Wal-mart keeps prices low by relying on social welfare programs funded by your tax dollars.
On the most basic level, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is responsible for saving and creating 2.5 million jobs. The majority of economists agree that it helped the economy grow by as much as 3.8 percent, and kept the unemployment rate from reaching 12 percent.
The stimulus is the reason, in fact, that most Americans are better off than they were four years ago, when the economy was in serious danger of shutting down.
But the stimulus did far more than stimulate: it protected the most vulnerable from the recession’s heavy winds. Of the act’s $840 billion final cost, $1.5 billion went to rent subsidies and emergency housing that kept 1.2 million people under roofs. (That’s why the recession didn’t produce rampant homelessness.) It increased spending on food stamps, unemployment benefits and Medicaid, keeping at least seven million Americans from falling below the poverty line.
… It made crucial investments in neglected economic sectors that are likely to pay off for decades. It jump-started the switch to electronic medical records, which will largely end the use of paper records by 2015. It poured more than $1 billion into comparative-effectiveness research on pharmaceuticals. It extended broadband Internet to thousands of rural communities. And it spent $90 billion on a huge variety of wind, solar and other clean energy projects that revived the industry. Republicans, of course, only want to talk about Solyndra, but most of the green investments have been quite successful, and renewable power output has doubled.
Americans don’t know most of this, and not just because Mitt Romney and his party denigrate the law as a boondoggle every five minutes. Democrats, so battered by the transformation of “stimulus” into a synonym for waste and fraud (of which there was little), have stopped using the word. Only four speakers at the Democratic convention even mentioned the recovery act, none using the word stimulus.
Mr. Obama himself didn’t bring it up at all. One of the biggest accomplishments of his first term — a clear illustration of the beneficial use of government power, in a law 50 percent larger (in constant dollars) than the original New Deal — and its author doesn’t even mention it in his most widely heard re-election speech. Such is the power of Republican misinformation, and Democratic timidity.
… Republicans learned a lesson from the stimulus that Democrats didn’t expect: unwavering opposition, distortion, deceit and ridicule actually work, especially when the opposition doesn’t put up a fight. The lesson for Democrats seems equally clear: when government actually works, let the world know about it.—
DAVID FIRESTONE, writing in the Sunday New York Times, “Don’t Tell Anyone, But The Stimulus Worked.”
Part of me wonders why it took The Secretary of Explaining Stuff to lay out all of the Obama administration’s achievements when it could have easily been detailed — and in some cases, bragged about — months, if not years, before the DNC.
I could go on, but I won’t. Because POTUS should.
JON STEWART, on Mitt Romney’s claim that, while he was listed as CEO, president and managing director at Bain Capital through 2002, he “did not manage Bain” and actually “retired retroactively” to 1999, on The Daily Show.
Mitt Romneycan’t even do semantics right.
Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.
…In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, (officials at Penn State) repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the board of trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large.—
From a scathing report by former FBI director LOUIS J. FREEH on child rape cases involving Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.