Examiner Editorial: Obama’s costly propaganda for the ‘stimulus’ 

There’s no better definition of government waste than the estimated $192 million President Barack Obama is forcing cash-strapped state officials to spend on road signs touting his failed stimulus program. Even so, with a critical congressional election coming in November, Americans will see a proliferation of these politically self-serving signs in coming months as Obama tries to convince voters who think his “Recovery Summer” is just an economic Potemkin village.

Such signs would not be needed if Obama’s program had succeeded. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., recently discovered that the Obama propaganda signs are required for all projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That’s the official name for the $857 billion economic stimulus program Obama promised would keep unemployment below 8 percent. A White House memo Schock obtained told stimulus fund recipients they must display the newly-designed ARRA logo. According to the memo, the logo is “a symbol of President Obama’s commitment to the American People to invest their tax dollars wisely to put Americans back to work.” Instead of “symbol,” a far more appropriate word to describe this would be “propaganda.”

The memo is wrong on both counts. It’s not a wise expenditure of tax dollars when the government spends as much as $10,000 apiece for propaganda signs, especially when unemployment remains near 10 percent. And the president’s
stimulus program has not put Americans back to work, as the latest jobless figures make starkly clear. A bunch of expensive road signs won’t change the fact that only 6 percent of Americans believe that the Obama stimulus program has created new jobs, according to a New York Times/CBS poll.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has demanded that the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board investigate whether the signs violate federal anti-propaganda laws. Schock also plans to introduce a bill to yank funding for the signs. Doing that has been the top vote-getter on YouCut, a web siteset up by House Republican Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., that lets ordinary Americans choose federal programs to send to the chopping block. In just six weeks, more than 1 million people have voted to save $93.7 billion by axing old-style welfare programs, eliminating raises for federal employees, reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, selling excess federal property, not hiring more IRS agents to enforce Obamacare’s individual insurance mandate and not subsidizing union activities.

Meanwhile, here’s another sign, this one from Tea Partiers who are sick and tired of government profligacy, that has a more accurate description of Obama’s policies: “Central Planning: Destroying Human Prosperity Since 4000 B.C.”

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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