Originally, the Obama administration tried to provide up to a 100 billion more in initiatives that would have provided jobs, but it was criticized by Republicans like Senators Lindsey Graham and McConnell as too expensive and providing too little tax cuts, which is their political answer to just about everything under the son. So the final version was really a "bi-partisan" plan, a compromise between well-intentioned democrats and recalcitrant Republicans who seem to want the Obama administration to fail anyway.
That notwithstanding, the Obama adinistration-- instead of waiting for the so-called stimulus to work-- should redirect monies from the first recovery plan to initiatives that would provide jobs, all kinds of jobs. As has been stated on this post, monies focused on handling the foreclosure mess and creating jobs (putting money in the hands of workers) is the best way to get the economy back on track, as opposed to focusing on putting money into banks and insurance companies like AIG.
As Herbert states, all additional funding from now on should be about getting people jobs. Here is the article:
The Human Equation
by Bob Herbert
July 11, 2009
Vice President Joe Biden told us this week that the Obama administration “misread how bad the economy was” in the immediate aftermath of the inauguration.
Puh-leeze. Mr. Biden and President Obama won the election because the economy was cratering so badly there were fears we might be entering another depression. No one understood that better than the two of them. Mr. Obama tried to clean up the vice president’s remarks by saying his team hadn’t misread what was happening, but rather “we had incomplete information.”
That doesn’t hold water, either. The president has got the second coming of the best and the brightest working for him down there in Washington (think of Larry Summers as the latter-day Robert McNamara), and they’re crunching numbers every which way they can. They’ve got more than enough data. They understand the theories and the formulas as well as anyone. But they’re not coming up with the right answers because they’re missing the same thing that McNamara and his fellow technocrats were missing back in the 1960s: the human equation.
The crisis staring America in its face and threatening to bring it to its knees is unemployment. Joblessness. Why it is taking so long — seemingly forever — for our government officials to recognize the scope of this crisis and confront it directly is beyond me.
There are now five unemployed workers for every job opening in the U.S. The official unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, but that doesn’t begin to tell the true story of the economic suffering. The roof is caving in on struggling American families that have already seen the value of their homes and retirement accounts put to the torch.
At the present rate, upwards of seven million homes can be expected to fall into foreclosure this year and next. Welfare rolls are rising, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal. The National Employment Law Project has pointed out that hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers will begin losing their jobless benefits, just about the only thing keeping them above water, by the end of the summer.
Virtually all of the job growth since the start of the 21st century (which was nothing to crow about) has vanished. If you include the men and women who are now working part time but would like to work full time, and those who have become so discouraged that they’ve stopped actively searching for work, you’ll find that 16.5 percent of Americans are jobless or underemployed. Nearly everyone who is fortunate enough to have a job has a spouse or a parent or an in-law or a close friend who is desperate for employment.
Anyone who believes that the Obama stimulus package will turn this jobs crisis around is deluded. It was too small, too weakened by tax cuts and not nearly focused enough on creating jobs. It’s like trying to turn a battleship around with a canoe. Even if it were working perfectly, the stimulus would not come close to stemming the cascade of joblessness unleashed by this megarecession.For the full story, click here: