Category Archives: Economic Stimulus Package

ABC, CBS and NBC Verdict: Obama’s ‘Stimulus’ a Success (And CBS frets that the public refuses to see it.)

From the WSJBy BRENT BAKER From the Media Research Center

On the one-year anniversary of the Obama administration’s “stimulus” spending bill, ABC, CBS and NBC all eagerly corroborated the White House’s claims about how it “saved or created” many jobs and staved off economic disaster, though they all offered a range of numbers and definitions (ABC: “800,000 to 2.4 million new jobs,” CBS: “about 1.8 million” jobs “saved or created” and NBC: “1.6 to 1.8 million jobs have been created so far.”)

ABC and CBS touted anecdotes about companies and government agencies which asserted the spending had prevented layoffs or allowed them to hire new staff. ABC’s Jake Tapper cited buses for Santa Monica, construction jobs in Baltimore, “63,000 green jobs” (with a solar panel-maker’s CEO declaring “it is working and we’re proof of that”) and a school system superintendent who told Tapper the funding ” helped save 61 jobs and create 73 new ones.”

On CBS, Chip Reid began with how “this highway paving equipment company in California canceled plans to lay off 40 workers because of demand created by stimulus projects,” before trumpeting how “in Washington, D.C. about 20 people are working on this road project” where “manager Matthew Johns calls the stimulus a lifesaver.”

Though “many independent economists put the number of jobs saved or created at about 1.8 million,” Reid relayed that “to the great frustration of the White House, most Americans simply refuse to believe it. In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, a mere 6 percent said the stimulus has created jobs.” Reid’s culprit: “That skepticism due in part to a relentless campaign by Republicans who say the stimulus is a bloated, big-government failure.” (The online “Political Hotsheet” echoed Reid’s theme: “On Stimulus, Perception Doesn’t Match Reality.”)

But, have no fear, Obama’s team “admits” they “haven’t been tough enough” in discrediting critics. Reid concluded:

The White House admits they haven’t been tough enough in responding to critics of the stimulus so they’ve started an aggressive new campaign, calling out dozens of Republicans they say are hypocrites — Republicans who voted against the stimulus but then went home and attended ribbon-cutting ceremonies for projects in their states that create jobs.

As if the media haven’t been advancing Obama’s agenda. From the MRC’s Business & Media Institute: “Bias By the Numbers: Networks Celebrate Year of Strong Stimulus Support; ABC, CBS, NBC cite supporters of $787 billion bill nearly three times as often as critics,” which determined:

– ABC, CBS, NBC Still Biased in Picking Stimulus Spokesmen: All three broadcast networks promoted the stimulus prior to the vote. Afterward, ABC, CBS and NBC served as unofficial boosters of what NBC called “President Obama’s stimulus cavalry.” The networks favored pro-stimulus speakers 71 percent to 29 percent (269 to just 111).

– Nearly Half of All Reports Included Zero Criticism: Both NBC and ABC stories included no criticism roughly half the time. Overall, the networks cited criticism of the stimulus plan just 52 percent of the time (90 out of 172 stories). Instead government was depicted as fixing “rickety wooden bridges” and “performing much-needed maintenance on national parks.”

Only deep in their Wednesday night stories did CBS and NBC acknowledge any critics and how unemployment rose during 2009, with NBC’s Lisa Myers noting “critics also have ridiculed some projects as wasteful. $1.6 million for free water taxi rides, a million dollars to improve security on dinner cruises in eight cities and studies about how honeybees learn and the sex drive of rats on hard drugs.” She concluded, however, with how Obama has a solution — more spending:

The President acknowledged that despite progress, this doesn’t feel like a recovery to millions of Americans, so he’s pushing to spend another $100 billion this year to try to create more jobs soon.

The job success numbers cited by the three networks:

Jake Tapper on ABC:

The numbers are all over the map, but they all credit the stimulus with significant job creation: anywhere from 800,000 to 2.4 million new jobs. Where are those jobs? According to the White House, 354,000 are in manufacturing, such as building new buses for Santa Monica….262,000 jobs are in construction. Today, these workers are putting the finishing touches on a community health center in Baltimore….Then, there are 63,000 green jobs.

Chip Reid on CBS:

Many independent economists put the number of jobs saved or created at about 1.8 million.

Lisa Myers on NBC:

Many economists agree that the $787 billion package of infrastructure spending, tax cuts and aid to states has created jobs and helped pull the economy out of a deep recession. Three economic research firms estimate that 1.6 to 1.8 million jobs have been created so far, with more gains projected this year. And painful job losses have slowed dramatically.

