• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: President Obama Sticks to Stimulus Script

    In the 1993 comedy Dave, a small-town presidential impersonator is called on to pretend to be the actual President of the United States when the commander in chief takes ill. Dave steps into the White House, takes his new role too far, and with wide-eyed innocence promises America, “I’m initiating a program to try to find a decent job for every American who wants one.” Yesterday in Holland, Michigan, President Barack Obama made a strikingly similar pledge:

    Over the coming weeks, I’m going to be putting out more proposals, week by week, that will help businesses hire and put people back to work. And I’m going to keep at it until every single American who wants a job can find one.

    It’s anyone’s guess if President Obama was taking a page from Dave’s playbook, hoping that the magic of Hollywood or the power of a populist message would resonate with Americans, helping to turn around his plummeting poll numbers. But a few things were clear in the President’s speech: Despite all evidence to the contrary, he is still clinging to the notion that the federal government can create jobs, he remains utterly disconnected from the reality that the American people are fundamentally dissatisfied with the direction he is taking the country, and he is doggedly sticking to his favorite script—the story of more federal spending coming to America’s rescue.

    Since the beginning of his presidency, Barack Obama has promised that he would spend America out of the recession using the power of the purse, infusing the U.S. economy with stimulus spending in order to save or create millions of jobs. He failed. Despite a $787 billion stimulus package, the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, job creation is anemic, and as Heritage’s James Sherk and Rea Hederman, Jr., explain in a new paper, the average duration of unemployment hit a new record last month, surpassing 40 weeks for the first time ever.

    Yet the President is falling back on more stimulus spending as a solution. In his speech yesterday, Obama told his audience to contact their representatives (again) and demand more spending on infrastructure. And he called for Congress to set aside their divisions so more money can be spent in the Department of Energy to further his green agenda. If you think this is all a re-run, that’s because it is. And we know how the story ends. That’s because an undeniable truth emerges from the President’s stimulus fiction: Government spending does not stimulate economic growth. Heritage’s Nicolas Loris explains why:

    Sure, the government can create jobs. They can use our taxpayer dollars to hire workers to dig holes and fill them back up. But if there’s no net gain in productivity and wealth, the job is a waste.

    For instance, we could replace all of the world’s mechanized agriculture equipment with hoe wielding farmers, and that would create jobs. But it would also significantly reduce productivity and efficiency. The economic reasoning for switching from more efficient machinery to less efficient human capital is such a baseless plan any politician suggesting it would be laughed out of office.

    The failure of government stimulus spending has played itself out time and time again. In the New Deal, Japan in the 1990s, President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2008, and the Obama stimulus last year all failed to generate the hoped-for stimulus.

    Yet the President keeps telling his story, and he keeps taking credit for the supposed success of his economic stimulus. But the American people aren’t buying it. As the stock market surges and plummets, Americans’ confidence in the economy keeps sinking—hitting lows not seen since March 2009 during the recession, according to a new Gallup poll. They’re looking for a new direction—one of fiscal restraint and smaller government that they voted for last November.

    It’s time to stop re-running the same big-government storyline and put America on a new road of fiscal discipline headed toward economic growth. Congress and the President can start by balancing the budget, lowering spending, and reforming entitlements as laid out in Heritage’s “Saving the American Dream” plan. Yesterday, President Obama said, “We can’t afford to play games—not right now, not when the stakes are so high for our economy.” He’s right. But unfortunately, he isn’t proposing the ideas needed to put American back to work.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    55 Responses to Morning Bell: President Obama Sticks to Stimulus Script

    1. John Gober says:

      Broken Record!!!!

    2. toledofan says:

      A great piece and, again, another common sense approach that will be ignored. It's crystal clear that this Administration doesn't want to create jobs or fix the economy and that they will go to the grave to protect and embelish their ideology. It's sad because there are millions of people who are really suffering and have lost their jobs, dignity, homes, families and savings. It's sad because you have a bunch of elites who think they know better and as long as they are ok, then everything else is ok. Their ideology is a failure and they are too smart to see it. It hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried, yet, they kling to the failure that they think they are bigger and better than evryone else and they are the ones that can make it work and everyone suffers because of it.

    3. cagintx says:

      I disagree. There are a couple of things the government can do to "create" jobs. One, they can assure businesses – small, medium, and large (in that order) that the government won't do anything to make them less competitive like raise taxes or pass laws supporting unionization. Two, they can stop/reform all entitlement programs that encourage people to not work.

