ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

What Is Obama’s Actual Record on Creating Jobs?

President Obama has promised to focus on jobs. But what has he done to create jobs so far? Here’s a look at his record.

.

President Barack Obama speaks about the American Jobs Act at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas, on Oct. 4, 2011. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. economy has been staggering for months and is still millions of jobs away from recovering from the nearly 9 million jobs lost since the start of the recession. Indeed, the official unemployment rate has hovered around 9 percent or 10 percent for more than two years.

President Obama has promised to focus on jobs, so we decided to look at his actual record: What exactly has the Obama administration done to create jobs so far? Here's a look at Obama's jobs initiatives, the hits, the misses, and the ones we're still waiting for an answer on.

Overall, job creation has been relatively meager during the Obama administration, particularly compared to the massive job losses brought on by the recession. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, even if job creation were happening at pre-recession levels, it would take us 11 years to get back to an unemployment rate of 5 percent.

Keep in mind: There is no sure-fire way to count how many jobs a given program added to the economy. Some economists use economic models to gauge how the economy would have progressed in the absence of that program. Others look at raw data. As the Washington Post's WonkBook has detailed, there are drawbacks to both approaches. But they can still give you an overall picture.

Auto industry bailout, December 2008 to January 2009

In total, the government spent $79.3 billion assisting General Motors and Chrysler. Though the initial round of aid was approved by the Bush administration as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Obama expanded on it. It has certainly helped save the companies and perhaps many jobs in the process.

There is little independent data on how many jobs were saved as a result of the auto industry bailout. But a study from the Center for Automotive Research, which receives some industry funding, says the bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler saved more than 1 million jobs in the car industry, supply chain, and communities where auto workers spend their paychecks [PDF], a figure Obama echoes in his speeches on the bailout. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry added 45,000 jobs in the nine months after GM exited bankruptcy. [PDF; see fourth page]

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, February 2009

The stimulus, with its mixture of tax cuts, grants, loans and infrastructure spending, is likely Obama's most successful job-creation initiative.

Initially projected to cost $787 billion, the package has actually cost $825 billion [PDF], according to the Congressional Budget Office's latest calculations. The CBO's latest report estimates that the stimulus raised the number of employed Americans by 1 million to 2.9 million over the last quarter. At its peak in the second quarter of 2010, it increased employment by 1.4 million to 3.3 million.

A report by economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder [PDF] found that the stimulus, along with the bank bailout, helped significantly soften the recession. Zandi, who is chief economist at Moody's Analytics, emphasized that it created the basic conditions for job growth. “If you don't stabilize the financial system, nothing else matters,” he said.

As we mentioned in our earlier guide to Obama's economic record, most of the major studies on the stimulus say it had a positive effect on the economy. But not everyone thinks it was such a success. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former head of the CBO and current head of the conservative American Action Forum think tank, said the stimulus's achievements were small considering the big price tag. “If you throw nearly a trillion dollars at the economy, it has to have an impact, and it did. … The stimulus basically stopped the fall, but it didn't have any big multiplier effect.”

Extensions of unemployment insurance benefits, February 2009 (as part of the stimulus), November 2009, July 2010, December 2010

The repeated extensions of unemployment benefits haven't received the attention, or level of vitriol, that the stimulus has, but they do appear to have saved millions of jobs by allowing people who are out of work to keep buying goods and supporting other businesses. A study conducted for the Department of Labor by an outside firm found that unemployment insurance has been an important economic stabilizer, reducing the fall in GDP by 18.3 percent and preserving about 1.6 million jobs each quarter during the recession. The CBO estimated that the latest extension of unemployment benefits would add $34 billion to the deficit over the next decade. [PDF]

HIRE Act, March 2010

The $17 billion Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act provided a payroll tax break for businesses that hired unemployed workers, but the impact has been, at best, unclear.

The Treasury estimates that for the first eight months of the yearlong program, 10.6 million unemployed workers [PDF] were hired by businesses eligible for the HIRE Act tax cut. But it's unclear how many of those workers would have been hired anyway, without the incentives. Zandi and Holtz-Eakin both said that given the modest overall size of the program, the HIRE Act's impact would be small even under the best of circumstances.

Education Jobs Act and Medicaid Assistance Act, August 2010

This bill gave $10 billion to the states to preserve education jobs during the 2010-11 school year. It's still too early to tell how many jobs were created; not all of the money has been spent yet, because districts also have the option to use it for 2011-12. The program estimates that it has created or saved 114,407 teaching jobs so far.

