Fact Checking Obama Administration’s Report on Stimulus
For all of you who think traditional journalism is dead or would be happy to see it die, the Associated Press reminds us tonight what the watchdog is all about.
Vice President Joe Biden released a report today regarding progress made with funds from the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the stimulus bill. I looked at it. It’s pretty weak beer.
Here’s part of what the Associated Press wrote tonight:
But the effect of that spending is less clear. Many of the claims the White House is making are based on anecdotes selected to fit the Obama administration’s message. For instance, the report cites a newspaper article about workers being rehired at a factory in Chicago. That account is true, but is no more an accurate snapshot of the nation’s economy than a story, not cited in the report, about a Roanoke, Va., railcar factory closing. (Read More)
The Obama Administration report also says that 150,000 jobs have been saved or created. How could one even begin to get to a number like that so soon? The report doesn’t mention – but the AP does – that since February the nation has lost 1.3 million jobs.
President Obama is not well served by flooding the Internets and airwaves with pablum. Every time you turn around there’s another “.gov” site out there promising real information and transparency. What we get instead is messaging wrapped in slick graphics. Everything seems to be a mile wide but an inch deep.
I had high hopes for an information presidency, what we’ve gotten instead is the Ronald Reagan communications team with better technology.
There is a lot of good going on with this Administration. Creating bullshit, releasing it and then patting yourself on the back for being “transparent” is not in the category of good. It’s in the category of annoying.
The Washington Times reports on a hearing regarding the Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board, by the House panel with oversight of the body set up by the recently enacted stimulus bill to ensure $787 billion in stimulus funds are spent wisely.
The problem is most of our elected representatives didn’t bother to show up to do their jobs – stay informed about the work of the accountability board so they can adjust policy if need be.
Congressional slackers included:
- Democratic Reps. Steven R. Rothman of New Jersey, Lincoln Davis of Tennessee, Charles A. Wilson of Ohio, Alan Grayson of Florida and Bart Gordon of Tennessee.
- Republican Rep. Ralph M. Hall of Texas also skipped the session, while Rep. Brian P. Bilbray of California showed up for one third of the meeting.
With all of the sound and fury over the stimulus bill is it too much to ask from members of Congress to go to “important” hearings? I know there are some hearings that they cannot attend due to votes or other hearings, but we’re talking about the largest value bill ever passed.
It’s insulting to the public servants on the transparency board who no doubt were there to deliver testimony to empty chairs.
Finally, to the Democrats, if we’re serious about our way forward out of this recession, let’s act like it. While President Obama’s efforts at greater transparency and accountability are being recognized as “change,” you folks are shirking your responsibility to forward that agenda.