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Monday, September 14, 2009

Despite Promises, Stimulus Spending Slows

In early June, amid criticism that the stimulus bill was not working to stem the tide of job losses, President Obama promised to, "speed federal money into hundreds of public works projects this summer, vowing that 600,000 jobs will be created or saved."

However, according to a USA Today report, that has not been the case. In fact, stimulus spending has slowed by about 25% since June:
In the 101 days after Obama signed the stimulus package in mid-February, the government allocated an average of more than $1.3 billion a day to new grants and projects. Since then, that pace has fallen to an average of about $1 billion a day, a drop of about 25%, according to federal agencies' financial reports, current through Sept. 4.
The Administration continues to defend the spending that has occurred, however. In fact, they argue that despite spending less they have saved or created more jobs than then President promised in June:
The Obama administration said last week that if tax cuts are included, the amount of stimulus aid reaching the economy increased slightly during the summer. And Obama's Council of Economic Advisers estimated that the stimulus had saved or created more than 1 million jobs, significantly more than the target Obama set in June.

White House spokeswoman Liz Oxhorn said examining only spending cannot measure whether the White House met the president's target. Doing so, she said, is "selective accounting" that "fails to measure the actual progress" of the stimulus. The administration, she said, has "met and exceeded every goal set to speed up the Recovery Act."
Of course, there is still no way to prove those job numbers, particularly in light of this now famous graph:

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