Obama’s new stimulus bill

The U.S. House is due to take up a new $190 billion spending bill this week, and they had to put seven words in the title to avoid using the S-word. Instead of another stimulus, we are getting the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. Because, you know, tax loopholes are the reason the economy is stuck in neutral.

Keith Hennessey has a better name for it: The Hypocrisy Act of 2010, because it violates the ruling Democrats’ ballyhooed pay-as-you-go rules by adding $134 billion to the deficit. How do they justify this violation? House Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D., Mich.) says the deficit spending comes from “emergency provisions.”

So, it’s been 15 months since the passage of the big stimulus bill, which has since been increased by $75 billion to a total of $862 billion and which, to hear Democrats tell it, has been a great big success. Yet, we’re still talking about “emergency” deficit spending in a single bill that nearly equals the entire federal deficit for 2007. With that kind of success, it’s no wonder they didn’t want to call this one another “stimulus.”

What’s in this bill? Aside from about $55 billion in unemployment benefit extensions, the bill includes:

  • $65 billion in Medicare physician payments — the so-called “doc fix” that Democrats left out of ObamaCare so that it could be officially scored as a deficit-reducing act rather than a deficit-ballooning one;
  • $24 billion in Medicaid funding for states so that they can keep up with the unfunded mandates they already faced, much less the additional ones that will flow from ObamaCare;
  • $1 billion for summer jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds, which effectively is an admission from the feds that the market couldn’t support the minimum wage increases forced upon employers starting in 2007 (the unemployment rate for this age group has hit 25 percent);
  • corporate subsidies for recipients including, according to The Wall Street Journal, “municipal bond traders, cotton farmers, yarn producers, sheep growers, Hawaiian sugar cane cooperatives, motor sports businesses, renewable energy firms, the steel lobby, and so on.”

When people ask how I can blame President Obama and the Democrats for the deficit, this is what I’m talking about. You don’t stop digging by continuing to dig.

90 comments Add your comment

Urban Republican

May 25th, 2010
11:16 am

Keep telling the truth and shaming the devils!!! The simple truth is we cannot afford nor do most Americans want to be beholden to other countries like China. We are at war economically and Democrats, like conventional wars we fight, are weak minded. Economic pacifist will sink the U.S.


May 25th, 2010
11:18 am

It’s very obvious that no one in the White House or the Congress knows how to read a balance sheet.


May 25th, 2010
11:25 am

This is why men, generally, don’t keep up w/ the check book.

Gator Joe

May 25th, 2010
11:56 am

I’d rather see deficits going to help people who actually need help instead of the likes of Halliburton and Blackwater with no-bid contracts. By the way, since I’m relatively new to GA (2.5 yrs) what is your record on criticising Bush/Cheney deficit spending?

Kyle Wingfield

May 25th, 2010
12:04 pm

Gator Joe: Why should there be deficit spending, period, when the Democrats running Congress say they’re paying for spending as they go?

I’m newer to the AJC than you are to Georgia, and I wasn’t writing about the U.S. budget when Bush was in office (I was working in Europe from 2004 until last spring). Since I arrived at the AJC, however, I think my feelings have been pretty clear: Bush’s deficit spending, while bad, was of a different magnitude than Obama’s until 2008, when the bank bailouts and falling revenues sent the deficit shooting upward. (Yes, there were the wars as well, but they did not result in anything like a $1 trillion budget deficit.) The problem with Obama’s budgets and budget plans is that they turn a big chunk of this deficit spending into a permanent feature of the budget.

In short, it’s Bush=bad, Obama=worse.

Urban Republican

May 25th, 2010
12:17 pm

Gator Joe:
Deficits aren’t helping the people who have to pay the debt back to foreign countries!!! A capitalist president would cut taxes and make doing business more hospitable, so that the folks in the private sector with the money to invest will hire the unemployed.

The economy started slowing the last year President Bush was in office because Democrats in 2006 insisted on loaning money for houses to anyone regardless of their ability to pay.


May 25th, 2010
12:26 pm

After eight years of peace and prosperity under Clinton, Bush wasted the surplus and ran up the first deficit spending with his Republican Congress. Then he helped tank the econmy, first in 2002, then throughout his administration. My 401 became a 201 as the economy shrank, and only now is the Dow Jones Index flirting with the same levels it was under the clinton administration.

