Sunday, January 31, 2010

Obama presures Congress for jobs bill as Stimulus program fails.

Latest Stimulus Report Fuels Jobs Pressure -

Recipients of economic-stimulus money said they had used the funds to pay 599,108 workers in the last quarter of 2009, fewer than the number of jobs they had reported to have created or saved in the first seven months after the plan was enacted.

The recipients' reports, published on the official government Web site late Saturday night, are likely to fuel further controversy over the impact of the $787 billion package, as Democrats seek to craft new jobs-creation proposals to address the country's continued, high jobless rate.

Many opinion polls suggest that most voters do not believe the current stimulus program, which was passed last February, is working.

Stimulus recipients previously reported that they had directly "created or saved" 640,329 jobs by September 30, 2009, but their filings were widely criticized after it emerged that some people had reported saving jobs when they had actually spent the money on pay raises or paying employees who were not in danger of being laid off.

Change you can believe in.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers has estimated that the plan has kept between 1.5 million and two million jobs in the economy through the end of 2009. In his State of the Union address to Congress last week, President Barack Obama said that "because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed." A White House spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Feb. 11, 2009, Congress gave final approval to a $787 billion stimulus package requested by President Obama that was meant to bolster an economy that had been contracting rapidly in the wake of the credit crisis of the previous fall.

The bill had been bitterly resisted by Republicans — none voted for the measure in the House and only three did in the Senate — and several Republican governors, including Sarah Palin of Alaska and Mark Sanford of South Carolina, sought unsuccessfully to refuse some of the money sent their way. Conservative protestors regularly cited the bill's price tag as a sign that the Obama administration was running up unaffordable debt and was devoted to big government.

The economy grew at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. But well over half of that growth came from large adjustments to business inventories that are unlikely to be repeated on a similar scale in the months to come. As such, they are evidence that the sick economy is recovering, not that it is healthy.

Another chunk of growth was due to government stimulus spending, which will wane in 2010. Much of the recent upsurge in business purchases of equipment and software was likely due to a rush to take advantage of an investment tax break before it expired in December.

Unfortunately, with the economy already some 10 million jobs short, there is no job growth on the horizon robust enough to set that upward spiral in motion. And because the economy is already in such a deep hole, a second leg down would mean ever worsening hardship.

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Bank of America trying to get Government Obama off it's back.

Taxpayer will pay for Freddie Mac $5 Billion loss third quarter.

Federal Government will loose Billions from General Motors and Chrysler.

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Stimulus Report Accurate?

President Obama lied Promises to limit no bid Contracts. - Obama Administration Steers Lucrative No-Bid Contract for Afghan Work to Dem Donor

Despite President Obama's long history of criticizing the Bush administration for "sweetheart deals" with favored contractors, the Obama administration this month awarded a $25 million federal contract for work in Afghanistan to a company owned by a Democratic campaign contributor without entertaining competitive bids, Fox News has learned.

The contract, awarded on Jan. 4 to Checchi & Company Consulting, Inc., a Washington-based firm owned by economist and Democratic donor Vincent V. Checchi, will pay the firm $24,673,427 to provide "rule of law stabilization services" in war-torn Afghanistan.

"That's kind of weird," said another source, who has worked on "rule of law" issues in both Afghanistan and Iraq, about the no-bid contract to Checchi & Company. "There's lots of companies and non-governmental organizations that do this sort of work."

"I think the administration should explain what the decision was based on, and why a no-bid contract was given in this case, particularly given that Mr. Obama came in on a pledge of 'no more no-bid contracts,'" said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Obama promises

Less than a year ago President Obama ordered an overhaul  of the way the US government awards defense and other contracts, saying that more competition is needed to drive down costs and declaring that "the days of giving government contractors a blank check are over."

Obama joined Senator John McCain, his Republican presidential campaign rival, and other congressional figures to promise taxpayers savings of as much as $40 billion a year, in part by limiting no-bid contracts.

Even in good economic times, contracting reform would be overdue in Washington, Obama said, but with the recession, "It's time for this waste and inefficiency to end. It's time for a government that only invests in what works."

The new administration argued that its Republican predecessor's spending on goods and services increased from $200 billion in 2000 to more than $500 billion in 2008.

Just another lie.

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Obama on no-bid contracts

Saturday, January 30, 2010

US economy rebounds growth dismal and poor.

Roubini Calls U.S. Growth ‘Dismal and Poor,’ Predicts Slowing -

New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini, who anticipated the financial crisis, called the fourth quarter surge in U.S. economic growth “very dismal and poor” because it relied on temporary factors.
Roubini said more than half of the 5.7 percent expansion reported yesterday by the government was related to a replenishing of inventories and that consumption depended on monetary and fiscal stimulus. As these forces ebb, growth will slow to just 1.5 percent in the second half of 2010, he said.
“The headline number will look large and big, but actually when you dissect it, it’s very dismal and poor,” Roubini told Bloomberg Television in an interview at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “I think we are in trouble.”

Saving every nickel and dime.

Payrolls fell by 85,000 last month after a 4,000 gain in November that was the first increase in almost two years. The U.S. has lost 7.2 million jobs since the start of the recession in December 2007, the most of any slowdown in the post-World War II era. The jobless rate held at 10 percent in December.
“Both consumers and businesses are beginning to increase spending. To get validation, we need to see a return in hiring, which we think we are going to get over the next few months.”
Obama this week said job creation will be the “number one focus in 2010.” Speaking during his first State of the Union address, Obama called on Congress to deliver a new jobs bill to his desk.
President Barack Obama has embraced a contradiction. He wants both a freeze of a lot of discretionary spending and a new “jobs” bill — which is made up entirely of new discretionary spending.
Before the House of Representatives’ recess last year, it passed, by a narrow 217-212 vote, a $155 billion stimulus bill to fund more “shovel-ready” projects and jobs for state and local government bureaucracies. Its passage raised a serious question that still must be answered. The $700-plus billion stimulus package that was passed in February has proved a failure in just about every way a piece of legislation can fail. Why continue on with a second stimulus or a new jobs bill?
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The U.S. Economy is Unsustainable