Once the apple of President Obama’s eye, the stimulus was rotting away in the first lady’s compost pile as summer began. So on June 17, 2010, the White House launched a full-on PR blitz to save the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
They called the push “Recovery Summer.”
In order to convince Americans that the stimulus was working just fine, President Obama visited a road project in Columbus, Ohio, Vice President Joe Biden visited a battery factory in Michigan, and various other White House officials visited various other places where a handful of jobs supposedly sprang from the economy’s backside after congressional Democrats chucked $862 billion into the gaping maw of the largest financial crisis in two generations.
“This summer will be the most active Recovery Act season yet,” said White House advisor David Axelrod in June. “Thousands of highly-visible road, bridge, water and other infrastructure projects breaking ground across the country, giving the American people a first-hand look at the Recovery Act in their own backyards and making it crystal clear what the cost would have been of doing nothing.”
Shorter Axelrod: You’re welcome, America. Enjoy the recovery.
Since the start of that fateful PR blitz, the economy has only gotten worse. At 9.5%, the unemployment rate was higher in July 2010 than in July 2009. And according to data published Monday by USA Today, 1 in 6 Americans receives some type of government-funded anti-poverty assistance, whether through Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, and/or unemployment benefits.
But that’s not all: Home sales are down, as are prices (though some people would argue that this is not bad news). And while defaulting is down slightly, foreclosures are up in 75% of the country’s big cities. GDP, a powerful indicator of overall economic health, increased this past spring by a paltry 1.6% — a full percentage point less than analysts anticipated.
The cherry on top of this sundae of sadness is that state and local governments that received more than $280 billion in stimubucks for shovel-ready projects have only spent half their haul. The other $140 billion is stuffed in a mattress somewhere.
But there’s hope yet! There are still a few more weeks left before fall arrives, and what the Obama administration’s stimubuck snow-job failed to do for our economy, it can still do for one lucky charity. The Daily Caller is offering to donate $1,000 to charity in exchange for a teensy bit of transparency: All we ask is that whichever White House idea wizard suggested that “Recovery Summer” serve as the slogan for what turned out to be a second Summer of Sam, step forward. In exchange for letting the world laugh at your arrogance, for one lucky charity of your choice, we’ll help provide the prosperity your boss couldn’t.