The stories on the Wednesday, February 17 broadcast network evening newscasts:

ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer:

DIANE SAWYER: One year ago today, the brand new President Barack Obama rolled out a $787 billion economic stimulus to put the brakes on a plummeting economy. Today, he marked the anniversary by saying it worked, that it spared the country a depression, and created millions of jobs. But we wondered, how many, and where? We asked Jake Tapper to delve into the numbers.

JAKE TAPPER: President Obama said today because of the stimulus package about 2 million Americans are working who otherwise would not be.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: So far, the recovery act is responsible for the jobs of about 2 million Americans who would otherwise be unemployed.

TAPPER: The numbers are all over the map, but they all credit the stimulus with significant job creation: anywhere from 800,000 to 2.4 million new jobs. Where are those jobs? According to the White House, 354,000 are in manufacturing, such as building new buses for Santa Monica.

STEPHANIE NEGRIFF, DIRECTOR TRANSIT SERVICES, BIG BLUE BUS: There’s going to be an immediate economic impact to our community by having these additional vehicles available.

TAPPER: 262,000 jobs are in construction. Today, these workers are putting the finishing touches on a community health center in Baltimore.

JOE HOLLAND, PRESIDENT, HOLLAND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: It really allowed us to go out and hire people where we would have otherwise probably, you know, just would have stayed back and not done that.

TAPPER: Then, there are 63,000 green jobs. A year ago today, the President was looking at solar panels manufactured by Namaste Solar. Company President Blake Jones had been preparing for layoffs.

BLAKE JONES, CEO, NAMASTE SOLAR: We started cutting budgets, we started making plans for a bad 2009.

TAPPER: But in the past year, companies that received stimulus money have been ordering those solar panels and Namaste has hired 14 new employees.

TAPPER TO JONES, OUTSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE: What’s your message to all those Americans who are skeptical that the stimulus bill is creating jobs?

JONES: It is working and we’re proof of that.

TAPPER: In New York, Utica City school district got close to $12 million stimulus dollars. The superintendent tells us that helped save 61 jobs and create 73 new ones. But those new hires had to sign this document: “I am fully aware that the funding for this position will be eliminated in two years. Therefore, this position will end on June 30th, 2011.”

And Diane, about $166 billion stimulus dollars have not yet been officially committed to any projects. They’re going to go to, among other things, the Race to the Top education grant program, high speed rail and other transportation projects and health technology. Diane?

(Following Tapper, ABC ran a piece from Jonathan Karl on how “red tape” has slowed creation of jobs to weather-proof homes.)

CBS Evening News:

KATIE COURIC: One year ago today President Obama signed a law he said would help put Americans back to work. The price tag for the so-called stimulus bill was $787 billion. So far, nearly $300 billion of that has been spent. But did the stimulus do the job? Our chief White House correspondent Chip Reid has tonight’s “Reality Check.”


Read More >>>Here

Leave a comment

Filed under ABC News, CBS News, Economic Stimulus Package, Job creation, NBC News, President Obama, Wall Street Journal

New Corzine Video: "Through"

Emphasizing Governor Corzine’s strong leadership on the economy, Corzine ’09 today released its latest campaign ad entitled “Through.”

The ad highlights how Governor Corzine has used his economic know-how to make the right choices for New Jersey in the face of the greatest global economic recession since the Great Depression- creating the nation’s first state economic recovery plan that has led to private sector growth, cutting the size of state government, and delivering record amounts of property tax relief.

On the other hand, Bush Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie has taken his lead from right-wing governors Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford and would reject $5 billion in federal stimulus funds that would create thousands of new jobs. Without those funds, property taxes would increase by $2 billion.

Leave a comment

Filed under campaign video, Chris Christie, Corzine'09, Economic Stimulus Package, Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, property taxes

Three Cheers For Working Americans

The Labor Day holiday brings many things to mind–the end of summer, the beginning of school and a day where Americans celebrate the work we do by not doing it this one day. But let’s remember how it all started.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City and quickly spread to other cities.

In 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September a legal holiday. The form for the day’s celebration was outlined in the holiday’s first proposal: A street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” followed by a festival for the workers and their families. Later on speeches by prominent citizens were introduced as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday.

Today, barbeques, picnics and fireworks have mostly replaced speeches and political demonstrations. But it is important to remember at this time, during one of the worst economic downturn in history, that workers are vital to the nation’s productivity and prosperity.

NJPP Policy Fellow Norman Glickman believes that the way to celebrate labor and help workers is to expand unemployment benefits, fix the broken health care system and give the federal stimulus package the chance to work:

AS WE COME together for one last barbeque, let’s take some time to celebrate the besieged American worker on Labor Day.

Despite hope for the “green shoots” of an economic recovery, it is a little harder to celebrate this year: We are in the middle of the worst economic times since the Thirties.