Small Business Jobs Act, September 2010

The Small Business Jobs Act extended Small Business Administration loan programs and created a $30 billion fund that provided capital to small banks in order to increase lending to small businesses. The results are far from clear.

According to the Treasury Department, $4 billion has gone to 332 banks across the country, though again there's little research on how this has translated into jobs. Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former Obama administration economic adviser, cautioned that it's more difficult to gauge how many jobs a program created if it's not a direct job-creation measure—you'd have to see whether businesses that got access to credit through this program expanded and hired more than business that didn't.

Holtz-Eakin and Zandi were both skeptical about the program's results. “The banks that would take the capital probably were the weakest banks, and the banks that were in good shape wouldn't take the capital,” Zandi said. “There was a great disincentive for participating in that program.” (Update, Oct. 6) A Wall Street Journal investigation found that more than half of the Small Business Lending Fund money given to small banks this year was used to repay TARP loans, rather than going to small business.

 

Correction (10/6): We stated that GM added 45,000 jobs after exiting bankruptcy. In fact, it's the car industry overall that added 45,000 jobs after GM exited bankruptcy. We have also clarified that one's study's conclusion about the number of jobs the auto bailout saved included jobs created directly and indirectly.

Correction (10/5): We erroneously referred to the "bailouts of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler." Only General Motors and Chrysler received government assistance.

Great article….the word should get out but then again..who in the corporate owned media would have incentive to report the truth?

Thanks

Marylin Copeland

Oct. 5, 2011, 11:42 a.m.

How about a final estmated figure, just to make the point. The Republicans say Obama “didn’t create any jobs” in his first 3 years. This report contradicts that. If the Republican’s had their way, there would be no Unemployment Insurance, no safety net at all for workers.

Do the math on some of these ridiculous numbers and you’ll see why we are in the trouble we are in. It cost 10 billion to “save” 114,000 jobs and teachers are still being laid off left and right. Why not just give everyone in the country a check for 100k?

What bailout of Ford?

“But a study from the Center for Automotive Research, which receives some industry funding, says the bailouts of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler saved more than 1 million jobs,...”

Where in the report did you see any mention of a Ford bailout?

According to the NYTimes, “...Ford emerged as the sole American automaker in a position to survive the steepest sales downturn in decades without a government bailout. That helped the company improve its reputation and win new customers.”

This is pretty impressive given the obstructionist Republicans tried blocking all of these bills. Even the stimulus with 40% in tax cuts.
Tax cuts that they insisted on and then voted against them.
Now lets look at how many jobs the Republicans created in 10 years. That would be a negative 9 million. Wow, they’ve dug themselves quite a hole. Problem is they wouldn’t care if they put 30 million people out of work as long as the wealthy are happy.

Loretta Paraguassu

Oct. 5, 2011, 11:59 a.m.

What strikes me is that of all the moves that the Obama administration has made none of them had a negative impact. Blocked as it has been by Republican opposition, it is remarkable that this much has been accomplished.

Actually Ford did take some money. Here’s the article.

http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2010/12/did_ford_take_secret_governmen.html

The title is misleading since it really wasn’t a secret. See SEC filings.

When I drive around my area and see the construction jobs fixing this highway or that highway, a little voice inside my head invites all the obstructionist Repubicans to come into my area and see the results of projects that wouldn’t even have been begun without stimulus funds.
As Gomer Pyle might say: “Shame, shame, shame.”

Wow.  Just when I was starting to like Propublica… I thought it would rise above the partisanship.  I guess the economy is perfect now that Obama is calling the shots.  What about the jobs he’s killed by regulations and business owners refusing to hire because of him.  Quantify that.  Let’s get both sides of the coin.

I know how he can employ all 300,000,000 citizens.  Have them all have government-run jobs.  Full employment.  I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

Michael Gorman

Oct. 5, 2011, 12:09 p.m.

It is mistaken to think that unemployment compensation payments are a net inflow of new dollars to the economy. The system is funded by a tax on wages which would otherwise be available to employees. The funds are replenished by increasing the tax rate when outgoes exceed revenues; thus enlarging current unemployment payouts depresses takehome pay of workers now and in the future. As implemented by this administration, it represents not so much a wage benefit as a perverse and redistributive transfer payment to those chronically denied jobs.

