Obama's Recovery Plans Hit Hurdles
By Ben Pershing
Two key tenets of President Obama's economic recovery plan have hit obstacles in recent days, as the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the sale of Chrysler to Fiat and high unemployment numbers cast doubt on the effectiveness so far of the administration's much-touted stimulus package.
Obama's continued promotion of the stimulus measure carries with it risk, as yesterday's events provided another opportunity for the media to cast a skeptical eye on the administration's claims. The Los Angeles Times writes that "so far the promised federal money has been slow in coming" and that the job creation numbers cited by the White House "appear to be elastic." More bluntly, some critics are calling the statistics "pure fiction." And others are pointing out that Obama seems to be recycling his material: Yesterday's Associated Press dispatch called the president's latest spending promises "summer reruns."
Amid all the bickering over statistics, here are two numbers that are not in dispute -- 9.4 and 42. The first is the unemployment rate as of May, which prompted Obama to say yesterday he was "not satisfied" with the pace of recovery so far, and forced the White House to defend "the overly optimistic economic models it used to justify the historic stimulus plan." The second is the percentage of respondents in the latest Gallup poll who disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy, up 12 points since February. Now, "Obama is under political pressure to show more immediate results," the Wall Street Journal writes, but a faster economic turnaround probably isn't within his power to create.
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Posted at 8:23 AM ET on Jun 9, 2009
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