AP: Biden’s stimulus assessment ignores ‘pitfalls and economic realities’ 

A brutal dose of honesty from the Associated Press this morning on Vice-President Biden’s recent stimulus report. According to the venerable wire service’s fact-check, “an examination of details in the 50-page report unveiled Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden reveals something a bit different: a collection of rosy projections that ignore many of the challenges, pitfalls and economic realities in all those areas.” An example:

The claim: Thanks to the stimulus, the United States is on track to “doubling U.S. renewable energy generation capacity and U.S. renewable manufacturing capacity by 2012.”

The facts: While the Recovery Act has helped increase renewable energy, the fact that it is a one-time jolt makes it difficult to project that the growth will continue for the next couple of years. George Sterzinger, executive director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project, a Washington think tank that promotes renewable energy, said the Recovery Act’s cash grant program for renewable energy projects “jump-started a lot of stuff. But there’s nothing beyond that.”

The article provides five more instances where the report is misleading on economic matters. Yesterday, the Examiner’s David Freddoso also picked apart Biden’s report and the accompanying press conference:

Waste, fraud and abuse in the stimulus package? No way, says Joe.

“Thus far, that dog hasn’t barked,” Biden said. “Under one percent of all the money that’s been spent has even been questioned as to whether or not … it is being spent appropriately.”

For the record, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has questioned $14.4 billion in stimulus spending on 300 projects, all in writing. That’s 6 percent of the value of all stimulus contracts awarded and 17 percent of the money spent as of June 30. Coburn may produce another report soon, but please be patient — his staff is finite. (He might need a large stimulus grant to keep up with all of the waste, fraud and abuse.)

Sorry Joe. You can keep selling the stimulus, but nobody’s buying it.

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Mark Hemingway

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