In stark contrast to our previous administration, President Obama’s first weekly address discusses the stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (pdf) and the need for transparency.  While many good issues were discussed, what stood out was the creation of a web site called that would detail spending of the stimulus via a searchable database.

As quoted via ABC News

“We will launch an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new Web site called”

OpenCongress Reports: – will soon be transformed into a database for information on new spending originating from the $825 billion economic stimulus package. This part of Congress’s effort to bring “a historic level of transparency, oversight and accountability” to the stimulus so that “taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and Americans can see results for their investment”

Maybe something Bush should have done with Paulson?

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  1. Arr

    American Recovery and Reinvestment...ARR

    Arr...Aye, we will launch an unprecedented effort t' root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spendin' by you scalwags, and e'ery American will be able t' see how and whar we spend taxpayer dollars by goin' t' a new Web site called recovery.gar.  Arr.

    • You betcha

      What Gary said.  Doesn't every incoming administration say this?

      And johnk, why the breathless anticipation of this stimulus bill, "in stark contrast" or otherwise?  Did you even flip through the first 10 pages?

      Just randomly ... I don't think that "Department of Housing and Urban Development--Public and Indian Housing--Native American Housing Block Grants" available under this Act are anything more than 1960's federal spending program which didn't work then, and won't work now.  (See page 6.)

      More random page turning ... $13 billion for "Education for the Disadvantaged", the Title I part of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary School Education Act."

      Page 199 ... Breaking News, Higher Ed. Act of 1965, current loan limits ...UP!  From $4,000 to $6,000, from $31,000 to $39,000, and from $6,000 to $8,000 (more on page 200 but I fell asleep.)  More good news ... they're only charging LIBOR minus 13 basis points.

      Some more, page 244 ... $79 billion for STATE governors to spend on this and that education programs and/or shortfalls.

      Hey johnk, look at all the 1960's programs being funded.  I thought Lyndon Johnson was dead!

      Memo to all breathless Obamatons ... this spending is, well, just old-time liberal federal program spending.  Little to none of it is "stimulative."  

      And Obama is simply going to wave it through.

      • really?

        So Bush and Paulson were open about where dollars were going?  It was a transparent process?  Please do tell.  I am not breathlessly awaiting a stimulus bill.  I am pointing out the stark differences we see with the Obama administration.  You can keep your head in the sand but what was the spending program before last week?  A Conservative spending program?  

        • Not much different

          The only innovation is ... a web site?  BFD.

          My head's out of the sand and I don't care about the Bush administration or Paulson or the 110th Congress or the first $350 billion of TARP money.  I'm with you.  I'm pissed.  It's all gone.  Lost.  Wasted.  (By the way, a Democratic-controlled Congress approved the $700 TARP package, with insufficient oversight.  They are to blame, too.)

          I care about the economy right now.  I worry about this spending bill right now.  I fret about the 2nd half of the $350 billion TARP.  I'm nervous about wasting $1 trillion now and getting a bill for it tomorrow.

          Johnk, please read the bill you've linked to.  It's not "stimulus," it's massive fiscal pork spending spree.  It will have the same effect as the $140 billion Bush "tax rebate", i.e., little stimulus effect at all.  And you're all excited about a web site?

          This one bill is same dollar amount  -- so far -- as 8 years of spending in the Iraq War to date.  By the way, that's all "spending" too, so what's wrong with that?  Why is Pelosi's spending "better" than Iraq war spending?

          Do we need to wait until the Dow is at 6,000, our 401(k)s drop another 20%, and we've squandered $2 or $3 trillion on multi-year non-stimulus pork before we judge the 111th Congress and President Obama on the merits of their current legislation and governance?

          On will you let your enthusiastic support of President Obama turn into blind, sycophantic idolatry?  

          You're half way there.

      • The Bush program was so successful ...

        lets have more.

        Is that all you've got BS? Sad, really.

        At least there is still Fox News.

        • Move On from a failed $quot;Bush program$quot;

          That's exactly my point.  The prior treasury TARP spending stabilized the US financial and banking system but didn't fix it.  It is still bleeding.

