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February 17, 2010

The Redistribution of Your Income: Stimulus Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a.k.a. the so-called “stimulus.” So how is that $787 billion working for the taxpayers so far?

As of Jan. 29, Recovery.gov indicates that $92.8 billion in tax benefits, $74.4 billion in contracts, grants and loans, and $105 billion in entitlements have been distributed. That’s slightly more than one-third of the allocated funds.

Unemployment, after peaking at 10.2 percent, is at 9.7 percent (actual unemployment, including those who have simply left the job market, is more than 17 percent), while the administration promised to hold it at 8 percent if the stimulus passed. As CNS News reports, “Administration officials have insisted that the legislation is on course to ‘save or create’ 3 million jobs. However, more than 2.65 million jobs have been lost since the passage of the legislation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Indeed, retiring Sen. Evan Bayh declared, “If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last 6 months.”

On Feb. 9, Barack Obama claimed, “More than 90 percent of the jobs created by the [stimulus] plan will be in the private sector.” He must have misread the teleprompter because, in fact, more than half the jobs “created or saved” by the stimulus so far have been in the public sector. But that didn’t stop him from claiming today that “we have rescued this economy.”

In spite of the facts, the White House is holding a reception today to mark the anniversary and tout the “success” of the stimulus. Vice President Joe Biden and various cabinet officials will travel to 35 locations around the nation (how much will that cost?) to promote big government.

When asked on today’s CBS “Early Show” if taxpayers “got their bang from the buck from the stimulus,” Biden replied, “Absolutely. But I don’t think they realize it.” Translation: You dumb Americans. You just don’t know what we’ve done for you.

“The job creating portions are really loaded at the second half,” Biden continued. Taxpayers “have gotten their money’s worth.”

Given that spending has primarily benefited Democrat constituent groups, we would beg to differ. But Ole Joe tries. He really does.

Update: CNN actually went so far as to celebrate the stimulus anniversary with a birthday cake. Anchor Ali Velshi cooed, “Happy birthday, dear stimulus. Our producer Ben Tinker baked this cake. It is a stimulus happy birthday – first birthday cake, which is also a pie chart. It is the birthday of the stimulus.” You can’t make this stuff up.

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