    4. Llolyd Scallan says:

      Obama is not "playing games". He is deadly serious about destroying this nation as we know it by collapsing our capitalist, economical system. Ask yourself one question. If Obama wanted to destroy our
      economy, what else could he do without getting caught? The answer, Nothing!

    5. Jimmy Bolton says:

      All I can think of when I here the word "infrastructure" and "green jobs", is union contracts, public unions that is.

    6. Bigfootbob says:

      Years ago Milton Friedman told the story of his visit to a road construction site. There he saw some thirty men with shovels working along th side of the road.

      Friedman asked the Foreman, "Why don't you get a bucket loader in here and you'd be finished by noon?"
      Foreman replied, proudly, "You don't understand, Mr. Friedman, this is a job creation project."

      Friedman then said, "I see. Why don't you give them spoons?"

    7. Dayle Robbs says:

      Wish President Obama had a friend like Dave had, Murray…who helped him go through the budget and made tons of cuts to "pork". Murray, whose initial response was something like: "Wow! If I ran my business like the government runs this, I'd be out of business". Exactly!!!

    8. Tim Boley says:

      "…every single American who wants a job can find one."

      President Obama left out the next part of his speech. His next line should have been, "And for those Americans who don't want a job, we will be happy to give you money for doing nothing. Vote for me for a second term."

    9. Whicket Williams says:

      I have YET to hear ANYBODY suggest cutting the federal government down to a size where it can operate efficiently. Whole agencies need to be eliminated, and those remaining must have efficient oversight, and be held accountable. Gov, employees who ignore the welfare of the american people in order to serve their corporate masters must be jailed.

    10. Kenneth K. says:

      Obama came to my State of Michigan yesterday, saw his lips moving but still saying nothing about a real plan for increasing jobs here in America, he visited a new foreign partner owned business in Michigan,
      ( profits will go back to the foreign country ), when he toured this new plant did he see any " Shovel Ready Job's " there ? I think not, that is what is his socilaist goverment job plan, we all know what he needs to do and he is not going to do it, he is spending all his time blaming others and attending re-election dinners/rallys, he is showing no leadership what so ever, can't wait for 2012 , QUESTION: How come he never stopped in Detroit , Flint, or Benton Harbor to rally the un-employed there ?

    11. Perfectlyaged says:

      The more Obama talks, the more addlebrained and deficient he sounds! America, Obama is trying to diffuse us by uttering our concerns and complaints back to us in his speech. Phrases like "but, I didn't know it was going to be such a steep hill".."we are not even half-way there"….then some Americans who stand staunchly behind Obama develop the comeback that it is going to take Obama longer than thirty months to straighten out the mess he inherited and then they settle into complacency! America we had better realize Obama does not have the intellect or mentality to climb that steep hill…we better get someone in office that knows how many states there are in the United States!!!!!!!!

    12. Wm. Brownfield says:

      Excellent evaluation of the deplorable state of the Union, and our lost leader. The Old guard, including a number of Repubs. are still in the dark of how a capitalistic economy works. Keep up the good work Tea Party members and supporters. We need your wave generation and conservancy.

    13. Bob says:

      I think the President can submit proposals that will help business create jobs IF his proposals mean getting rid of the multitude of regualations that hamper business. And many of these are being put into place by small regulatory agencies because the President can't get it done through the proper legislative process. IF the President's proposals mean getting Government and regulatory agencies out of the way and turing loose the creative and entrepeneural spirit of the business commmunity then I say OK. But if Obama is going to throw more government programs, regulation and $$ at things, we know that doesn't work and President Obama should know better by now. But knowing his track record he will not listen to the business leaders and will probably continue with his grand socialist vision of what he thinks is right for America. You would think his plummeting approval ratings would be a wake-up call to the President that he is heading us down the wrong path.

    14. Jim Patterson says:

      If there was a prize for trash talk, big talk,etc by a Prez, O would win it big time. Also he would win the prize for big talk with nothing to back it up! LOL this is for sure one guy who constantly focuses on jobs or says he does but how many times can you focus and still not see where you are going? He obviously can't.

      • Spence says:

        Jim . . . He DID win a prize. . . . a Noble 'Peace' Prize for his 'big talk' even before he had time to do us harm . . . remember?

