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White House calls for stimulus checks for seniors

For the second year in a row the Social Security Administration will not give seniors a cost of living increase. Many seniors depend on the monthly retirement checks as their sole source of income and have had to make do with less during this sluggish economy.

According to Obama’s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, “The President will renew his call for a $250 Economic Recovery Payment to our seniors this year, as well as to veterans and people with disabilities.”

In a statement Gibbs referred to the $787 billion stimulus package success in providing benefits to those in need and said the president is calling for another $250 check to be mailed to seniors collecting their government retirement benefits.

“Under the Recovery Act, 56 million people benefited from the first Economic Recovery Payment—including about 50 million Social Security beneficiaries,” Gibbs said. “We’re grateful that Speaker Pelosi has indicated she will bring the new Economic Recovery Payment to a vote and we urge members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to support our seniors, veterans and others with disabilities who depend on these benefits.”

However the government check writing process has been prone to wasting millions of taxpayers’ dollars as they have been sending checks to dead people as well as those who are incarcerated.
In a new $787 billion stimulus accountability report a government investigator found that more than 89,000 people received stimulus payments of $250 each. The lucky recipients were people (using the term loosely) whom were either in a graveyard or prison.

According to the Social Security Administration’s inspector general, $18 million stimulus dollars were mailed to at least 72,000 dead people. The same report offers some good news and estimates that half of those payments were returned to the federal government.

Another disturbing figure included in the Social Security’s Inspector General Report was the fact $4.3 million was distributed to more than 17,000 prison inmates.

With only a three-week lame-duck session left in the Congressional calendar, Washington D.C. has precious little time to tackle several big issues, the most important being the Bush tax cuts. If Congress does not address the tax cuts, all taxpayers will see less in their January 1, 2011 paychecks and according to economists, a further deepening of America’s worst recession since the Great Depression.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

Summer of recovery falls flat in America

This week, President Barack Obama visited the ZBB Energy battery factory in Wisconsin. The 30-employee company manufactures high-tech devices that stores renewable energy and ZBB Energy was also a benefactor of U.S. stimulus dollars.

“Companies like this are showing us how manufacturing can come back right here in the United States of America, right back here to Wisconsin,” Obama explained. “We’ve been fighting on all fronts – inch by inch, foot by foot, mile by mile – to get this country moving forward again, and going after every single job we can create right here in the United States of America.”

Many restless Americans couldn’t disagree more with the president on the job front as the unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent. The Wisconsin energy company hosted the Obama Energy Department in January when they invested $14 million in the business; the President was present to claim credit for every employee.

However the Wall Street Journal decided to do their homework and found a very different story than the one the Obama Administration was portraying. ZBB Energy went public in June of 2007, and for the past three years ZBB has been hemorrhaging money.

The firm lost $4.9 million in fiscal year 2008, $5.5 million in fiscal year 2009, and has a “cumulative deficit” of $44.1 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. They also admitted that its ability to continue was a growing concern and would be directly tied to an infusion of more cash.

Economists argue that in a free market economy, private investors would invest the money, and either reap the rewards or suffer the losses if ZBB Energy failed. Under President Obama’s “new” capitalist economy, ZBB Energy wins while the taxpayer is left holding the bag.

Not one to let the fundamental money making practice to get in the way Obama has decided to move full steam ahead with the Cap and Trade energy push.

“There are folks in Washington right now who think we should abandon our efforts to support clean energy,” Obama said.

“They’ve made the political calculation that it’s better to stand on the sidelines than work as a team to help American businesses and American workers. And my answer to people who have been playing politics the past year and a half is, they should come to this plant. They should go to any of the dozen new battery factories, or the new electrical vehicle manufacturers, or the new wind turbine makers, or the solar plants that are popping up all over this country, and they should have to explain why they think these clean energy jobs are better off being made in Germany or China or Spain, instead of right here in the United States.”

If that statement was true, these companies would be running cash surpluses and not in the red and wouldn’t require bailout after bailout like ZBB Energy’s $44.1 million deficit shows.

Moving forward it is clear President Obama will stick to his agenda a push for an unproven clean energy market.

“The worst mistake we could make is to go back to doing what we were doing that got us into the mess that we were in,” Obama said. “We can’t turn back.”

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego

Boxer flip flops on Pay-Go and votes for unfunded stimulus 2.0

A few short days ago Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) voted for pay-as-you go legislation – in which she referred to as a way to “help us maintain fiscal discipline while we continue the hard work of rebuilding America’s economy,” and she broke her promise to her Californian constituents by voting for the new $15 billion stimulus bill disguised as a ‘jobs bill.’

