17
Feb
14

Happy 5th Birthday, Stimulus!

obama-moving-forward1

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Jason Sattler: 5 Ways The Stimulus Saved And Remade America

It Reversed America’s Layoff Crisis. What happened in mid-2009 that suddenly boosted America out of recession and reversed the escalating trend of layoffs, which is measured here with the four-week moving average of initial unemployment claims that simply averages the number of Americans applying for jobless benefits? Was it the uptick of people buying tricorn hats or purchasing signs to call Obama a socialist/fascist/corporate cronyist?

fredgraphunemploymentclaims-2007-2014

Or maybe it was the result of markets calmed by government intervention infused with the sudden burst of spending via the only place from which it could come in such a crisis, the federal government? It Led To The Creation Or Saving Of 9 Million Jobs. The most untold part of the untold story of the stimulus is the dramatic way it nearly conjured a vibrant green energy industry that barely existed five years ago.

More here

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Pete Danko: More Wind Power Equals Lower Electricity Prices

The price of electricity has dropped in states that have developed extensive wind power over the past five years. It’s just a slight drop, but here’s the kicker: the other states have seen a hefty rise.  The AWEA pointed to 11 states that had produce more than 7 percent of their electricity from wind power – Texas, Wyoming, Oregon, Oklahoma, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. In those states, the price of electricity fell 0.37 percent in the past five years. Meanwhile, in the rest of the states, electricity went up by 7.79 percent.

More here

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Igor Volsky: Republicans Slam Stimulus On Fifth Anniversary – But Most Took Credit For It Back Home

Monday marks the five-year anniversary of the passage of the American Recovery Act, President Obama’s $800 billion stimulus stimulus package that invested in everything from infrastructure projects to electronic medical health care records and alternative energy sources. Every single Republican in the House and almost every Republican in the Senate — with the exception of Former Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) — voted against the measure and today the GOP continues to deride the law as wasteful an ineffective.

But as ThinkProgress reported throughout 2009, over half of the GOP caucus praised the effects of the stimulus or took credit for the federal dollars in their home districts and states — despite repeatedly voting against it in Washington D.C. The Wall Street Journal reported “Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who called the stimulus a ‘wasteful spending spree’ that ‘misses the mark on all counts,’ wrote to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in October in support of a grant application from a group in his district which, he said, ‘intends to place 1,000 workers in green jobs.’” Ryan also wrote letters to the Secretary of Energy requesting stimulus funds for a local energy company in 2009. Ryan repeatedly voted against the stimulus.

More here

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2.17.14

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Steve Benen: The Recovery Act, Five Years Later

It seems like ages ago, but in late 2008 and early 2009, the global economic crisis had reached terrifying levels, and U.S. policymakers had to choose a direction for the nation’s future. Democrats rallied behind a stimulus package called the Recovery Act, while Republicans called for a five-year federal spending freeze. First, if the nation had followed the GOP’s preferred course at the height of the crisis – David Brooks described the Republican prescription at the time as “insane” – the Great Recession would have been far worse, making their complaints now rather laughable. Second, if GOP lawmakers are convinced the stimulus failed, why’d they take credit for its investments back home? And third, public relations notwithstanding, the Recovery Act was a great success.

More here

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Michael Grunwald: Five Years After Stimulus, Obama Says It Worked

Five years ago Monday, President Barack Obama visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, his $800 billion stimulus bill. At the time, the U.S. economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. In the fourth quarter of 2008, it had contracted at an 8% annual rate, a Depression-level free fall. “Today does not mark the end of our economic problems,” Obama said on Feb. 17, 2009. “But it does mark the beginning of the end.” And so it did. the Recovery Act increased U.S. GDP by roughly 2 to 2.5 percentage points from late 2009 through mid-2011, keeping us out of a double-dip recession. It added about 6 million “job years” (a full-time job for a full year) through the end of 2012. If you combine the Recovery Act with a series of follow-up measures, including unemployment-insurance extensions, small-business tax cuts and payroll tax cuts, the Administration’s fiscal stimulus produced a 2% to 3% increase in GDP in every quarter from late 2009 through 2012, and 9 million extra job years, according to the report.

