Posts Tagged ‘package

22
Feb
12

evening all

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk in the Green Room of the White House before hosting a Smithsonian Museum of African American History reception in the East Room, Feb. 22, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama listens during the groundbreaking ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, February 22

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Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s latest post at The People’s View

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Business Week

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The Hill: The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package continues to have a significant effect.

The bill raised fourth-quarter 2011 gross domestic product by as much as 1.5 percent, it states, and lowered the unemployment rate by as much as 1.1 percentage points.

The package reduced the rolls of the jobless by up to 2 million people in the last three months of 2011.

More here

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LA Times: Sales of previously owned homes rose 4.3% in January and inventories fell to nearly seven-year lows as lower prices, unusually warm weather and an improving economy lifted demand.

….. January sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million …. Sales rose in all four major regions, including an 8.8% pop in the West.

Job creation, mild weather, rising rents and increased household formation contributed to the sales gains, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors group. “Things are genuinely improving,” Yun said.

More here

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Slate

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Link

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One photo, two cool cats.

Thank you Pam!

(You can buy the PBO poster here – thank you Donna Dem)

17
Feb
11

the ‘failed stimulus’? oh yeah?

Time: President Obama is often mocked for failing to change Washington …. but behind the scenes of the Beltway perpetual-conflict machine, he has made quiet progress towards reforming Washington — not politically, but bureaucratically. The most important reform, launched two years ago today, was tucked inside his unpopular stimulus package, and inside his new budget, he’s trying to expand it.

The reform is a simple concept that certainly ought to be post-partisan: Harnessing the power of competition in the spending of taxpayer dollars …. Obama has tried to divert funds into competition-based, peer-reviewed, results-oriented grant programs that reward only the worthiest applications. The best-known is the Race to the Top education program, but the stimulus hatched similar competitions in energy, transportation, housing, health care and broadband. And Obama’s 2012 budget proposes new races to the top in everything from juvenile justice to workforce development to agricultural research.

….The $4.35 billion Race to the Top program … shows how competition can create laboratories for change. By setting clear goals and guidelines … the program encouraged 41 states to change laws or policies before the feds even spent a nickel … the impact of a program that amounts to less than 1% of the education budget will extend well beyond the twelve states that won grants….

……At his Cabinet meeting today, Biden will present the good news of the Recovery Act, which helped avoid a depression, reduced the unemployment rate by 2%, cut taxes for 95% of Americans, bailed out every state to prevent mass layoffs, funded over 75,000 projects to upgrade roads, parks, sewers and just about everything else, and made unprecedented investments renewable energy, health information technology, broadband, the smart grid and much, much more — with no earmarks and virtually no fraud. But to Washington Republicans it’s the “failed stimulus.” That was their story in 2009, when they opposed it en masse, and after their sweeping victories in November, it’s hard to see why they would want to change it. Anyway, most Americans believe it…..

Read the full article here

15
Dec
10

(whisper it: the senate just passed the second stimulus package)

NYT: The Senate on Wednesday approved the $858 billion tax plan negotiated by the White House and Republican leaders — the first concrete product of a new era of divided government and acid compromise.

The vote was 81 to 19, as Democrats yielded in their long push to end the Bush-era lowered tax rates for high-income taxpayers, and Republicans agreed to back a huge economic stimulus package, including an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and a one-year payroll-tax cut for most workers, with the entire cost added to the federal deficit….

….“A tremendous accomplishment,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, declared shortly before the vote on Wednesday. “Whether you agree with all the contents of the bill or not, everyone should understand this is one of the major accomplishments of any Congress where two parties, ideologically divided, have agreed on a major issue for the American people.”

…The bill would also keep jobless aid flowing to the long-term unemployed for an additional 13 months, maintaining extended limits, which now range from 60 weeks in states with less than 6 percent joblessness to 99 weeks in states where the unemployment rate is more than 8.5 percent. Benefits normally last for just 26 weeks.

…..The bill also contains an array of other tax breaks for individuals and businesses, aimed at pumping up the economy. It continues a college tuition credit for some families, an expanded child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. It also includes a two-year adjustment to the Alternative Minimum Tax to prevent as many as 21 million more households from being hit by it, and it contains a provision allowing businesses to write off some kinds of expenses more quickly.

President Obama:

“Today, the Senate passed with strong bipartisan support a bill that’s a win for American families, American businesses, and our economic recovery. This vote brings us one step closer to ensuring that middle class families across the country won’t have to worry about a massive tax hike at the end of the year. It would offer hope to millions of Americans who are out of work that they won’t suddenly find themselves without the unemployment insurance they need to make ends meet as they fight to find a job. And it would offer additional tax relief to families across the country and encourage businesses to grow and hire.

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“I know that not every Member of Congress likes every piece of this bill, and it includes some provisions that I oppose. But as a whole, this package will grow our economy, create jobs, and help middle class families across the country. As this bill moves to the House of Representatives, I hope that members from both parties can come together in a spirit of common purpose to protect American families and our economy as a whole by passing this essential economic package.”

23
Oct
10

if you’re gonna be two-faced, at least make one of them pretty…..

01
Oct
10

‘it’s official: the stimulus isn’t a waste of money’

Time: People of good faith can disagree over whether President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package is creating enough jobs, piling on too much debt, or helping the country in the long run. But it’s about time to retire one set of critiques of the stimulus: that it would be riddled with fraud, hamstrung by delays, and crippled by cost overruns. So far, while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is clearly not a political success, it is just as clearly a managerial success — on schedule, under budget, and according to independent investigators, remarkably free of fraud.

Yesterday, the administration met its self-imposed deadline of spending 70% of the Recovery Act, or $551 billion, by the end of the fiscal year. Almost all of the unspent stimulus money is already committed to specific projects, except for a few longer-range initiatives like high-speed rail and electronic health records. And the completed work has cost less than expected, so the savings have financed over 3,000 additional projects, from airport improvements in Atlanta to new child-care centers at military bases in Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi and Oklahoma, from a new five-lane road in Jacksonville to a $14.5 million transformation of a World War 2 ammunition factory into an eco-friendly government building in St. Louis.

Meanwhile, Earl Devaney, the hard-nosed watchdog leading the independent Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, recently testified to Congress that investigators “simply haven’t seen the kind of fraud that we would have imagined as professional law enforcement.” Before the stimulus passed, experts predicted the government would lose 5% to 7% of it to fraud; today, out of over 190,000 contracts, grants and loans, less than 0.2% are under investigation.
…..so far: no indictments, no major scandals, no missed deadlines, no busted budgets. Hey, man: That’s more than good enough for government work.




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