    15. fdct says:

      Spending on infrastructure isn't the same as digging a hole and filling it up again. Spending on infrastructure creates real value and productivity gains; if you build a highway to a remote town, you can bet business will bloom in that town. Neglecting infrastructure will just continue to drop us further behind Asia and India, and there's no better time to undertake these projects than in the midst of an economic downturn. Brownfield is a joke.

    16. Robert H. Davidson says:

      Maybe some where in The Heritage Foundation plan Regulatory Reform is addressed but I can't find it. All the other changes are needed but Regulatory Reform is most needed That is the element the is stifeling commerce, raising costs, and adding disincentive to new business startups and bloating the beauocracy. We need a plan that includes those items mentioned by the heritage plan but what is really need is scissors to trim out the unneed regulations.

    17. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      Of course the stimulus/porkulus bill was a total failure. What’s worse is that from what I’ve heard, this porkulus bill has been added to the baseline for future annual budgets. If the porkulus were taken out of all future FY budgets, this alone would cut annual deficits in half, and save $8 trillion over a decade. …. And while we do get frustrated with RINOs and GOP wimps who cower to liberal Dummy-crats, we should praise the GOP for their votes 2 ½ years ago. With the exception of 3 Senate RINOs, all Republicans voted against the porkulus bill. But because of the foolish errors of voters in 2006 and 2008, the GOP simply did not have enough seats/votes to stop porkulus. So put the blame where it belongs – on the Dummy-crat party. And ….. VOTE MORE WISELY IN THE FUTURE!!!!

    18. Ronald Riley says:

      How do you get re-elected? By making an appeal the the greatest number of people that take money from the government but never put anything into it. Gallup says that 47% of Americans still believe that King Barry deserves another term. How, after all that we have been going through, can that be? That same 47% realize that their government checks might dry up under a new king, and all that he is doing to our country, that monthly check is the only thing that really matters to them.

      • vicki says:

        Do you realize that the "low income" that don't pay taxes not only get back 100% of what they paid in – AND ALSO GET 3 TO 4 TIMES WHAT THEY PAID IN FEDERAL W/H – Example: One couple in our family maybe paid in $1500.00 and got back $6,000.00. The year before that they paid in about the same and got back $9,000.00 – Our government rewards and enables those who have no desire to better themselves in the name of getting more votes. My husband and I w/h M-0 plus another $50.00 per week and STILL had to pay another $4,000.00. They are taking my money and giving it away to the above people. TAXPAYERS – ARE YOU AWARE OF THIS ??? A FLAT TAX MUST BE ADOPTED.

    19. billinhouston says:

      Fortunately for conservatives, Obama is his own worst enemy when it comes to being re-elected. If he sticks to this more stimulus spending theme, Kinky Friedman or Pat Paulson could beat him in 2012.

    20. John says:

      Government should quit trying to bribe us and get out of our way. Americans can take care of themselves and we will et through this recession eventually.

      • michelle says:

        John,
        I agree that the govt needs to back off, but they are a necessary evil in some respects. we can't reduce the debt and lower the business tax, that's a job for congress. It's obvious that it's not going to happen until Michelle Bachmann get's into office in November though! She's got the stamina and the fight that it's going to require to get the job done. She will surround herself with the right people, unlike our socialist president.

        Michelle

    21. DakotaMel says:

      As I recall, "Dave" also balanced the budget thanks to an all-night session where he and his accountant friend. If BO thinks he resembles Dave in any way, he is sadly mistaken.

    22. KC - NM says:

      Same old stuff – finger pointing and lame excuses followed by empty promisses. This president is worse than Jimmy Carter. He has got to go and it is time for America to wake up to the mess he has created. The republicans and Tea Party members have their work cut out to inform the 50% of America who do not pay taxes, have their hands out for more government funding, and generally are not informed, unaware, and do not care but would still vote for this slick talking individual.

    23. michelle says:

      John,
      I agree, less govt. would be the correct approach, but reducing the business tax first and foremost and reducing our debt is their job. That would be my suggestion. We can't do that without them right? Michelle Bachmann will have everything under control after the election.

      Michelle

    24. Pete Houston says:

      Listening to talk radio on the way to work, it is amazing the amount of people that call in to make excuses for the pressident and his administration. It will take everyone that actually pays the tax's in this country that has not drunk from the liberal Koolaid to make this problem be resolved next year at election time and then a push to change the government to start the reduction in size and spending. At this point, I do not believe any topic is off the table for reductions and downsizing.