Bush was so obsessed about raising taxes, that he put everything on the credit card in order to fool the american people that he was not being irresponsible. The war was put on a credit card. The obligations to pay for the new benefits he pushed through were put on the credit card. The tax cuts for his buddies was all put on a credit card.

So when the economy finally tanked in 2008, on Bush’s watch, there was nothing left to do. The government had been so reduced in size that there were fewer regulators on Wall Street (a neo-con’s dream- let the market regulate itself!). There were fewer regulators watching oil companies (see how wonderful the profits for BP were?), which we are living to regret. There is only murky research on the effects of oil and dispersents on the ocean and shores, because the Geological Survey and EPA were so badly cut and reduced in manpower since 1995 (see how much money we’ve saved?).

Obama at least is borrowing money for finite costs. Bush’s deficits are the costs that keep on taking. They are one of the major reasons the economy has been so bad for so long. And why the economic boost Obama’s admin has given the market is so muted.

Bush was a fool and a bad president. He ran the government on neo-conservatism ideology and old Ayn Rand novels, rather than good economics. We paid for his mistakes many times already, and will be paying for the Bush mistakes for years to come.


May 25th, 2010
12:35 pm

Lee- The government had been so reduced in size

When? Is this like one of those “budget cuts” where the budget increases, just not as much as they wanted it to? The last I checked, the budget has increased each year.

I love Obama’s solution of not even making a budeget this year because it will make him look bad before the elections. Just keep the printing presses rolling bacause we still have checks in the checkbook. Immigration will no longer be a problem when we become equal to Mexico.


May 25th, 2010
12:45 pm

Well, this proposal might stimulate the shovel industry.


May 25th, 2010
12:54 pm

STOP ALREADY! Obama and the dems need to stop trying to fix this clunker of an economy. The doors may be off but the engine is salvageable, and it ain’t in Washington. This bunch is driving 120 mph against the flow. We’re headed for a major collision.

What the HECK is wrong with this bunch!!!!???!!!! Are they stuck on stupid!!!!???!!!!

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

May 25th, 2010
1:05 pm

Well, here we go again. Another bailout and stimulus bill. We ought to of just let the economy crash the first time and let all the big banks go bust and people get throwed out of a job. That way, we’d reach rock-bottom and start climbing up out of the hole. I mean, if there’s 33% unemployment people will really start looking for a job then, instead of a handout like a unemployment check. But no, we got to stretch it out and start spending more money we can’t pay for. We’re already dead set on going bust and we might as well do it and get it over with. We can blame it on the librul Democrats and when the Republicans get put in charge they can run the tax rate down to zero and guvmint revenues will increase by 100% and the guvmint can hire everybody that’s unemployed then.

So I’m with Kyle and @@ and all the other good Conservatives. Just let the whole thing crash. I mean, people can sell pencils and apples on a street corner like they done back in the Great Depression. Or maybe jump out of a 15-story window.

Have a good p.m. everybody.


May 25th, 2010
1:12 pm

You whiny naive fools should shut up & let the pros, such as Obama’s economic advisers Geithner & Summers (who as Bill Clinton’s advisers gave us excellent economic growth) do their jobs. They have more successful expertise in dealing with our economy than you sorry complainers, so just stop fantasizing already & let them do their jobs

Churchill's MOM

May 25th, 2010
1:47 pm

Our 2 socialist RINO Senators will be voting for this, Saxby & Johnny Bailout have never seen a farm subsidy they didn’t love & vote for.


May 25th, 2010
1:51 pm

So one could argue that Obama’s motives are not altogether altruistic? Kinda like putting Obamacare(s) absent a way to fund it. Kinda like putting Cap & Tax before the economy and JOBS!

Kinda like that?


May 25th, 2010
2:11 pm

Pardon the misplaced post.


May 25th, 2010
2:24 pm

Let the goodtimes roll. Say you don’t like your congressmen vote in some new ones, but stop all the whining.

Algonquin j. Calhoun

May 25th, 2010
2:29 pm

Why all the concern now? You weren’t concerned when Bush drove the economy down into a depression. Spare me the bull!


