two federal measurements on unemployment – as of August 2009  (click to enlarge):

This historic economic downturn has people rightfully concerned and wondering why the liberals in DC are focused on anything but the economy. Today the Washington Post provided a measurement of the breadth of that concern, and it is horrible news for Democrats:

Despite fresh signs that the worst may be over for the beleaguered U.S. economy, there has been no letup in public fears about possible financial hardship ahead and there is broad concern that not enough is being done to avert another meltdown, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Painful personal experiences over the past year continue to dampen the outlook of many Americans. About two-thirds of those polled say they have been hurt financially by the recession, with extensive reports that job losses and pay reductions are hitting home.

Nearly 66% have personally experienced the failure of the liberal ‘stimulus’ experiment – where the bloated federal bureaucracy lumbers to the rescue with jobs programs a year too late. I posted about the substandard and lost jobs just the other day, but this poll is the first measure of how far this disaster has spread.

Nearly six in 10 Americans are now concerned about job or pay losses in the coming months, little changed since February, and there has been no increase in the percentage who see the federal government’s stimulus efforts as having an impact

Not surprising 60% see the liberal ‘stimulus’ bill as a failure. It is a failure. And that means the Democrats and President Obama are failures. This graph shows the damning truth of it all – the red is the result, the dark blue on the bottom was the promise.

Failure. No escaping it. And what is worse is this failure will be with us for almost a year to come. Fat cats may be back on their feet, but average America? Nope, they were left behind. Why? Because the stimulus bill was not a general stimulus package like tax cuts. No, the stimulus bill selected who should survive economically – it was ‘targeted’ to friends of people in power in DC and Congress:

The biggest recipients so far of the federal contracts awarded with stimulus money are large companies that faced little competition for the funds.

Most of the money that has flowed from the $787 billion stimulus plan since it was passed six months ago has gone to the states. But about 22,000 federal contracts with a total value of around $12 billion have been signed with companies, according to a public database of the deals. Companies faced no competition in about a fifth of the dollars and almost all of the contracts agreed to so far have had four bidders or fewer, the records show.

Does it seem right that only a select few corporations get the jobs and average companies who have NOTHING to do with federal contracting get zip? This was not an economic stimulus bill, it was government crony-contractors protection bill. If you do not contract with the government, you get NOTHING!

That is why tax cuts are best. They leave the money with the individuals and companies who earned it, to spend as they see fit or need. Tax cuts are, by definition, the only fair way to stimulate an economy without bias, and without picking winners over losers.

And the democrats shunned that path to send bags of money to corporations on the government dole already. And now they want to overhaul our health care system?

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “America Concerned About Jobs, Stimulus Goes To Select Few”

  1. AJ,

    It is a hell of a thing to see that the smartest man in the Obama Administration is VP Joe Biden, because he has been the only one going to high unemployment states and talking up the President’s economic programs.

    This is what Obama needs to do, but isn’t.

    Jay Cost called it right back in July 2009:

    Obama’s Strategic Mistake
    By Jay Cost
    July 08, 2009

    This moment is calling for a focus on the economy. That’s why Barack Obama has the top job. It’s not because of cap-and-trade, not because of health care, not because of his magnetic presence on the campaign trail – but because the economy was shrinking at a 6.1% annualized rate by Election Day. Americans were voting against recession by voting for him. This gives him a claim to a mandate, which not every President enjoys. He now has an opportunity to put his stamp on the country’s economic policy in the name of recovery. Yet he’s not doing that. He encouraged the Congress to rush through a poorly designed stimulus package that he had little involvement in; now he has focused the legislature’s time and attention on health care, which is a secondary concern right now.

    I think this is a strategic mistake. My scan of the history of American politics does not indicate that we’ve been governed so much by “alignments” – the systems of 1860, 1896, 1932, 1968, and so on. Instead, I see a country that votes for growth. That’s the true American ideology. Left, right, or middle – the average American wants prosperity. When the majority party fails to deliver growth after having been elected to do so – the electoral consequences can be significant.