Yes, the stock market is up a bit since March and the financial system has not collapsed as feared a year ago, but it has been a tough year for most of us: Unemployment has soared, wages have stagnated and people lucky enough to have jobs are less secure about keeping them.

Let’s look at the dreary numbers.

The July unemployment rate in New Jersey stood at 9.3 percent, about twice what it was before this Great Recession began in late 2007. More than 400,000 people are now out of work, compared to 200,000 before the economy crashed.

Hardest hit have been people in the construction and finance sectors, but losses have bled across the economy. No industries have been spared.

Unemployment for men has risen above that for women (6.1 percent vs. 5.4 percent) in large part due to the decimation of male-dominated industries, like finance and construction. African-Americans have more than twice the jobless rate as whites.

Financial sector jobs

Bergen County towns that prospered on the pinstriped backs of Wall Streeters are feeling lots of pain from the downturn; high-paid brokers and traders have lost work and their bonuses. Others further down the financial food chain are also hurting.

In Ridgewood, for instance, where one in six people work in financial services, 20 downtown stores are vacant. According to a recent Record report, the town’s Cheese Shop, which catered to high-income clientele for many years, is closing next month. Restaurants, dry cleaners, and other retailers are feeling the pinch of the downturn. They are reporting sales declines of up to 40 percent.

This makes for unhealthy downtowns throughout the area and further weakens real estate markets.

The high levels of unemployment have also led to increased home foreclosures. Lost income from job loss leads very quickly to payment delinquencies and foreclosures. People who had good credit and standard mortgages can’t keep their houses when unemployment strikes.

Also, tax revenues have dried up because of tight credit and joblessness. Municipalities and school districts have taken huge tax hits as foreclosures soared and houses were abandoned.

As people lose their homes, their tax payments dry up. Many families have also had to say bye-bye to their health insurance. No job, no coverage.

As bad as unemployment may seem — and it is truly bad — the number of people who are underemployed is even more serious. The Economic Policy Institute reports that fully one in seven (14.9 percent) New Jerseyans fit into this category. These are the unemployed, plus those who want to work full time, but can find only part-time jobs (they are working less than 35 hours a week). Also add those who have given up trying to find work because labor market conditions are so weak and are not counted among the unemployed.

The disaster of underemployment is worse for Hispanics (19.4 percent) and African-Americans (27.8 percent) than for the work force as a whole.

People are also unemployed longer than they were previously: The amount of time people spend out of work has increased by about 50 percent in the past year. Unfortunately, there are now about six unemployed people for every available job nationally. This is bad news for job seekers.

New Jersey’s problems didn’t start with this recession. Looking back over the decade, we now have fewer jobs than we had at the turn of the century. This compares to nearly 500,000 jobs we gained during the Nineties.

There was a largely jobless recovery from the Bush-era recession of 2001-2003 and it is likely that we will see few new jobs when we emerge from the current recession. Our economy is less able to produce more good jobs than it did a decade ago.

Patience

What must we do?

First, have patience: Give the Obama administration’s stimulus plan — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — more time to work. This substantial program involving tax cuts and spending on transportation, education and other useful items is only in its infancy.

Most economists, including me, argue that the recovery act will need far more time to generate new jobs and retain existing ones. We should see more progress on the jobs front by next year, but it won’t pull us completely out of our economic funk.

Second, at both the state and national levels, we need to extend unemployment benefits to keep families afloat. Too many people are running out of benefits because of the depth of the recession. Let’s add another six months of benefits.

Third, we must fix the broken health insurance system, which is fatally tied to jobs.

Despite this bad news, we know that New Jerseyans are a tough bunch and somehow we will pull through.

Let’s hope that next Labor Day will bring more to celebrate.

Leave a comment

Filed under economic recovery, Economic Stimulus Package, Financial sector jobs, Job creation, Labor Day, Monday Minute, NJPP, Norman Glickman, President Obama, unemployment

New Jersey Green Energy Projects Supported by Corzine, Moving Forward

Two New Jersey green energy projects have been getting a bit of press lately. Each project has been support by Governor Corzine and will receive state aid in the form of federal stimulus money and other incentives.

Meadowlands solar farm gets support from Corzine, stimulus:


A plan by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission to build a 5-megawatt solar farm on a Kearny landfill site — the state’s largest such project — edged closer to reality Tuesday afternoon as Gov. Jon S. Corzine announced $8.5 million in federal stimulus funding for it.

Early in September, the Meadowlands Commission expects to get responses to its invitation in May for requests for proposals for the project, said Brian Aberdack, the agency’s public information officer. The project cost is yet to be determined, and will be “in the tens of millions of dollars,” but the agency had originally asked for $10 million in federal stimulus funds, he said.

