Obama's Dubious Handling, and Appraisal, of the Stimulus

President Obama, as a candidate, presented a stark contrast to then-President Bush in the competence department. His campaign was considered by friend and foe to be unprecedented, as disciplined and effective as you can strive for at the national level. Which is why the fact that the administration couldn't manage to spend 95 percent of the stimulus money in four months since the bill passed the Congress is pretty stunning.

This week President Obama and Recovery and Reinvestment Act Poster Boy Vice President Biden rolled out the stimulus package again, touting its usefulness at a White House event and promising that in the next 100 days it would save or create 600,000 jobs.

I noted in my column that on Sept. 16, at yet another stimulus event, Obama can be expected to say that he still isn't satisfied — those job numbers will still be grim — but that nevertheless 600,000 jobs were created or saved since June 8.

There is no way to quantify saved jobs; no arm of our government measures this. And the Obama administration can't say how many jobs will be new vs. saved. They just sure know how bad things would be without the staggering $787 billion in stimulus money they practically begged Congress to pass by mid-February. Remember the rhetoric about how the economy could reach a point of no return, without the stimulus money?

Just how have we survived on only 5 percent of it?


JUST WHAT DOES OBAMA PLAN TO DO WITH THE DETAINEES NOW THAT HE HAS GIVEN UP ON BRINGING THEM HERE? Ask AB returns Monday, June 15. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.