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Obama Administration Gave Electric Car Battery Maker $118 Million Grant, Company Now Bankrupt

From Big Government:

The latest taxpayer-funded boondoggle to emerge from the Obama Administration’s infamous Energy Department grant and loan program has cost taxpayers $118.5 million, new bankruptcy filings by electric battery maker Ener1 reveal.

From Bloomberg News:

The company listed assets of $73.9 million and debt of $90.5 million as of Dec. 31 in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Ener1 has been affected by competing battery developers in China and South Korea, “which generally have a lower cost manufacturing base” and lower labor and raw material costs, interim Chief Executive Officer Alex Sorokin said in the petition.

Like Solyndra, Ener1 was a company touted by President Obama as being a shining example of his vision for taxpayer-subsidized clean energy.

Read the rest at Big Government.

The American Jobs Act of 2011: Lather, Rinse, Repeat and Fail

From RedState:

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

– Proverbs 26 (HT: Kingjbible.com)

It’s fortunate that all our Elected Leader promised us was a Job’s Plan. Because the plan he presented last night looks like a cribbed version of Christine Roemer’s failed effort from 2009. The President’s proposed American Jobs Act features the same boondoggles, the same EBT Cards, the same targeted tax relief and undoubtedly; the same result.

Like the rest of Barack Obama’s Presidency, this bill will be smaller than the failure bomb detonated in 2009. He intends to only add $447Bn worth of “paid for” spending to the deficit this time. The last time out, the price tag was $787Bn. So, outside of a $342Bn concession to the results of the 2010 Midterm Election, President Obama has learned positively nothing from the last 2.5 years.

The Boondoggles in the prior stimulus included Infrastructure Investment, renewable energy investment, $100Bn in education spending, and numerous other proposals best forgotten. The new plan includes the following boondoggles: transportation infrastructure, school repair and modernization, and more house rehabilitation. It’s the same plan as the prior stimulus. It will give us the same result.

Read the rest at RedState.

Want Stimulus? Reduce Regulation

From The Heritage Foundation:

The President has publicly stated his intent to roll out a new expensive stimulus plan this fall.  That plan is expected to contain hundreds of billions in new debt obligations to you, the taxpayer.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has a better idea.  He wrote a letter today to President Obama that identifies an effective means to stimulate growth.  Reduce regulations that are a hidden tax on all Americans and killing private enterprise.  Reducing the regulatory burden on the economy will spur economic growth.

Speaker Boehner writes in a letter to President Obama today that private job creators are reporting that regulatory burdens are hindering new investment and job creation.

Last year, on August 16, 2010, I wrote you about my concern that the Administration’s published regulatory agenda included a total of 191 planned new regulations, each of which had an estimated annual cost of $100 million or more, with some involving billions of dollars annually.  In my letter, I noted that at public forums, private sector job creators were citing this regulatory agenda as one of the primary impediments to job creation, especially for small businesses.

The economy is experiencing low growth and high unemployment.  According to the Department of Commerce (via CNN), the annual growth rate for the economy was 1% in the second quarter of 2011.  This is following a first quarter of 0.4% growth.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected an almost $1.3 trillion deficit for next year. Add in the unemployment numbers over 9% for months and you have bleak economic outlook for this and next year.  This is not a good time to increase regulations – especially when the economy is in a need of a stimulating government policy like reducing regulations.

Is Obama Really Going to Propose another Keynesian Stimulus?

From Big Government:

Just last week, I made fun of Paul Krugman after he publicly said that a fake threat from invading aliens would be good for the economy since the earth would waste a bunch of money on pointless defense outlays.

Yesterday, there were rumors that Krugman stated that it would have been stimulative if the earthquake had been stronger and done more damage, but he exposed this as a prank (though it is understandable that many people – including me, I’m embarrassed to admit – initially assumed it was true since he did write that the 9-11 terrorist attacks boosted growth).

But while Krugman is owed an apology by whoever pulled that stunt, the real problem is that President Obama and his advisers actually take Keynesian alchemy seriously.

And since President Obama is promising to unveil another “jobs plan” after his vacation, that almost certainly means more faux stimulus.

We don’t know what will be in this new package, but there are rumors of an infrastructure bank, which doubtlessly would be a subsidy for state and local governments. The only thing “shovel ready” about this proposal is that tax dollars will be shoveled to interest groups.

Read the rest at Big Government.

WCCC to join Pat Miller on WOWO July 27 at 4:00 PM

Whitley County Concerned Citizens is joining with Tom Stacy from Save Western Ohio to do a 1/2 hour educational program about wind energy.     Find out why wind energy is not a “good value” for our tax dollar,  and why wind energy is ineffective as an energy source.     Find out why our dependance on fossil fuel actually goes up when we add wind energy to the mix.     

Listen to WOWO at 1190AM  –  or you can listen live online  here   or  here

SET YOUR ALARM ON YOUR WATCH OR YOUR PHONE TO REMIND YOU  – 

WEDNESDAY,    JULY 27TH   @ 4PM

The Stimulus Bill’s Effectiveness: Zero

From The National Review:

This morning in the Wall Street Journal, economists John Taylor and John Cogan have a piece that makes a fundamental point about why stimulus spending is a totally ineffective way to jump-start an economy. So far, much of the debate has been focused on what the size of the multiplier is and what that value means — basically, a fight over how much of a boost the economy gets from a dollar in government spending. But, as Taylor and Cogan write, it doesn’t really matter what this multiplier is, because recovery by stimulus spending can’t work.