 The report also estimates that the Recovery Act’s aid to victims of the Great Recession — in the form of expanded food stamps, earned-income tax credits, unemployment benefits and much more — directly prevented 5.3 million people from slipping below the poverty line. It also improved nearly 42,000 miles of roads, repaired over 2,700 bridges, funded 12,220 transit vehicles, improved more than 3,000 water projects and provided tax cuts to 160 million American workers. The Recovery Act jump-started clean energy in America, financing unprecedented investments in wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable sources of electricity. It advanced biofuels, electric vehicles and energy efficiency in every imaginable form. It helped fund the factories to build all that green stuff in the U.S., and research into the green technologies of tomorrow. It’s the reason U.S. wind production has increased 145% since 2008 and solar installations have increased more than 1,200%. The stimulus is also the reason the use of electronic medical records has more than doubled in doctors’ offices and almost quintupled in hospitals. It improved more than 110,000 miles of broadband infrastructure. It launched Race to the Top, the most ambitious national education reform in decades.

More here

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David Danelski: MOJAVE DESERT: High-Profile Solar Plant Dedicated With Fanfare

Amid the glow of 173,000 mirrors capturing the sun’s power, more than 100 government officials and energy executives Thursday celebrated the opening of the Ivanpah solar plant in northeast San Bernardino County and declared their intention to build more of them to combat global warming. “We will continue to work across the board to advance these projects. So bring them on,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in his keynote. His address, given in a large tent next to the mirror fields, came during a luncheon that offered squash ravioli and a salad of baby greens. Moniz said Ivanpah is the world’s largest thermal solar project and part of a strategy to expand carbon-free sources of energy.

The Obama administration is looking to provide as much as $40 billion in additional loan guarantees for energy projects, Moniz said. The plant is expected to provide enough electricity for as many as 140,000 homes through contracts with Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric. It has been hailed by President Barack Obama, who said in his State of the Union address that America is a global leader in solar development. The government has backed such projects with investment tax credits that run through 2016, though it is not clear how much the Ivanpah investors have benefited. The tax breaks were part of Obama’s first-term economic stimulus package. Ivanpah is one of the first commercial-scale solar developments initiated during Obama’s recession-fighting stimulus effort. It is the first large-scale plant to use power-tower technology — at Ivanpah, the mirrors focus solar energy onto boilers mounted on three, 460-foot towers. Heat in the boilers creates steam, which powers turbines that generate electricity.

More here

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107 Responses to “Happy 5th Birthday, Stimulus!”


  1. February 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    “Northwestern players are contemplating unionization. The NCAA has countered with a simple rebuttal: Players are not employees essentially because college athletics is part of the overall educational experience. We’ll see, won’t we?

    The issue — perhaps for all of college athletics — has come to a tipping point. In a downtown Chicago federal building on Tuesday former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter — the face of the unionization movement — will make his case at a National Labor Relations Board hearing. Colter will testify in favor of the Northwestern players’ petition to unionize. Ramogi Huma has called him the movement’s “star witness.”

    “This is the most important hearing, I believe, in the history of college sports, at least in modern college sports,” said Huma, founder of the players rights organization College Athletes Players Association. “I don’t think there’s ever been a bigger platform with a chance to change the nature of protections provided to players.” The basic issue during the NLRB hearing is whether college players receiving a free education have the right to collectively bargain their working conditions. The hearing will help determine whether the NLRB will recognize Northwestern football as a union. The process could last another year………………”

  2. 3 hopefruit2
    February 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm
  3. February 17, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    “But most of those urging the U.S. to intervene more aggressively in Syria are woefully short on details and shrug off the risks of blowback and escalation. If a strategy existed that would tip the scales toward the rebels with little likelihood of blowback, then skeptics like me might be turned into supporters.

    It’s emotionally wrenching to watch killing on the scale that the world is witnessing now in Syria. But the depressing likelihood is that the country will be convulsed with conflict for years to come. Obama is not to blame for that. In fact, he should be commended for the abundant caution he has shown during this tragedy.”

  4. 8 99ts
    February 17, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Last on the previous thread – bringing it over here

    Is this for real?? What has the GOP done to deserve this?

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Absent_Democratic_Party

    Alabama holds an election for U.S. Senate in 2014. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions is running for re-election. For the first time in Alabama history, the Democrats are not running anyone for U.S. Senate. Here is a list of Democrats running in the June 2014 primary for federal and state office. There are no Democrats running for U.S. House in the 4th and 5th districts. For the 140 state legislative races, no Democrats are running in 57 races.