This was the first test legislators faced on their new pay-as-you-go rule and they quickly moved to break the promise of paying for all new bills by cutting other programs or raising taxes.

Last month Boxer and her Democrat friends voted for the PAYGO legislation in order to provide political cover for another vote to raise the national debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion to a record $14.3 trillion. This ballooning debt measure was needed after the Democrats maxed-out the government’s credit card in order to pay out $787 billion for the overrated stimulus package.

“It’s inexplicable that Senator Boxer voted to waive the same law that she applauded the President for reinstating just four weeks earlier. This hypocrisy highlights why Barbara Boxer is facing the toughest re-election battle of her career,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Marchand. “Voters are tired of the out-of-control spending from the Democrat-controlled Congress and they are looking for real change in Washington this November.”

Boxer said on MSNBC that she “believed in PAYGO. If I want to spend something then I’ve got to cut something or figure out a way top for it.”

Boxer who is a longtime cosponsor of PAYGO legislation said PAYGO helps maintain fiscal discipline.
“U.S. Senator Boxer today applauded President Obama’s decision to submit a proposal to Congress to reinstate pay-as-you-go budget rules. Reinstating this common sense principle is long overdue. It will help us maintain fiscal discipline while we continue the hard work of rebuilding America’s economy. Senator Boxer is a longtime cosponsor of PAYGO, which would reinstate pay-as-you-go rules and help block measures that increase the deficit.”

At a teleconference on The Hiring Incentives To Restore Employment Act on February 17, 2010 Boxer discussed the importance of controlling spending. “Now, I could talk to you on the whole issue of the debt, because I was in the Congress in the Senate when we had no debt. And excuse me, we had no deficit, and we were on our way to ending the debt under Bill Clinton, and that is done through pay-as- you-go policies. It’s got to be – you’ve got to have tough – you’ve got to make some tough cuts and tough votes.”

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll states that 71 percent of voters now say the legislature is doing a poor job. The time when politicians could say they believed in balanced budgets to the cameras and then voted to bust the bank with so-called jobs bills are over.

With the November midterms just nine months away Rasmussen says 9 percent of lawmakers jobs are safe. Most Americans believe members of Congress are not genuinely interested in helping people, which ties to the continued fall in poll numbers. Eighty-one percent say most members of Congress are more interested in their own careers – this is a new multi-year high.

Most troubling for Boxer in the latest Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters in California is her continuing inability to break the 50 percent threshold against any of the Republican hopefuls. Rasmussen contends that incumbents who capture less than 50 percent of the vote at this stage of their campaign are considered vulnerable. Something all three GOP candidates, Chuck DeVore, Tom Campbell and Carly Fiorina are all zeroing in on.

“This is a triumph of jobs over politics,” Senator Boxer said after the bill cleared a key procedural vote Monday night.

While Boxer continues to vote for every left-leaning piece of legislation put in front of her pen, November may be the only chance for voters to return the favor and hold her voting practices accountable.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner

Boxer touts $787 billion stimulus and San Diego’s one new job

Senator Barbara Boxer-D CA tried to pass off an infusion of cash into 50 San Diego companies as stimulus money. However, what San Diego got was more Obama fuzzy math and one new job.

Speaking to a group of people at University of California San Diego, Boxer talked about the great new research projects making their way into San Diego business sector. What she failed to point out was that the $45 million in funds came from the National Institute of Health grants – not the $787 billion stimulus.

Local news station KUSI was quick to report San Diego has created just one new job with money from the stimulus boondoggle. Boxer claimed that there would be 16,000 new jobs in San Diego alone, but that didn’t pass the KUSI smell test.

The job in question was given to a neuro-oncologist doctor who will be researching brain tumors, according to UCSD.

Political opponent, Carly Fiorina a Republican Senatorial hopeful looking to unseat Boxer in the 2010 mid-terms said Boxer will forever be remembered with three pieces of legislation accredited to her 17 year career as Senator.

“Boxer has been Senator for 17 years and she’s delivered three pieces of legislation; a name of a river, a name of a courthouse in Fresno and some seismic technology to the Bay Area. I guess one piece of legislation in 17 years isn’t so bad.”

This political jab will be a staple on the campaign trail for Fiorina.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner

$787 billion jolt to economy falls flat

The $787 billion stimulus package the country could not survive without in February fell flat as President Obama’s top economic aide said the package has already seen its biggest impact on the economy.

Christina Romer, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors explained, the $194 billion spent in the second and third quarters of this year provided the largest bang and any additional money infused into the economy would not contribute to any significant growth in the economy next year.

