The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



Obama Says Stimulus Has Helped Ease Recession

Neil Irwin and Jonathan Starkey reported today on the latest gross domestic product figures, which fell at a 1 percent annual rate in the April-through-June quarter, compared with a 6.4 percent pace of decline in the first quarter of 2009.

Speaking at the White House, President Obama hailed the improving GDP numbers as evidence that his administration's policies are beginning to "put the brakes on the recession."

Obama said the oft-criticized $787 economic stimulus act, which extended unemployment benefits, provided aid to struggling state governments and financed an array of public works projects now getting off the ground, has been a big factor in slowing the nation's economic slide.

But Obama warned that although the recession is easing, it might be many months before employment picks up. The nation's unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, and many analysts expect it will top out above 10 percent. In his statement, Obama acknowledged that the nation will not feel like it is in recovery "until we stop losing jobs."

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Posted at 3:10 PM ET on Jul 31, 2009  | Category:  Economy
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Everyone needs to remember the next time some right wing pundit or Republican member of Congress complains aboout how the economy isn't "cured" that this stimulus bill was written with the intention of taking two years to complete. It's only been in effect for a couple of months and getting the money out the door took a bit. So I'd like to invite all those nay sayers on the right to just shut your big obscene pie holes, don't get your knickers in a twist and just sit back and enjoy the ride. You certainly have proved that you don't have anything else to do but whine, cry, complain and make stuff up. And one other thing. You know who will get blamed if healthcare isn't passed this year? Here's a hint. You won't need a place to live in Washington after the next election. And if the 72% of Americans who want healthcare reform with a public option see it fail because of your lies and obstructionist dirty tricks, you can kiss your sorry party goodbye for the next forty years. If you don't want to be part of the solution and get part of the credit, then move aside and quit being part of the problem

Posted by: dmcdaniel2 | August 2, 2009 10:27 PM

AppDev, Please ask the builders of the Mayflower what the return was.

Posted by: jihadalready | August 1, 2009 7:20 AM

I hope the recession ends even if it means that Obama wins re-election. Much of the stimulis funds have not been spent yet. Maybe if the recession is ending, the president could refrain from spending the remaining stimulis funds and return them to the Treasury to keep the deficits reasonable.

Otherwise we will be spent into financial oblivion and mortgage any recovery that is coming.

Some else references the recession in the first few years of the Reagan Administration and uses as an example to justify giving Obama more time.

But back then, under Reagan, we had unprecedented tax cuts to look forward to. The top marginal rate would be reduced from seventy to twenty three percent. What do we have to look forward to under Obama but more scattershot stimulus spending?

He is not offering much hope.

Posted by: danielhancock | August 1, 2009 1:16 AM

Democrats have had complete control of Congress for the last 2 1/2 years.

How do you like what they've done with the economy?

Posted by: Ruperb | July 31, 2009 9:11 PM

No matter what happens, Obamarx will take credit for anything positive and blame his opponents for anything negative.

He lacks integrity.

Posted by: Ruperb | July 31, 2009 9:05 PM

Pres. Obama has another long-term "stimulus" program to think about, the International Space Shuttle, mostly built and paid for by NASA. The administration appointed a review panel headed by Norman R. Augustine, directed to report by the end of August. Mr. Augustine, long head of Martin-Marietta, served on a similar review panel appointed by the Herbert Bush administration in 1990, which recommended a new super-rocket that was never built.

Now outfitted with its main facilities, what has the International Space Station accomplished as external results -- other than results that help support manned spacecraft? Has the Space Station produced as external results much critical knowledge that could not otherwise have been obtained? Has it produced as external results much practical technology?

During planning years and early years of operation, there was talk about crystal growth, fluid mixing and combustion in microgravity and about thin-film deposition in outer-space vacuum as promising areas for discovery. So far no results appear to have been published in these areas that could not have been obtained without manned spacecraft. No routinely used technology involving microgravity or outer-space vacuum has emerged, whether or not manned spacecraft are needed.

Management of the International Space Station periodically invite proposals for investigations, and there has been no lack of interest. However those proposals as never reviewed as projects competing for independent funds, projects that might use unmanned spacecraft or different approaches. As a result no external values are being estimated for them. They are simply alternatives for the use of limited and previously committed services.

Other than seeing people in space, members of the public are entitled to ask what else they are getting for their money, estimated by the European Space Agency in 2005 as $125 billion for the whole program. In 2003 Robert Park, information director for the American Physical Society, testified before Congress, "No field of science has been significantly affected...Much of [the research] has never even been published in leading peer-review[ed] journals" []. If there is more to say now, answers are hard to find.

Posted by: AppDev | July 31, 2009 4:54 PM

Reagan had higher unemployment and higher taxes two years into his first term and inherited a much better economy than Obama.

I think we can show a little more patience.

Posted by: JRM2 | July 31, 2009 3:51 PM

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