    • 9 Nerdy Wonka
      February 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Gerrymandering – screwing with the electoral system.

      • 10 99ts
        February 17, 2014 at 9:53 pm

        I don’t see how gerrymandering can stop a democrat being nominated for the Senate – doesn’t the whole state vote for the Senate?

        • 11 Nerdy Wonka
          February 17, 2014 at 10:06 pm

          Gerrymandering ruins Democrats chances for the House. As for the Senate, some states are so red that they might have felt that their funds were more useful elsewhere.

          • February 18, 2014 at 7:02 am

            i can see that train of thought…but to concede these states…means that we will never win…we have to make attempts …suppose PBO had never chosen to run because the conventional wisdom is that America would never vote for a blk man for president…for example in Iowa

  5. 13 vcprezofan2
    February 17, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    ~~ :???: ~~

  6. February 17, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    As we move toward 4Nov2014, the combination of #OBAMAsRECOVERY ++ #OBAMACARE will be how we motivate a turnout never seen before in a mid-term election, a turn-out dedicated to cleansing America of #KOCHBro and other plutocrats and their #GOPServants.

    YES WE MUST

  7. 18 jacquelineoboomer
    February 17, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Now “we” are telling President Obama what to do next. Maybe this person meant well, but COME ON, PEOPLE!

    • 19 theo67
      February 17, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      They are dreamers, Jacq. Not accustomed to actually doing the hard work to make things happen, and understanding that popularity doesn’t equate with capability. They are chasing away potential candidates who would actually do the country good, by obsessing over something that has the hurdle of 2014 in front of it, and may not even be the right choice… Infuriating!

  8. February 17, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Hello everyone! I’ve been offline for a few days, only to return and discover the latest Republican dig is about the STIMULUS?!! Geezuz!!

    What the critics never mention and everyone seems to have forgotten: in response to the “Stimulus uproar”,  a group of Senators,  led by Republican Sen. Susan Collins  cut billions from the original stimulus.  Republican votes were necessary for passage and job-stimulating measures were traded for tax cuts.

    Of course, this is sheer desperation, but the lies are just overwhelming. What next? Something about Bo and Sunny, no doubt.

    I listed all the Stimulus trade-offs here: http://thepoliticalpragmatic.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-republicans-are-sabotaging-economy.html

  9. February 17, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Love Ne-Yo! His ‘Forward’ anthem rings true every day.

  10. 23 yardarm756
    February 17, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    The greatest country in the world? By what standard, hmm?

  11. February 17, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    BTW, @HillaryClinton & @BillClinton have an aggregate of 2.76 Million twitter followers.

    @BarackObama has 41.5 Million, i.e., the two of them combined have only 6.7% as many followers as President Obama.

    Thus, be on the #OBAMAROLLER or get PAVED ….

  12. 27 jacquelineoboomer
    February 17, 2014 at 10:20 pm
  13. 28 Ladyhawke
    February 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Lawrence O’Donnell just referenced this hard-hitting cartoon published in the Miami Herald. It speaks volumes.

    ‘STANDING THEIR GROUND’ — by Jim Morin (2/13/14)

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/12/3930426/jim-morin-21314.html

  14. February 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    I simply don’t GET IT!,, yes, I am screaming. How can republicans say the stimulus has failed? The stock market is up, housing prices are up, the automobile industry is roaring. The jobless rate is down. What are they talking about, and why are they saying it?

    Would democrats be dong the same if a republican president had success? Is politics more important than progress?

    How do they get away with this crap? Somebody, please tell me.

    • 30 EricFive
      February 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      The corporations that own/control our media favor the low tax, low regulation policies of the GOP. As a result, (1) the media slants its coverage to protect and promote the GOP and its policies, (2) the media allows the GOP to lie with impunity and (3) the media will never single out the GOP for criticism (the best we can hope for is “both sides do it” nonsense). Without the corrupt media, there is no way the GOP could survive as a viable political party (a political party that only caters to the needs of 1% of the populace should not be able to exist in a two party democratic system). Finally, as all the manufactured crises like the debt ceiling brinksmanship and government shutdown has clearly illustrated, the GOP places party over country and definitely place politics ahead of progress.

