The Economy: Baloney vs. Stark Reality

By:  Ralph R. Reiland
The Economy: Baloney vs. Stark Reality

Nearly three years since Recovery Summer, we're $16.8 trillion in the hole, the median household income is lower than in 2010, we're stuck in a jobs depression, one in six Americans is living in poverty, and millions of workers have gone missing from the workforce.

It was nearly three years ago, June 2010, that the Obama administration billed the coming season as “Recovery Summer.”

To pump up the administration's hot-air balloon of optimism about an economic turnaround that supposedly was just around the corner, President Obama flew to Columbus, Ohio, to do a photo op with workers in hard hats and to celebrate the groundbreaking of a “shovel-ready,” stimulus-financed highway project.

Actually, the shovels were never “ready.” The president's visit to Columbus came nearly a year and a half after the $787 billion stimulus bill was signed into law.

“Stimulus-financed construction is set to explode this summer: 10,700 highway projects should be under way next month, up from just 1,750 last July,” reported the New York Times on June 18, 2010. “States expect to weatherize 82,000 homes this summer — 27 times the number of homes that were weatherized last summer, when the program got off to a slow start. And there will be 2,828 clean-water projects under construction, a twentyfold increase over last year.”

I suppose it's not all bad that people in 82,000 houses got their windows caulked for nothing during Recovery Summer. That's better than if the government had spent the money on drones to spy on gun clubs.

The free caulking and duct tape program was funded by a $5 billion supplemental appropriation in the stimulus bill for the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

To qualify, WAP recipients had to have incomes at or below 200 percent of the government-established poverty line.

We're now way past the 82,000 houses that were to be federally weatherized during the Recovery Summer of 2010. In September 2012, the Department of Energy celebrated the weatherization of the 1 millionth home.

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