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What do you call a stimulus that doesn’t stimulate jobs?

Almost five months after the Democrats’ much-heralded economic stimulus package was signed into law and a week after it was revealed that the unemployment rate has reached its highest level in more than a quarter-century, the American people are left asking: where are the jobs?

“With unemployment already at 9.5 percent and likely to exceed 10 percent, much higher than White House officials predicted back in February, Mr. Obama has been facing attacks that his $787 billion stimulus program was either too timid or wrong-headed or both. … Administration officials had predicted that the stimulus program would save or create 600,000 jobs by summer. But the economy has lost more than two million jobs since Mr. Obama took office, and officials now estimate that the program has saved only about 150,000 jobs.”

Edmund L. Andrews, “Doubts About Obama’s Economic Recovery Plan Rise Along With Unemployment,” The New York Times, July 9, 2009

“[Senior administration officials] reported that only about $100 billion has so far been spent and that as increasingly large sums flow out of Washington, the program is on pace to save or create 600,000 jobs over the next 100 days. … Leading economists agree that the most powerful effects of the stimulus package have yet to be felt. But even if the measure lives up to Obama's expectations, it would barely offset the 433,000 jobs the nation lost last month alone, and the resulting employment would represent a drop in the bucket compared with the 6.5 million jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007.”

Lori Montgomery, “Power of Stimulus Slow to Take Hold,” The Washington Post, July 8, 2009

So what do Democrats do when the jobs they promised aren’t being delivered? One option: change the subject.

“When Vice President Joe Biden announced a new $3.3 billion grant program to upgrade the nation’s electricity network, the rationale was simple: ‘This is jobs -- jobs,’ he said in April. But the Obama administration is now saying it will not take the potential for job creation into account in ‘rating’ proposed projects for possible funding -- after initially saying that would be a primary consideration. … The shift means less emphasis will be placed on the potential for job creation as the Energy Department decides which projects to fund -- even as the 
stimulus package has come under fire for not doing more to spark job creation.”

Rick Klein, “Obama Administration Grant Program De-Emphasizing Job Creation,”, July 8, 2009

The former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers has another theory on why the stimulus isn’t stimulating jobs – and why Democrats may want to change the subject when asked why not.

“The truth is there hasn't been any stimulus to speak of so far this year. Moreover, what's being called stimulus is just a smoke screen for a permanent expansion of government. … Congress and the Obama administration have used the economic downturn as an excuse to expand the size of government. Calling it a stimulus, they have instead put in place a spending agenda that will unfold over the next two years. Although a little over one-third of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 goes to tax relief, the rest is in the form of spending programs that will be difficult to stop once they are up and running.”

Edward P. Lazear, “Do We Need A Second Stimulus?The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2009

The point is clear: the Democrats’ trillion-dollar “stimulus” spending bill is not working. The Administration promised it would create jobs immediately and that it would keep unemployment below eight percent. Neither has happened. Is it any wonder why middle-class families and small businesses across the country are asking, “Where are the jobs?”

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