‘Brutal Milestone’ for Unemployment
Today’s roundup of stimulus coverage:
The big news: Unemployment hit 10.2 percent in October. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman called the 10 percent mark a "brutal milestone," and the news prompted more criticism of the stimulus. The AFP reports that President Obama will give a speech this afternoon to address the latest jobless numbers.
Meanwhile, questions keep coming about the jobs "saved" by the stimulus. The Sacramento Bee concludes that of the 110,000 jobs reportedly saved by stimulus money in California, as many as one-quarter "probably were never in danger." California State University officials first reported saving 26,156 jobs with the $268.5 million in stimulus dollars received by the university system—then backtracked. The money quote comes from CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow, who told the Bee, "This is not really a real number of people … It’s like a budget number."
Finally, the Associated Press reports that many of the cars bought under the Cash for Clunkers program got only marginally better mileage than the vehicles they replaced. The AP’s Ted Bridis writes that although a key goal of the program was to get more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, the single most common swap involved trading in old Ford F150 pickups for new … Ford F150 pickups. The newer trucks get an average of 1 to 3 more miles per gallon than the older versions.
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Officials have struggled to spend the nearly $800 billion stimulus package quickly and effectively.