Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 8, 2009


Politico reports: "President Barack Obama is announcing that he is ramping up stimulus spending exponentially in the next three months, allowing the administration to “save or create” 600,000 jobs - four times as many as during the first 100 days since he signed the bill. The spending plans include national parks, summer youth jobs, veterans’ medical centers, police and teachers." Which sounds good, except:

- There is no accurate way of determining when the administration can fairly take credit for "saving" a job. "Saving" a job is not an economic stat but a public relations concept.

- This does not take into account the jobs that will be lost by the closing of auto dealerships in another part of the Obama economic plan.

- The number is paltry compared to those achieved during the Roosevelt administration. For example, Obama promises rehab and improvements at 98 airports, a far cry from the 1,000 airports built or repaired by the Works Progress Administration. Obama promises work on 107 national parks; the WPA built or repaired 8,100 parks. Of course, the WPA took longer but at this rate the Obama administration won't even come close.


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