May 25th, 2010
2:35 pm

Let the economy crash !! Drill baby Drill !! yahoo !! start another war !! yeah that’s the ticket


May 25th, 2010
2:53 pm

Isn’t the Union Pensions bailout in this one?

Yeah the SEIU thugs really need more money. /snark

Kyle Wingfield

May 25th, 2010
3:05 pm

I think that’s a separate bill, PixiePundit.



May 25th, 2010
3:06 pm

This whole thing is disgusting, and it is no wonder that people are angry and upset. The hole keeps getting deeper, and there is absolutely nothing encouraging on the horizon to change it for the better. This government looks like it is trying to make the United States a third world country, and when Obama finally leaves office, in whatever way that is, he will have succeeded in crippling, possibly even mortally wounding the greatest country that has ever existed.


May 25th, 2010
3:13 pm

Spare the drama.


May 25th, 2010
3:30 pm

“Got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor”


Hillbilly Deluxe

May 25th, 2010
3:38 pm

In the interest of following the great merger/streamlining pattern of the last 2-3 decades, the Democrats and Republicans should merge and form the Huckster Party. Then they’d have both have found where they truly belong.


May 25th, 2010
3:38 pm

thanks, Kyle!


May 25th, 2010
3:40 pm

joan1 ” ..in what ever way that is” << the Secret Service might be calling you.

Old Man

May 25th, 2010
3:44 pm

I’ve been hearing this same tripe from Republicans for 30 years: “If the rich’s taxes are cut they will create jobs.” Hogwash! Businesses don’t need tax cuts, businesses need customers! And the only place an average American can afford to shop anymore is WalMart. Who, btw, gets about $1.2 billion in federal subsidies every year, is the nation’s largest employer of illegal immigrants, and doesn’t even offer most of its workers health insurance. If you don’t think the US is friendly to business then why does BP have raw crude polluting the ocean? Heavy regulation would never have allowed a catastrophe of this magnitude. And a non business-friendly govt would never consider damage caps, which are getting more consideration than fixing the leak. Union pensions wouldn’t need bailouts if the stock markets were properly regulated. But they are not, so unions, who understand the power in numbers, are left to fend for the workers. Not sure why Republicans are so fearful of this concept. If you do a quick google you will find that union jobs that paid $40k in 1980 now pay $70k, but non-union jobs that paid $40k in 1980 still pay $40k. 3 things WalMart workers do not have 1) health insurance; 2) a decent, living wage; 3) unions. For if WalMart had unions, the entitled Walton family may not occupy 6 of the top 20 wealthiest billionaires in the world list – more than Gates and Buffet combined. I don’t hear any Republicans talking about how lazy the Walton heirs are, even though not one of them ever risked a single penny or did a lick of work. As WalMart faces the largest discrimination suit in US history, they have “charitably” donated $1.2 billion in food for the needy in a self-serving, PR move. If WalMart paid their workers decent wages, WalMart’s charity and federal bailouts would not be necessary. WalMart is but one example of American corporations that have no interest in providing better jobs, services, or goods to anybody. These corporations rule America and leave pollution, broken dreams, and disease in their wake. Their desire is to keep people poor so they have no choice but to buy low-quality, Chinese imports at their ugly, crowded stores. There is nothing ‘capitalist’ about WalMart unless you happen to be born into the family. American corporate structure resembles slavery and feudalism more than capitalism. I can’t understand why Republicans defend them so vehemently.


May 25th, 2010
3:48 pm

Yup Bush’s fault. How long does that run 10 years 20 years 100 years? What’s really an eye opener is how little posters know about our government system
1. Bush/Obama whomever didn’t spend a penny. Congress is the only body of government that can propose or approve spending. which by the way has a democratic majority since 2006. Oh and by the way had a republican majority during Clinton’s economic boom times.
2. Bush did not start a war. Congress had to give it’s approval and the “lies” he told was information that all of Congress, and intelligence agencies around the world had and agreed upon.
3. If Bush was –as liberals love to say -a fool, an idiot, a moron, a chimp, a monkey (imagine the uproar in calling Obama a monkey or chimp!) how was he smart enough to fool the whole world and be responsible for all the horrid things the liberals blame him for? He is either or you can’t have it both ways.