    25. Grumpa Joe says:

      It will be interesting to see how long the business at which he made this speech stays afloat.

    26. Dean says:

      Why hasn't congress done an audit on where the $787 billion went. Apparently, there were no "SHOVEL READY JOBS". Come on congress, do your job.

      • Silverpoodle says:

        How much of the stimulus money went to foriegn countries?? Much more than we will ever know!!

    27. Jeanne Stotler says:

      BHO can read and quote well, it's action we need and if it's not on the telepromter he can't do it. There is so much waste in the Federal gov't. and all they think of is adding more. We need less gov't. , most of the new agencies only copy jobs being done elsewhere. There are 21 different bureaus doing the same job for education. Let's close ECO, EDU, and any other dept. organized since 1988, then do an audit of the rest, making sure employees are actually doing a job, not just occupying a desk. After all this buy out all near (within 18 mos) retirement and replace them with those who are displaced by the above. Put ALL UNIONS on noticed that the country needs stability not Union antics, if they don't agree remove there ability to conduct business.

    28. BobB_of_Iowa says:

      Obama lies every time he opens his mouth and you hear his words. Government doesn't create jobs, the private sector does. His stimulus package was a joke. His bailout of the banks went to the CEO's giving themselves larger bonuses. The time has come to send Mr. Obama back to where ever the hell he came from. Write Congress http://www.congress.gov and demand that they start impeachment hearings against this usurper of the Constitution.

    29. Will, just wondering says:

      The Obombanistas can add one more title to the President's growing list of appellations: The Blamer-in-Chief.Has the B.I.C. ever taken reprehensibility for any of his incredibly non productive ideas? He fiddles while: Thousands of Gulf oil workers remain idled; while the Keystone Pipeline approval has been on his desk waiting a signature for almost two years, Congress has approved it, is there something wrong with getting more oil from Canada? The Chinese are ready to buy every drop of oil the Canadians will sell them. Just two small steps to employ American workers. Why does Obomba insist on spending hundreds of millions of dollars on drilling off the coast of Brazil? An American energy policy to benefit the USA does not exist. Has he ever heard of the Bakken Basin? It happens to border North Dakota and Canada.

    30. Richard Billies says:

      Right now we need to go back to the basics and one basic is the Housing Industry: http://allthingspoliticaltoday.com/articles/the-h

    31. Bobbie says:

      that line "everyone who WANTS a job will have one." it sounds so dictatorish. what about those that want to continue living off everyone else? How about everyone who needs a job to provide for their families will have one? but anyway he sure isn't genuine!

      honesty and forthright would be a welcome change. but that chance has come so many times it's long gone!!

    32. Mike Sheahen says:

      From Obama and his politician, beaureaucrat, and other accomplices in academia, the media, and elsewhere, it is indeed the same script, etc, of the same-'ol-same-'ol, straight out of the Statist playbooks by Karl Marx, Cloward and Piven, and others before and since their Statist prescriptions.

      And Obama and his accomplices are ever more evidently determined to and are following the prescription and script by Marx, and such as Cloward and Piven, in any and every way possible, even by bypassing and being bypassed in Congress when Congress doesn't cooperate exactly and quickly enough, or is out of town.

      Indeed it was Cloward and Piven who promoted what history shows is the same old script of promoting and getting as many people as possible on what are now called "entitlement rolls", overload the system, collapse it, and replace with such as a Socialist system, which, as always, means all being overruled and ruled over by one or maybe a few more who do as "the strong leader (or leadership) required", which of course, as always, leads back into bondage, control by, and servitude to the State.

    33. kathteach says:

      Great piece here – and someone HAS to gather the parallels with West Wing scripts – they have been outrageous since Obama and staff moved into the White House and Peter Orzag started a fire in his office fireplace just like Josh did…….this alone would make the greatest blog.

      Do it somebody!

    34. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      Obama sticks to a script because that's what's on the teleprompter. If the teleprompter words said, "Michelle is a bell," he would read it verbatim. Look carefully, someone is pulling the strings and 'ears" Obama's mouth moves. This guy is a joke…

    35. George Laessig III says:

      SHOVEL READY means…into the coffers of the unions that support Hussein.. While professing to want to help Americans obtain employment, he and his czars and stacked agencies continue to regulate everything they see… As a Veteran, and a God loving American, I loath Hussein and all affiliated with him.

