Mr. Obama and his people also mischaracterize where most stimulus dollars go. Their constant prattle about “shovel ready projects” is an attempt to leave the impression that most goes to bricks and mortar. Not true: Only 3.3% of the $814 billion stimulus went to the Federal Highway Administration for highway and bridge projects.
The administration’s misleading statements and obfuscations aren’t limited to the economy. On health care, for example, Mr. Obama continues saying that (a) health-care reform will reduce costs and the deficit, (b) no one who wants to keep existing coverage will lose it, and (c) the law’s cuts in Medicare won’t threaten any senior’s health care. These assertions are laughable.
The president’s habit of exaggeration and misstatement has infected other Democrats. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example, routinely talks about how the recently passed “Stimulus II” spending bill protected the jobs of police and firemen.
But it didn’t.
Stimulus II consisted of two parts: $10 billion for education and $16 billion for Medicaid. States can’t spend Medicaid money for anything but Medicaid, and they can only spend the education money on education, i.e., they can’t shuffle state funds around. Language allowing Stimulus II dollars to pay for police and firemen didn’t make it out of the Senate. Yet Democratic leaders persist in saying that their latest stimulus has helped keep police and firefighters on the job. The claim is flatly untrue.