May 25th, 2010
3:54 pm

Apparently politicos in D.C. need to hire some of the laid off math teachers to give them some basic lessons in addition and subtraction. How can you continue to spend more and more of what you don’t have? Keep up the good work Obama -soon we will be like Zimbabwe-or was that the plan all along?


May 25th, 2010
3:58 pm

I can not wait until 5pm so I can watch Glenn Beck. I got to order that new book he is endorsing called Fire something or other. He is highly recommending it. Have you told your kids about the forefathers?


May 25th, 2010
4:02 pm

I feel for the poor, but how come some from poor backgrounds can find enough motivation to bust their hump, work a job or two at the same time, stay in school, graduate, save up for college, educate themselves, stay out of gangs, stay off drugs, stay out of prison, and make it…and others opt for laying around the house watching Oprah, getting fat eating chips and nacho cheeze, collecting government handouts, getting into gangs and drugs, spreading her legs resulting in 3 kids before they are 20, fathering 6 kids with different baby momma’s and getting a cap in his arse when the next drug deal goes south.

Now we have the illegal immigrant mess to deal with and these never ending bail outs from the Dems.

Will it ever stop? Maybe in 2012…God help us til then.

Down in Albany

May 25th, 2010
4:10 pm

LeeH1: When will the economy become President Obama’s? Bush has been gone for some time now. We are very close to being half way through the Obama term. The “blame Bush” game is over.

The size of the government has been reduced? According to who? This administration will not even publish a budget, for crying out loud! The last stimulus package has done nothing to stimulate the economy.

Borrowing money for finite costs? What does that mean?

As bad as Bush was (and, I agree he was), Obama will go down as the worst POTUS ever…and, that’s saying alot given our own Jimmy Carter! Obama does not have a clue.

The American People

May 25th, 2010
4:20 pm

Down With Dems In 2K10!


May 25th, 2010
5:25 pm

This country is broke. And Jefferson, it is time for drama! Only 42% of this country is being paid from private companies at the moment–the lowest in the HISTORY of this country. And the idiots in Congress are going to pass yet another bail out bill!! Hold onto your hats, this is going to be a very bumpy ride. Moving to Socialism on the bullet train! And we know what happens there—hello Greece, hello Spain, move over.


May 25th, 2010
5:39 pm

Old Man,

Its been proven over and over and over with empirical evidence that when marginal tax rates are cut the economy grows and tax receipts also grow. End of story.

Regarding your wealth envy of Walmart. If you don’t like em don’t shop there. If people don’t want to work there then they have the option of working at Target, Kmart, a retail job in the mall or Big Lots or wherever. Or they can work at McDonalds or Burger King or Wendys. People are forced to work at Walmart and they’re not forced to buy from there either.

Walmart helps more poor, lower income, and middle class people than anyone by providing otherwise expesive consumer goods and services at a reasonable price that our poorest citizens can afford. Their price leadership has forced other companies to lower prices in order to be more competitive. Who wins in all this? You guessed it if you’re smart. The consumer and especially the poor or lower income consumer.

Your wealth envy, your anger, your resentment of other people’s success makes me sick to my stomach.

Michael H. Smith

May 25th, 2010
5:44 pm

Porkulus Package II… How much more of this non-sense are the American people willing to endure?

Michael H. Smith

May 25th, 2010
5:52 pm

joan1 – more like move over Evita Peron, don’t cry for us Argentina!

Gerald West

May 25th, 2010
6:28 pm

Oh, Kyle! You’ve got it all wrong again because of your emotional attachment to fake “conservatives” like the Dixiecrats who have taken over the Republican political party.

President Obama was handed a $12 trillion national debt, a $1.2 billion federal budget deficit, and the biggest financial blowout since the Great Depression. The bailout of the big financial institutions was a necessary move to prevent further financial collapse. President Bush, and candidates McCain and Obama, agreed to it. Most economists concede that it was a necessary move to contain the financial meltdown that was occurring.

The various stimulus measures are creating useful jobs as an alternative to paying out more in unemployment benefits and welfare. Even more could have been accomplished if the various state governments had done enough forward planning to have “shovel-ready” projects. But the state governments are even worse than the federal government; they just get less scrutiny.
The stimulus measures have held unemployment to around 10%, about the same as the Reagan/Bush depression in the 1980’s when the GDP dropped by far less than that of the Bush financial blowout in 2008. The stimulus measures have succeeded in staving off another Great Depression.

