A few hours before the President signed the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” the trillion dollar spending package promoted under the guise of economic “stimulus,” the Obama Administration launched “Recovery.gov”, a website they say will allow taxpayers to “figure out where the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going.”
However, even the limited information currently provided on the website leads taxpayer advocates to see their concerns confirmed that Obama’s transparency commitment – which he has already violated on several occasions
– doesn’t hold much water and amounts more to spin than fact:
The website drastically exaggerates the size of the “tax relief” in relation to the spending portion.
The website touts the “tax relief” in the package as amounting to $288 billion in a graphic titled “Where is your money going.” All expenditures are broken up separately to create the illusion that the largest portion of the spending package actually consists of tax cuts. It also fails to acknowledge that a significant portion of the alleged $288 billion in “tax relief,” actually amounts to welfare spending.
The website boasts a map of “jobs to be created/jobs saved.”
The number of jobs “created and saved” will be impossible to determine. For one, any such claim can only be an estimate and fails to take into account any jobs that are destroyed as money is taken out of one part of the economy to inject it into another. Further, there is no way to scientifically calculate the number of net jobs saved, because it is impossible to know what would have happened absent the passage of the” stimulus” package.
Obama’s introductory video message lacks credibility.
In an introductory video message, President Obama claims that “instead of politicians doling out money behind closed doors, the important decisions about where taxpayer dollars are invested will be yours to scrutinize.” That promise rings hollow considering that he also promised transparency in the legislative process, only to work with Congressional leaders to hastily push through this massive spending package while shutting out both the Congressional minority and taxpayers.
“For all his talk about transparency and accountability, President Obama has yet to deliver. His reference to there being transparency instead of ‘politicians doling out money behind closed doors’ is almost comical less than a week after taxpayers learned about closed-door night-time ‘doling out money’ to reach a deal on the ‘stimulus’,”
said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “If he was serious about his commitment to these principles, he would have made sure that the Congressional minority and taxpayers were not shut out from the process, as we and many others demanded. He did not. Taxpayers have no reason to be more optimistic now, and will likely see a ‘transparency’ portal cluttered with spin rather than fact.”
For a pdf of the press release click here.