The state Board of Public Utilities on Aug. 19 awarded the stimulus grant of $8.5 million for the project, carving it out of $20.6 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds it has received. At its board meeting that day, it also approved a $4.3 million federal stimulus grant for an NJ Transit solar installation in Kearny, which is another project Corzine announced Tuesday.

The Meadowlands Commission’s Kearny solar farm project is part of its larger plan to generate up to 20 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020 in the Meadowlands District. The commission is the zoning and planning agency of the Hackensack Meadowlands District, a 30.4-square-mile area along the Hackensack River covering parts of 14 municipalities in Bergen and Hudson counties.

The Meadowlands Commission’s solar farm will occupy a landfill of about 35 acres of a 57-acre lot, according to a press note the agency issued in May, when it invited bids to build and operate a grid-connected photovoltaic system. The landfill has been inactive for 25 years, and “settlement has substantially occurred,” the agency said.

If all goes well, construction on the project would start by year’s end, but a completion date has not been finalized, Aberdack said. The selected firm will enter into a 15- to 20-year lease and take ownership of all available tax credits, depreciation and solar renewable energy certificates associated with the project, according to the commission.

In July, New Jersey installed its 4,000th solar farm, making it second only to California in the number of such installations. njbiz.com

Officials tout buoys that capture wave energy off the Jersey coast:


State and local officials joined with Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) Tuesday to recognize the success of one of the Pennington-based company’s PowerBuoys off the coast of Atlantic City.

OPT is a pioneer in wave-energy technology that harnesses ocean wave resources to generate clean electricity.

“This is a celebration of our work in the renewable energy sector and an opportunity to thank the state and federal government for supporting OPT since the very beginning,” said Charles Dunleavy, the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer. “As we continue to achieve success in both the national and international markets, OPT is proud to have invented, developed, and grow our operations right here in New Jersey.”

The federal and state support, including assistance from the Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU), the state Economic Development Authority (EDA), and the state Commission on Science and Technology.


The PowerBuoy has successfully operated for three years off the coasts of Hawaii, Spain, Scotland and Oregon.

“Governor Jon Corzine’s comprehensive energy master plan calls for 30-percent of New Jersey’s energy to be generated from renewable sources by the year 2020,” said BPU President Jeanne Fox. “Ocean Power’s PowerBuoy can help us achieve that goal while also building New Jersey’s green economy and putting our people back to work. It’s exactly the kind of business success that the Governor envisions for New Jersey.”

OPT was founded 1994. It is a public company and operates out of a 23,000- square-foot facility. Since its inception, the company has focused on its proprietary PowerBuoy® technology, capturing wave energy using large floating buoys anchored to the sea bed and converting the energy into electricity using innovative power take-off systems.

Commencing in 1997, OPT has conducted ocean trials off the coast of New Jersey to demonstrate the concept of converting wave energy and convert it into electricity. Ocean Power currently has 42 employees in New Jersey and plans to continue its growth.

“Governor Corzine’s commitment to investing in clean energy has ensured New Jersey is able to attract and develop companies like Ocean Power Technologies,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini. “Ocean Power’s innovative technology and talented staff will only help to drive the company’s growth and the creation of more green jobs in the state.”

Franzini noted that EDA, in conjunction with BPU and the state Department of Environment Protection, recently launched Clean Energy Solutions, a suite of financing and incentive programs to further support the state’s effort to promote green job creation and a more environmentally responsible energy future.

For more information on the state’s energy master plan, visit http://www.nj.gov/emp. Businesses interested in learning more about all Clean Energy Solutions opportunities should visit http://www.njeda.com. newjerseynewsroom.com


Leave a comment

Filed under clean energy solutions, Economic Stimulus Package, Gov. Jon Corzine, green energy, New Jersey Newsroom, NJBIZ.com, PowerBuoys, solar farms, the Meadowlands, wave energy, wind and solar power

Video: New Jersey for Corzine

New Jerseyans speak about Jon Corzine’s leadership and the current signs of growth in the Garden State’s economy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Economic Stimulus Package, economy, Gov. Jon Corzine, Jobs, New Jersey, The Garden State

Rep. Holt discusses economic recovery efforts on Comcast Local Edition

Leave a comment

Filed under Comcast Local Edition, Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan, Economic Stimulus Package, Rush Holt

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer for Corzine: "When Corzine Speaks The Governors Listen"

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer speaks about the importance of reelecting Jon Corzine and what New Jersey can do to help.

“Are you with Jon Corzine… or are you for that other Joker?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Democrats, Economic Stimulus Package, Gov. Jon Corzine, Governor Brian Schweitzer, Montana, New Jersey