The economy will grow when wealthy Americans begin to invest in American commerce and industry, and American workers have useful jobs that they are qualified and willing to fill. At some time in the future, we will either recover from the current financial meltdown or we will adjust to the poverty we deserve.

It’s swim or sink at this point! Either we work ourselves out of the hole created by unfettered private financial enterprise, or we collapse into a pathetic, quarrelsome heap like Greece and the African countries.

So, stop moaning about programs that create useful jobs, and start addressing real American problems such as: spending trillions on prosecuting and imprisoning millions of men who should be working and paying taxes, encouraging a drug trade that is costing billions and destabilizing neighboring countries to the south, supporting a privileged class of underperforming and overpaid executives who cannot manage to produce products and services that Americans and the export market will buy, and public schools that turn out students that are abysmally unprepared for responsible adulthood.

Old Man

May 25th, 2010
6:34 pm


Rush Limbaugh and Fox News are not “empirical evidence.”

And if I make you sick, to quote your hero: “Mission accomplished.”


May 25th, 2010
6:34 pm

Down in Albany…Why don’t you tell that to President Reagan. When he was 20 months into his first term, he was still campaigning against President Carter. I think if the holy One, President Reagan, can campaign 20 months into his first time, then Obama can still blame Bush.


May 25th, 2010
7:34 pm

“You don’t stop digging by continuing to dig.”

Very true Kyle. Instead of digging the deficit hole deeper we need to start filling in the hole. How do we do that?

Well, for the past 30 years we have tried cutting taxes. After 30 years of tax cuts we have a $12 Trillion dollar increase in the National Debt. So we know that don’t work, right?

So, what to do, what to do?

Lets try Raising Taxes! Do the opposite of what we have done for the past 30 years. And lets cut spending, which we have NOT done in 30 years. We are in Kyle’s self-dug hole after 30 years of cutting taxes and increasing spending. So lets change.

Lets raise the Social Security age to 70 over the next few years.

Lets raise the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 or 68 over the next few years.

Lets cut new procurement for weapons systems for the next 10 to 15 years.

Anyone else have any ideas? Kyle has none. He is content to spend his
“bully pulpit” playing Party politics. In other words, he is fiddling while Rome burns.

Michael H. Smith

May 25th, 2010
9:16 pm

Short list for starters:

Let’s don’t raise taxes!

Cut government worker pay across the board by 10% like countries in Europe are now going to do.

Cut government worker benefits until comparable with those offered in private sector employment.

Stop all earmark spending until the budget is balanced.

Cut the number of government of agencies.

Privatize the U.S. Postal system.

Fire all regulators who don’t do their job, like those at the SEC and now the Minerals Management Office – Et al Spill Baby, Spill!!!!

Get government out of the housing business and divest government of Fannie, Freddie and Sallie which are now nationalized.

Restore Social Security to its original intent and allow investments of social security funds in Government bonds and Gold to earn higher returns and protect against inflation.

Raising the age of retirement for social security must be match by equal age of retirement requirements for all government pension recipients.

Repeal and replace ObumerCare.

Make E-verify mandatory, rise fines and jail terms for all those who hire illegal aliens, attrit and/or deport all unauthorized workers and issue no more work visa until the unemployment rate stands at 4.5 % for a period of no less than one year.

Demand a policy of Mirror Trade. End all corporate subsidies for corporation that relocate American jobs offshore.

Since the Democrats won’t do any of this maybe the Republicans will, as it appears they may finally be having their long awaited come to Jesus moment.

We could use another Eisenhower in 2012. Anybody hear anything from Stromin’ Norman Schwarzkopf lately?

The nation needs you General. Somebody got to plug the damn hole!


Saul Good

May 26th, 2010
6:46 am

Say what you want…but the stimulus plans are WORKING. GDP is going up, and instead of LOSING jobs we’re slowly gaining them.

Let me know when those Bush “tax cuts” kick in. Seems to me that he had them in place for years…but in the end, none of the wealthy or the corporations HIRED ANYONE…. in fact they started FIRING people…over 8 million of them.