In other words, the stimulus failed.

In a meeting with a congressional panel, Romer said the impact of the stimulus will continue to level off.

Romer also pointed out the $787 billion saved or created 600,000 to 1.5 million jobs. She also warned the congressional panel that unemployment would hover around the 10 percent mark through the end of 2010.

The grim unemployment numbers will further dampen economic recovery and slow growth for the average American looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner

Obama proposes $250 stimulus checks for seniors

The White House has announced a new program to help seniors next year. In lieu of a cost-of-living increase in their monthly Social Security checks, the Obama Administration has asked that $250 checks be sent out to curb the soon to be outcry.

For the first time in years seniors will not get a cost-of-living increase inserted into the monthly checks. Last year the Bush Administration doled out a 5.8 percent increase to Social Security checks.

Responding to concern that is sure to cause hardship, the President has decided to address the issue head on. “Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession,” Obama stated.

The White House’s proposal will cost the taxpayer an addition $13 billion and so far Obama has not stated where the money will come from. It worth pointing out that Social Security is set to expire in 2037.

Those receiving checks in 2010, include Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees, veterans and disability recipients totaling somewhere around $57 million.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner

President Obama promises to create or save 600,000 jobs from stimulus funds

The myth that is saved or created continues to grow while American workers continue to lose their jobs.

“We have to pass the stimulus bill or the economic crisis will worsen,” President Obama said while selling this dud of a program to the American people. Since the president took office 1.6 million Americans have lost their livelihood, yet the president wishes to take credit for 150,000 new or saved jobs.

That is still a net job loss of 1.45 million jobs. According to Charles Krauthammer, syndicated columnist, the only real number associated with the jobs saved or created doublespeak, “is the $787 billion this country is in debt for. The save or create jobs number is meaningless.”

The country’s unemployment rate was supposed to top out at 8 percent if congress passed the stimulus bill in February. The bill passed without a single Republican vote in the house and three in the senate, and unemployment continues to soar past the 9.4 percent mark.

It’s not working. The extravagant spending that was supposed to take place has only trickled into the economy. The White House contends of the $787 billion of emergency dollars the government was going to jolt the economy with only $44 billion has gone out the door.

This misstep has led the voters to voice their concerns. For the first time in his presidency, Obama and the democrats are no longer king in the world of U.S. economy, the republicans are. President Obama’s numbers are down to a 31 percent approval rating for the economy, according to the latest Rasmussen polls.

The Gallup poll also has the president’s numbers down. While 62 percent approve of the president overall, only 45 percent approve of his handling of federal spending and deficit numbers.

All this has prompted the president to up the ante in the spending arena. In a statement from the White House on Monday the president said, “I’m not satisfied. We’ve got more work to do.”

He then went on to promise 600,000 more jobs to be ‘saved or created.’ Again there is no way to prove these numbers unless we actually see a decrease in unemployment benefits, according to leading economists and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Nevertheless, over the next 100 days the Obama White House will ramp up spending in these key areas in order to slow the unemployment process.

-Enable 1,129 health centers in 50 states
-Begin work in 107 National Parks
-Begin improvement work projects at 98 airports
-Fund 135,000 education jobs
-Begin improvements at 90 veteran’s medical centers
-Hire or keep 5,000 law enforcement officers (kind of that save or create thing)
-Start 200 new waste and water systems in rural America
-Begin work at 20 ‘superfund sites’ within the EPA
-Create 125,000 temporary summer youth jobs (key word temporary)
-Initiate 2,300 construction projects at 359 military facilities

The statement the White House put out was again lean on specifics. Details like names of facilities or which teachers or law enforcement officers would keep or get new jobs was conveniently left out.

“Today’s announcement is an acknowledgement that the Democrats’ trillion-dollar stimulus is not working and the American people know it,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner. “These policies are harming the middleclass families when they can least afford it.”

No amount of White House cheerleading can encourage businesses to ramp up hiring if they are worried about hyperinflation down the road. The current federal debt is $1.8 trillion and counting.

That translates into the country borrowing 50 cents on every dollar it spends, something economists say is unprecedented in the history of this country.

Another problem that comes along with the kitchen-sink stimulus package according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is lack of oversight and the potential for fraud.

Coincidentally, a few days earlier the GAO office reported the Treasury has no real details on how Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds are being spent. TARP was started under the Bush Administration with $350 billion and the Obama administration quickly doubled the spending to $700 billion.

Many on the republican side of the isle believe the economy will turn on its own without any help from the federal government. However, now the American people will never know the truth and it is any one’s guess when taxpayer rights will be returned to the people.

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