          The Bush plan generally was NOT successful.  So let's MOVE ON.  Set aside your incessant criticism of the Bush administration and please focus on the 111th Congress and President Obama's proposals.  That's the debate now.

          Please read the alleged "stimulus" bill to which johnk links.  I'm responding to that, not debating the efficacy of Bush's plan.  I contend it's WORSE in substance than Bush's plan.

          This assumes you're willing to listen to any criticism of an out-of-control Democratic Congress and a generally clueless president.

          Instead of chanting the "Bush sucks" mantra.  Please MOVE ON.

    • beats the ...

      shit of what we had over the past 8 years doesn't it?

    • Have we ever seen the Pirate guy from Dodgeball and Gary in the same room?

  2. Form over substance

    As if the web site justifies the spending.

    • My poor unfortunate soul....

      the difference is that there is a name next to the spending.  Hey, psst, in case you didn't know we just pissed through 700 billion dollars under Poulson and Bush and we have no clue what they did and where the money went.  

      Got any posts up about that?

      Now you are upset that the new administration is requiring that every dollar is accounted for and has a name defined for responsibility with specifics required about job creation and goals accomplished?

      • I with you on that, johnk

        Bush and Paulson, along with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, just pissed away $350 billion.  And Citibank got a new Falcon 900 jet courtesy of me and my tax dollars.

        I'm not upset that there's going to be accountability.  I'm upset because I read the 299-page stimulus bill you linked to and it's ain't a stimulus bill.  It's $835 billion of pork.  READ THE BILL.  It's got a web site.  Big deal.

        Johnk, do you work for a company which has lousy products, declining revenues, cash flow problems, but a great web site?

        That's what you're sound like by breathlessly approving the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act because it includes money to build  It's form over substance.  

        Is this how Obama is going to be?  Form over substance?  Pork's OK as long as it has a web site?

        Read the damn bill you yourself linked to.  I don't think the president has.

  3. What happened to the credit crunch?

    Just a few weeks ago the major problem was that there was no money available to be loaned. Has that crisis suddenly disapeared? If we have a credit crunch should that not be addressed first to see if an increase in credit can get the economy moving

    • We still have one ...

      and its getting worse.  

      WSJ just put out a report that those who received TARP funds actually lend less than they did prior to the payment.  How's that for the cherry on top for the TARP program?

      We need to address the banking issues, but the stimulus seems to be addressing job creation and providing an influx of cash into the economy.  It's not like Bush saying to go to the malls and shop, that was part of the problem, we didn't have the money to shop.  The Fed can't play with interest rates as it's already at zero, so we need to focus on job creation and small business as part of the solution.

      I don't know what the hell Paulson did with the money but it seems like we got the shaft.

      • Was TARP to encourage lending?

        I thought it was to stabilize the financial soundness of the banks.  I believe it may have not completely stopped the internal bleeding although it saved the patient for further surgery.  But bank balance sheets continue to erode.

        Rather than subsidize bank balance sheets, I thought Treasury should have guaranteed the toxic assets instead.  If regulators now ask banks to mark these assets down ("mark to market") it likely will cause a wave of failures as banks will be unable to maintain their statutory capital ratios.

        The federal response will be to bail the banks out by adding more capital.  This will eventually cost much more than assuming the bad debt in the first place.  Hint: did Citibank need a new jet?

        This is exactly what happened in the S&L collapse only the assets which were marked to market were whole loans, not debt tranches sliced and diced and syndicated globally.

        We'll see what Geithner comes up with.

        • TARP

          was created to do what it's name says, purchase troubled assets.  How that going?  They said it was needed to add liquidity to the market and yes, the encourage lending.  

          Now let me pose this question.

          Would we be in a better position if we started TARP as a transparent process as President Obama is doing now with the stimulus?

          We would have information available of where dollars were going a for what reason?  As TARP had been secretive under Bush and Paulson with no over site, we now know too late that the pissed away good money and did not purchase trouble assets.

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