originally published at The Minority Report
The President says companies are hiring -- who would have laid off -- because of stimulus bill
President Obama, Vice President Biden and a number of the administration's top financial advisers did their best Tuesday to convince the American people that the massive government spending designed to stimulate the economy is -- well, stimulating the economy.
Although the President acknowledged that unemployment remains higher than his predicted high, while many experts predict it will go even higher, and he admits that the federal government has only managed to get $44 billion of the record $787 billion stimulus bill into the hands of the public, he insists that the outlook is rosy.
"Now we're in a position to really accelerate," the President said.
Since the stimulus bill was signed in February the nation has experienced an additional 1.6 million jobs lost, while the administration calculates that their spending package has saved 150,000 jobs, far fewer than expected.
"At the time, our forecast seemed reasonable," said Jared Bernstein, economic adviser to VP Biden. "Now, looking back, it was clearly too optimistic."
At that time the administration predicted that unemployment would peak at about 8 percent and then decline. The unemployment rate now stands at 9.4 percent, the highest in 25 years, and all indications are that it will continue to rise.
"We've done more than ever, faster than ever, more responsibly than ever, to get the gears of the economy moving again," the president said. "I'm not satisfied. We've got more work to do."
Not all Americans agree with him. Dissatisfaction with his handling of the economy has risen from 30 percent in February to 42 percent by the end of May. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor was blunt in his criticism.
"This is President Obama's economy, and his administration must provide results and specifics rather than vague descriptions of success that seem to change by the week. The administration looks dramatically out of touch as they highlight the creation of temporary summer employment in the face of job losses unseen in decades, record unemployment and massive deficits."
For his part, the President has maintained that he is not responsible for an economy that he inherited from President George W Bush, and he is adamant that his policies will work.
"Now, I know that there's some who, despite all evidence to the contrary, still don't believe in the necessity and promise of this recovery act," he challenged.
"And I would suggest to them that they talk to the companies who, because of this plan, scrapped the idea of laying off employees and, in fact, decided to hire employees. Tell that to the Americans who received that unexpected call saying, 'Come back to work.'"
Perhaps the president might provide a list of those companies that that were prepared to lay off employees and then decided to hire instead. We know that he claimed that Caterpillar would be rehiring when he said this in February while selling the stimulus program.
"We're surrounded by unmet needs and unfinished business -- in our schools and in our schools and our roads, in the systems we employ to treat the sick, in the energy we use to power our homes. And that's the core of my plan, putting people to work doing the work that America needs done."
Contrary to the president's word, Caterpillar instead laid additional workers off.
Yes, Mr President, please provide the American people will a list of all of those companies that have added jobs because of the stimulus bill -- permanent jobs that is -- non-government private sector jobs. This is a list that the American people would like to see.