May 26th, 2010
8:24 am

Saul, all the stimulus has done is saddle us with nearly a $trillion dollar bill we have to repay to China WITH INTEREST. Any jobs it may have helped create are insignificant when compared to the higher interest rates we will be paying in the future when our credit rating is lowered (because of our debt). Have you not been keeping up with the news? Look at what all the debt in Europe is doing to the euro, the pound, their credit rating, etc. This is where we are headed and instead of reigning in the costs, we now have another stimulus to pile on the existing mountain of debt. It has become so crazy that I believe this administration just doesn’t care.

Horrible Horrace

May 26th, 2010
8:30 am

Sorry…you are wrong. The Stimulus bills are not working. You will see just how badly in the months to come.

Jeff Fryer

May 26th, 2010
8:46 am

Good durable goods report this morning. Thanx to W, of course. I guess Obama was too busy sabotaging oil wells.

All’s well that oil wells.


May 26th, 2010
8:50 am

When Bush became President in 2001, the economy was in a recession. Clinton has as much to do with this deficit as Bush. He was the one who made the Banks give loans to folks who couldn’t afford them.

Liberals/Progressives are sick people, they can’t tell the truth. For example John, that’s a flat out lie about Reagan, please provide the proof.

Let’s hope in Nov. when the GOP takes back the house, they impeach “The Messiah” for his roll in bribing Sestak and repeal everthing this bozo has done for the last 15 mths..

“I’d rather be a dawg, than a democrat”


May 26th, 2010
9:11 am

So true Jeff Fryer. Amazing Bush was able to do all that while sabotaging New Orleans with Katrina.

He almost fooled me though…he visted over 7 times the 1st week (Pretty close, could be off a day), while this Friday, after Bozo’s vacation, he’ll go to La. for the 2nd time since the spilled more than a month ago.

No More Progressives!

May 26th, 2010
9:57 am

House Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D., Mich.) says the deficit spending comes from “emergency provisions.”

Everything the Left does is an emergency. Never let a good crisis go to waste!

Saul Good

May 26th, 2010
9:57 am

Robert….but the TRILLION DOLLARS we spent in the first 5 years in Iraq (over there, instead of over here)… that was okay with you? How do we pay that back? The money is being spent in OUR nation now. How do you suppose that the depression ended? The New Deal? World War II? Many economists believe it was a combination of the two…but it was MASSIVE spending…and in today’s dollars WAY more then we’ve spent to try to dig us out of the massive crater that was left behind when the keys to the WH were handed over. Actually about 10 TRILLION DOLLARS (in today’s dollars).

I guess you think that “lowering” corporate taxes would be the key huh? Because those Bush tax cuts… (as I said before)… when are THOSE going to kick in? I believe that his administration LOST jobs….they did not create any jobs… When Obama got the keys to the WH we were losing 750,000 jobs per month… how many per month are we losing now?

Just like the WWII dept… it will be paid back… all previous administrations were doing so until Reagan/Bush… Clinton started paying to pay it back and left a “surplus”… then Dubya used it all up quickly and then added to it… Just like the debt before…it WILL get paid back… had Obama just offered “tax cuts” as a solution… we’d have sunk right back to the 1930 economy.

Here’s a little chart for you to back up what I stated:

“Note the run-up in debt starting in 1942. That’s equivalent to $10 trillion today. That pulled the economy out of the great depression and into high gear to win World War II…

In the Great Depression, Roosevelt tried deficit spending, but he was too timid. Then he stopped in 1937 and the economy nose-dived. It took the humongous deficits of WWII to pull us out of the Great Depression. Those deficits blasted the economy from depression into overdrive.
Of course after the war, we had to pay off a huge national debt, but during that time, from 1946 to 1980, the economy was mainly quite prosperous. We hit a bad recession when Reagan took office, and his early deficit spending made sense (though he didn’t know it). But then he continued to drive up the debt through the boom years that followed. That didn’t make any sense….
…The only way out of this, if we don’t want to wait 10 years, is for the government to spend, pay unemployment insurance, or give tax breaks to people who will spend (not the rich).”

BTW… Obama has given 98% of all Americans tax breaks.

So go show me YOUR charts and ACTUAL statistics instead of the spin you get from the “entertainers” on Fox.