The bottom-line is the federal government borrowed funds from the public, transferred these funds to state and local governments, who then used the funds mainly to reduce borrowing from the public. The net impact on aggregate economic activity is zero, regardless of the magnitude of the government purchases multiplier.

This behavior is a replay of the failed stimulus attempts of the 1970s. As Gramlich found in his work on the antirecession grants to state and local governments: “A large share of the [grant] money seems likely to pad the surpluses of state and local governments, in which case there are no obvious macrostabilization benefits.”

The implication of our empirical research and Gramlich’s is not that the stimulus of 2009 was too small, but rather that such countercyclical programs are inherently limited. The lesson is to beware of politicians proposing public works and other government purchases as a means to stimulate the economy. They did not work then and they are not working now.

They have a great chart illustrating their point:

The whole piece is really worth reading, especially if, like me, you think macroeconomics and the whole multiplier debate is a battle between models and assumptions.

Government Alters Stimulus Sign Policy, Raising More Propaganda Questions

From The Heritage Foundation:

In the 18 months following approval of President Obama’s stimulus package, the Department of Transportation required recipients of government funds to post placards touting the economic recovery. As a result, signs prominently featuring the recovery act logo appeared everywhere — by the side of the road, in public transportation stations, as bumper stickers on government vehicles.

 Then, abruptly, on July 15, the Department of Transportation relaxed its requirements. No longer would government agencies require grant recipients to mount the by-then-familiar signs: They would simply encourage them to do so. The White House website was updated to reflect the change — and, seemingly, to give the impression that signs had never actually been required.

It might just have been a coincidence, but, shortly before the shift in policy, on June 24, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), ranking member of the House Government Oversight Committee, asked the DOT inspector general to look into the administration’s use of the signs. That request was part of a larger investigation into White House propaganda use.

Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation.

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs

From Hot Air:

Everywhere, that is, where Barack Obama wants some advertisement.  The Porkulus plan has indeed stimulated one part of the economy — signmaking.  Sinking up to $10,000 per unit into Recovery Act signage, the White House has littered the landscape with messages that critics call naked political advertising at taxpayer expense:

As the midterm election season approaches, new road signs are popping up everywhere – millions of dollars worth of signs touting “The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act” and reminding passers-by that the program is “Putting America Back to Work.”

On the road leading to Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC there’s a 10′ x 11′ road sign touting a runway improvement project funded by the federal stimulus. The project cost nearly $15 million and has created 17 jobs, according to recovery.gov.

However, there’s another number that caught the eye of ABC News: $10,000. That’s how much money the Washington Airports Authority tells ABC News it spent to make and install the sign – a single sign – announcing that the project is “Funded by The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act” and is “Putting America Back to Work.” The money for the sign was taken out of the budget for the runway improvement project.

ABC News has reached out to a number of states about spending on stimulus signs and learned the state of Illinois has spent $650,000 on about 950 signs and Pennsylvania has spent $157,000 on 70 signs. Other states, like Virginia, Vermont, and Arizona do not sanction any signs.

It’s not the first time this has become an issue. In fact, it was almost exactly a year ago that ABC News first reported on the massive amounts of money spent on road signs touting Porkulus. At that time, the White House had Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood acting as its shill for the self-congratulatory BurmaShave campaign, insisting that “signs tell a story.”

Indeed they do, and in this case, it’s selling propaganda as a story. How else to explain signs popping up all over the landscape bragging., “Putting America back to work” while joblessness increases and employment levels continue to decline? Even in the most literal sense, road construction isn’t a steady job, especially not the projects funded through Porkulus. When the money runs out, so will the jobs. The only thing that will be left will be the signs.

Update: I should have included a link back to the Boss Emeritus’ hilarious post containing alternate Wreckovery logos.

Update II: Commenter CDeb offers another version of Porkulus signs, this time with a little more truth in advertising:

White House Caught Altering Stimulus Baseline Projection by 7 Million Jobs

From Big Government:

The number of jobs in the U.S. is currently 129.7 million.  So to justify the Administration’s current claim of 2.8 million jobs “created or saved” by stimulus, they need to also claim that without that stimulus there would be only 126.9 million jobs.  That’s exactly what they do, displayed as the “baseline projection” level in the graphic below from an April 14, 2010 report:

An inconvenient truth, at least for the Obama Administration, is that once upon a time, in their January 2009 Romer/Bernstein Report they told America that without their stimulus there would be 133.9 million jobs.  That’s right, in order to make it look like their stimulus has “created or saved” 2.8 million jobs, the Obama Administration first had to whack 7 million jobs from their previous estimates.

Read the rest (and see the math) at Big Government.

A Political Stimulus, Not A Job Stimulus

From Big Government:

I received many emails on Friday and this weekend about the data published here showing that on average Democratic districts are getting almost twice the amount of stimulus money than Republican districts. Republican districts also received smaller awards on average. The average dollars awarded per Republican district is $260,675,663, while the average dollars awarded per Democratic district is $471,533,539.

Several readers asked if the difference could be explained by the fact that Democratic districts have many more people than Republican districts have. So I looked at the numbers and here is the result. It’s not.

Republican districts get $362 per capita on average

Democratic districts get $692 per capita on average

Also, on average, Democratic districts received one-and-a-half times as many awards as Republican ones. Democratic districts also received two-and-a-half times more stimulus dollars than Republican districts ($122 million vs. $46 million). Of course, there are more Democratic districts than Republican districts in the Congress.

Is the politics part of the allocation decision?

See the rest at Big Government.

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