  2. MarkN says:

    Rasmussen’s latest poll is that 56% blame Bush for the current economy and 37% blame Obama. Those numbers are a testament to the fairness of the American people.

    But, 2010 will be Obama’s economy. Those numbers will flip next year as more people will ask what have you done to fix the downturn that Bush caused. 2009 was a blame Bush for the downturn year, 2010 will be what have you done to turn the economy around year. The economy needs to grow by 3% to help employment and it will not grow that fast in the 4th quarter. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be bleak on the employment front.

    If we get a double dip downturn (and some economists are predicting such) after Christmas, watch out. Even if the “real” recovery starts in July 2010, it will be too late. I have no predictions for the electoral consequences if the unemployment rate is north of 10% as of Labor Day 2010.

  3. kathie says:

    Van Jones had a budget of $8billion to get green jobs off the ground. His idea was to hire the newly out of jail guys, as well as the unemployed and underemployed, to weatherize homes across the country. I think if the money was followed, we would be surprised at how much went to Union workers and Van Jones types.

  4. AJ,

    The Obama Administration has decided that it will live or die over Health Care reform before doing anything useful (aka not the Stimulus bill) related to the economy.

    They will be lucky to get anything called “Health Care Reform” passed before Thanksgiving. To quote Jon Stewart on Obama’s reform message:

    “You know a sales pitch is in trouble when it starts with Look, you gotta trust me, we’re not going to kill your grandparents!”

    This moves Obama’s next domestic priority Cap and Trade energy taxes into next year — an election year in the middle of a recession.

    Obama is doing this because his political base will shatter if he does not.


    These poll numbers suggest that health care is becoming the classic issue that wounds a president: one that unites his opponents and divides his own side. Obama probably has little hope of changing the first half of that equation; when Congress returns he’ll probably need to focus more on improving the second.

    The end result will be that will be two fold.

    First, Obama has successfully energized a large generational cohort of opposition to Government Health care by the American elderly.

    One that has been informed that public option health care is a threat to their survival and that will never ever go away

    And whenever any part of gove’t option health care is brought up as a “camel’s nose under the tent.” they will react to it the same way the elderlyreacted to the thought of privarizing Social Security.

    AKA this is a political wedge issue of the first order between Demicrats and the elderly that makes privatizing Social Security look like a local school bond issue in terms of national impact.


    Democrats flummoxed by health care protests
    By: Michael Barone
    Senior Political Analyst
    08/10/09 4:49 PM EDT

    My tentative conclusions: The Democrats’ health care bills have stirred widespread and deeply felt opposition. While some of the protests are organized, the turnout and strong feeling expressed indicate that we are watching something that is largely spontaneous. Try organizing such a protest when almost no one cares much about your issue: no one will show up. It’s the supporters of the Democrats’ health care bills, not their opponents, who are astroturfing—and spending plenty of moolah on television ads and the like.

    Second, Obama’s actions are telling all non-Democrats and and most white working class Democrats that he doesn’t care for their number on issue, THE ECONOMY!

    No one believes that the economy will go up 3.2% a year in 2010.

    Yet that is when the Bush tax cuts expire, causing a huge built in tax increase on both American small businesses and large capital.

    Hammering the U.S. economy with higher taxes just as it starts to pull out of that (per the normal time frame for such cycles) is suicidally insane.

    There simply is no excuse for this. It really does appear that Obama & Co. believe all this socialist economic cant and that will tank the economy through November 2012.

    Furthermore the Democrats in Congress just love higher taxes so they can sell tax deductions for fat cat campaign contributions.

    Obama could not be doing a better job of hammering small business and large capital confidence via higher taxes, health care mandates and regulatory costs.

    And he *still* hasn’t settled on anything to settle the financial market’s structural uncertainty.

    It will require an immense amount of work and willful foolishness to bring about a depression, but the Obama administration has shown itself capable of such greatness.

    And the election cycles of 2010 and 2012 will be dominated by the results of those Obama domestic priorities.

    We are seeing a perfect storm approaching and the Democrats are in it path.