    • 31 nathkatun7
      February 18, 2014 at 3:17 am

      Eve, Republicans are able to get away with the bs lies because the corporate media (better known as the mainstream media) enables them. Surely, no honest person forgets the dire economic condition this country was in before President Obama was elected, except may be those who are suffering from amnesia.

    • February 18, 2014 at 7:08 am

      .this is pushed to their constituents who do not believe any thing else because you have lied to them all along…and of course they do not believe the press and any government reports….

      this is why it is very important for the Dems to not concede these red areas…we have to build some kind of connections in these communities around common issues…health care…jobs….food….education…

  15. 33 yardarm756
    February 17, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    We’re rapidly approaching critical mass. I fear someone is gonna snap and a lotta folks are gonna start dying. I pray not.

  16. February 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm
  17. 38 amk for obama
    February 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    nice informative piece and tweets, ut.

  18. 40 amk for obama
    February 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm
  19. 42 Bill R.
    February 17, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Are any groups considering an economic,consumer, tourist boycott of the state of Florida? We now have officially sanctioned policies of racist killings of children and denial of the vote to people of color. What more justification is there?

  20. 43 amk for obama
    February 17, 2014 at 10:56 pm
  21. 45 yardarm756
    February 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    This speaks for it’s self. We’re no where near it. – smh

  22. 51 yardarm756
    February 17, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    For the ladies and men that love them.

  23. 53 amk for obama
    February 17, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Early morning view from my Cape Town 4th floor hotel room balcony. Ha.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  24. 56 vcprezofan2
    February 17, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Tony Hansberry Jr. was a child prodigy of the medical field. At 14 years old, Hansberry developed a new suture method for hysterectomy patients. Because of Hansberry, patients now have decreased hospital stays and more efficient surgeries. His breakthrough was fueled by his loss at his eighth grade science fair at Darnell Cookman School of Medical Arts. The school has been described as the first medical magnet school in the country.

    (snip)
    Now at age 18, Hansberry, a.k.a. “The next Charles Drew” is a freshman bio-medical engineering student at Florida A&M University
    ……………………….//

    http://blackamericaweb.com/2012/12/05/little-known-black-history-fact-tony-hansberry-jr/

    • 57 MightyPamela
      February 17, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      Awesome!

    • 66 EricFive
      February 18, 2014 at 12:05 am

      I pray his fate is better than that which met Dr. Charles Drew. Dr. Drew invented blood plasma that made blood transfusions possible and saved countless lives. Unfortunately Charles Drew was an African-American and when he was in a car accident, the hospital refused to admit him and he bled to death. Racism prevented his life from being saved by his own invention. The tragedy of Charles Drew always stuck with me. It sums up perfectly the injustices and indignities that Black people have endured in this country. It perfectly illustrates the wicked and hateful cancer that has plagued this country since its founding.

      • 67 vcprezofan2
        February 18, 2014 at 12:54 am

        I didn’t check out the mention of Charles Drew, so I didn’t know that, Eric. Sadly, it seems that fighting to stop the injustices and indignities is a never ending task. I admit though that I am encouraged by the efforts the President, along with AG Holder and the rest of the Admin have been making. As well, despite the Trayvon and Davis verdicts, I (want to) believe that the times they are a-changing.

  25. 68 vcprezofan2
    February 17, 2014 at 11:43 pm
  26. 79 vcprezofan2
    February 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    //………………..
    If you only watched the evening news or depended on pop culture to paint a picture of young Blacks, you would probably think that the majority of Black youngsters were only ambitious about sports and music – or caught up in crime and debauchery.
    …………………………//

    http://blackhistoryfactorfiction.com/black-child-geniuses-you-should-know/

    • 80 purpleshoesla
      February 18, 2014 at 1:14 am

      Fantastic find of a website VC. Thank you for sharing; am spreading it far down my email list since most folks that I know that need to see this are not on Twitter. Many thanks!

      • 81 vcprezofan2
        February 18, 2014 at 1:35 am

        YVW, PS. Yesterday’s ‘dangerous black kids’ hashtag really touched a button in the depths of my soul. Satirical or not, I hated seeing all those lovely, promising faces labeled thus, when there are so many other ways we could celebrate our future. I think sometimes we forget that for everyone who gets satire, there may be 2 or 3 or more who don’t.

