That was then.
This is now.
"There is no silver bullet, no single thing, that can address the many and complex needs of America’s vast economy." VP Joe Biden, 7/26/09.
Is Obama's $787 billion stimulus working? In February, at about the time that the stim package was adopted, Bethlehem Mayor (and now Congressional candidate) John Callahan had high hopes.
“The federal stimulus package, now headed to a congressional conference committee, will bring a quick infusion of funds into Pennsylvania that will assist with the Commonwealth’s own budget crisis, as well as create jobs, encourage investment, lift consumer confidence, and begin the long road back to nationwide economic stability. Immediate action to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is vital not only to the future of our nation, but to the future of Pennsylvania and its local government units.”
Well, I doubt anyone can help Harrisburg legislators solve their yearly budget crisis. They're in gridlock as usual. Overall, Obama's vaunted stim package has been a bust. According to Bloomberg Press,
* household net worth has fallen almost 22 percent;
* house prices have fallen more than 32 percent;
* the Standard & Poor’s index of 500 stocks is 40 percent below its October 2007 level; and
* the jobless rate hovers around ten percent, with 29% of them have been out of work now for more than six months.
What's more troubling to me is that the stim package totally fails to consider the deleterious impact that two other major spending initiatives - health care reform and cap-and-trade - will have on our economy. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has already warned about the trillion dollar cost of some of the health care proposals. CRA International, in its report for the National Black Chamber of Commerce, concludes that the green energy bill passed in the House will reduce national GDP roughly $350 billion, cut net employment by 2.5 million jobs per year (even after accounting for new “green” jobs), and reduce earnings for the average U.S. worker by $390 per year.
Then we'll need another stimulus package until the whole house of cards collapses. Congressman Charlie Dent voted against the stimulus package as well as the cap-and=trade legislation. He certainly supports health care reform and said so at the Nazareth Town Hall, but is taking a more careful approach than House Democrats.