    36. Ken Aubrey says:

      When we keep doing the same thing over and over, even if it fails , isn't it a sign of insanity? Come on Congress take a look at what Ronald Regian did to bring the economy back in 1984. Drop the taxes on the middfle class and get the 50% of the population that does not pay any taxes to pay their share.

    37. ckirkland says:

      Wake up America, we cannot afford this man in office for another term. We are losing our freedoms daily. Please for all that have fought and died for this country do not make their sacrifice be in vain for the arrogrance of one man and those that follow him blindly.

    38. ckirkland says:

      Wake up America, we cannot afford to have this man in office any longer. Those that have fought & died for this nation deserve better. We are exceptional, and America is great, let's keep it that way. CK

    39. Sheahen, Hickory, NC says:

      Obama sticks to his script, straight out of the Statist playbook, which repeated history shows is the same old script that promotes and leads to dependence upon, and thus control by, government.

      Of course such a thing requires both ignoring the will of the people, and ignoring and denying reality, no matter how disastrous and dismal the actual results of such a thing, and instead insisting, as Obama does, as if rescuing and being the savior with such illusionary and misleading Orwellian "doublespeak" claims as "jobs saved or created"

      Still, the kicker is that too many in and out of government are willingly or by default "sticking to the script" or pattern described even by Tytler, or attributed to him, which is: "From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bondage".

    40. Independent says:

      Why is it that when Republicans refer to Republican sponsored tax cuts for the wealthiest among us, they don't call it "spending." However, when it comes to the stimulus, Republicans count the entire dollar amount as spending even though 1/3 of the stimulus money was tax cuts? Is it because those tax cuts went to less wealthy people? That must be what makes it count as "spending."

    41. LibertyAtStake says:

      President Downgrade still stuck on Keynesian stupid.

      d(^_^)b http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
      "Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

    42. Alice says:

      If President Obama wants to build new roads or fix old bridges, then let's do it. The workers get paid. They spend their money (after taxes) in the stores in the towns where the roads were fixed. Yes, it gets American's working, but no, there is no actual increase in our economy. Sometimes, we just have to reach for a better feeling. Right now I'm feeling America is heading for bankruptcy. I feel like I'm heading for bankruptcy. But I will find a way to get fiat money to pay the loans I owe! It's the least I can do. That and plant a garden! We are Americans, we are strong and we will survive.

    43. Ken says:

      In the Movie "Dave" didn't the replacment President call in his cabinet and try hard to find $100M he could cut to fund a program the First Lady supported? I seem to remember this president making a big deal about saving $100 Million dollars early on in his Presidency – yes, here it is, I found it – it was at his first cabinet meeting:
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

      The "Dave" refences are piling up…

    44. Kyle says:

      President BO, aka "The Sham Artist" is at it again! Why doesn't he try (even though it's quite apparent he's incompetent) leading for a change, instead of wasting the taxpayers money more that he already has in his demented attempt for reelection.

    45. 1775 Concord says:

      Small town? Wasn't Dave from Baltimore? If so, has Heritage adopted the Washington superior mantra?

    46. In the movie "Dave" , if I'm not mistaken, he found the money he needed for programs by CUTTING SPENDING! And it worked. Something this president will never do.

    47. R. Hurt says:

      There are three major problems that Obama brings to the table. First, Obama has not worked in the private sector and what little he did-it was government subsdized. Then Obama has been feed the Communist propaganda-the haves and the haves-not, take and all will turn out ok; for your group or party. Then there is the biggest that this country faces along with the Obama destruct procedure and that is the enviornmentalists-the green party and its co-conspirator-the Liberal Courts. This group has cut the legs out from under this nation's economic legs, and wants to gain more power by using the United Nations to beat us over the head- while taking our arms to secure this goal-, via Public Laws=87-297 & 101-216 and Agenda 21.

    48. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Is it Obama or is it a presidential impersonator?

    49. Jonny says:

      Obama has everyone fooled. He is not a Democrat. He is a Marxist. He is a very angry man bent on destroying this country. He speaks but says nothing. He lies to us every day. He is only interested in the fall of this great nation. We need to impeach him and get him out of Washington ASAP.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×