        • 82 purpleshoesla
          February 18, 2014 at 1:46 am

          Agreed. While I understood the motivation behind yesterday’s hashtag, it wasn’t in my heart to re-tweet the pix of all those beautiful kids either. See upthread I’ve had enough liquid courage tonight that I tweeted @lawrence o’donnell for ya! :smile:

          • 83 vcprezofan2
            February 18, 2014 at 2:04 am

            Niiiice! Thanks for your support, PS, and absolutely no h/t needed. I only wish I could encourage all yesterday’s posters to tweet phase 2 with the same enthusiasm as they did the first stage. Personally, I think it would be so powerfully to see all those pics again, this time with nothing but positive connotations.

            /whisper – I’m actually a little tired of us letting haters almost always dictate the form of our response to their hatred. Have you ever noticed how quickly snarky or negative hashtags take off on twitter? :roll: /

  27. 84 amk for obama
    February 17, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Bank Mellat, Iran’s largest private bank, is suing the UK government for $4bn (£2.4bn) in damages after the Supreme Court quashed sanctions against it.

    The sanctions were applied over the bank’s alleged links to the country’s nuclear programme.

    Bank Mellat wants compensation for what it says is a “significant pecuniary loss” and substantial reputational damage.

    The sanctions were imposed in 2009.

    The claim was filed in London’s High Court on Monday.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26235289

  28. 85 dotster3
    February 17, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Ummmmmmm……..(mr. dotster hardly ever looks at me like this any more) (while we’re ice dancing) :)

  29. 88 MightyPamela
    February 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Nite y’all. May God Bless our President and First family, and our TOD family. Sweet dreams all around.

  30. 90 yardarm756
    February 18, 2014 at 12:27 am

    So true.

  31. 93 Dudette
    February 18, 2014 at 12:56 am
  32. 94 jacquelineoboomer
    February 18, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Love this response, VC!

    • 95 99ts
      February 18, 2014 at 1:31 am

      Tis as well I just spent the afternoon with a little person – no longer the babe, but still most definitely grand :) – 15 months and she is in control of her world. She brings me hope to counter the drivel of Knoller.

    • 96 vcprezofan2
      February 18, 2014 at 2:27 am

      Ta, JO’B. These days I mostly ignore Knoller, but IMO this was very blatantly misleading, and dishonest.

    • 97 nathkatun7
      February 18, 2014 at 3:52 am

      Way to go VC! Thanks JOB for sharing VC’s response to that unethical Mark Knoller.

  33. 98 No Child Left Behind
    February 18, 2014 at 1:37 am

    It’s funny. I’ve just read this headline from Huffy:

    Uh-Oh: Clown Shortage Looms in US. It’s no laughing matter, say clown organizations

    They haven’t looked at the teabagger or the GOP Congress pools.

  34. February 18, 2014 at 1:39 am

    YES WE MUST

    … time for some rest …

  35. 101 Dudette
    February 18, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Hey, I know I’m late to the party, but just checked the totals and Meta’s doing great!

    http://www.thekitchn.com/nominate-for-your-favorite-sweets-baking-cooking-blog-for-the-homies-awards-the-homies-2014-200246

    Second place with 90 nominations! But I nearly had a heart attack as a scrolled through looking at the interesting blog names. Looks like there’s a 2nd entry for Pastry Studio with another 9 nominations.[How'd that happen?] Anyway, the second one is pointing to her site, so I wonder if they’d add those to her total, which would move her to a first place with 99 nominations!!!

    My TOD Family is AWESOME!!! Just sayin’!

    • 102 99ts
      February 18, 2014 at 4:45 am

      Hi Dudette

      Last time I looked Meta was in 1st place – they swap about. I looked at Joy the baker’s site and was rather unimpressed with her recipes. Voting doesn’t end until 21st – and then we have to vote again. As long as Meta is in the first 5 – she is a finalist

  36. 103 Dudette
    February 18, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Gotta go. Thought I’d leave you with something from Mr. Sandoval! Delicious!!!

  37. 104 Dudette
    February 18, 2014 at 2:14 am

    One good chuckle for ya! :-D

  38. 105 Dudette
    February 18, 2014 at 2:25 am

    Okay, now I’m really gone. :-)

  39. 106 vcprezofan2
    February 18, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Okay, a look at the time suggests I’m waaaay past my bedtime, so toodle-di-doo! Thanks so much for your help with #BlackKidsOurKidsOurFuture.

    Sweet Dreams, TODvillage!


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