Regis M. Hickey

Oct. 5, 2011, 12:11 p.m.

We do know that Bush’s final months in office averaged about 700,000 job losses a month.  Obama has cut Bush’s job-loss rate significantly.

Phil, there was no bailout of Ford - that was an error. We’re correcting it.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, current head of the conservative American Action Forum think tank, said the stimulus’ achievements were small considering the big price tag. “If you throw nearly a trillion dollars at the economy, it has to have an impact, and it did. … The stimulus basically stopped the fall, but it didn’t have any big multiplier effect.”

Unless the super wealthy receive their “Entitlement” Tax break, they won’t be inclined to start added to the work force. 

Entitlement Blackmail as pure as the driven snow.

There is a hidden North-American reality to begin to unfold from 2013, if some can make others realize how important clues for economic success or failure exist inside this article.
The ingredients, in the light of New UN’s or World’s Economy, need to be replaced for youthful ideas and a fresh start with ‘Balanced Trade without deficit’, no labour-unions but factory jobs for millions of hadr-working middle class public/ people at minimum wages for producing even cheap small items-we import from elsewhere, no more bailouts of doomed to vanish giant Corporations (Groups of few rich guys) etc.

I meant the Ingredients of foggy / rusty Western Think Tank.

Are these full-time, well-paying jobs complete with benefits (healthcare, 401k, etc.)? Or are these low-paying, part-time or seasonal jobs without benefits? And as for the jobs that were “saved,” were the employees required to take pay cuts or lose some of their benefits? 

Sorry, this article is pretty badly reported.

I realize the article admits this to start off, and it’s unfair to expect any American politician to make economic repairs when our system is designed to prevent politically-motivated interference.  But I find job numbers like this more than a little suspicious, since there was no tracking whatsoever.  (Hint:  HIRE could easily have asked whether the position was new when filing the paperwork, making estimates unnecessary.  It’s not like the company wouldn’t have a complicated answer.)

Regardless, it’s difficult to imagine righting the economy without treating the core problems that everybody dances around:  We don’t make stuff here.  I’d bet that these stimulus packages created or saved more jobs in China than the United States, for instance, since that’s where the lion’s share of unemployment money is almost surely going.

We need to reverse the policy of exporrting jobs and turning Asia and Eastern Europe into banana republics, kill off “free trade” (an import tariff would encourage growth far beyond what’s listed here), and stop assisting failed businesses so that better-managed companies with America-centric tendencies can take their places.  That assistance includes not just bailout money, but policy encouraging them to stop their competition.

But none of that’s on the table, of course.  Globalism is still the word of the day, and we still do everything we can to push manufacturing to China, support to India, and so forth, and the big failing companies own much more of Congress than American people do.

This article is not well written. It claims to describe jobs Obama has created. Instead it talks about jobs he’s ‘saved’. Two entirely different topics. As you say in article, there is little independent data to support these alleged ‘savings’.
If the money spent to bail out the auto makers (in the case of GM a bank that happens to build automobiles on the side) were given directly to workers who might lose their jobs, they would independent wealthy instead of in the unemployment lines because their jobs were offshored.
Not only has Obama failed to create new jobs, he has done nothing to change the equation that makes it profitable for coddled corporations to ship American jobs overseas. His new ‘free trade agreements’ put offshoring on steroids.
I’d give him an F.

Sally Martinez

Oct. 5, 2011, 1:19 p.m.

As to the information regarding new jobs created by businesses receiving SBA loans, there is no comparison necessary with those businesses not applying or receiving SBA funding. A job created is a job created,especially with SBA’s help as that business would have been unlikely to be able to move forward without the help.

Ford benefited from the direct help to GM and Chrysler because their suppliers didn’t go under which would have taken Ford down too. Ford executives have attested to this in testimony before congress.

gee, I feel so much better about the economy and unemployment now .... we should, hold the election tomorrow, The Anointed One and his imbecilic VP couldn’t beat that loon Sarah Palin ... all this HOPE and CHANGE brings tears to my eyes ...

Barry Schmittou

Oct. 5, 2011, 1:28 p.m.

Obama may have helped the Mexican Drug Cartels create jobs.

He definitely helped the criminals at Wachovia keep their jobs when they laundered $378 billion for the mass murdering Mexican Drug Cartels as seen at :

obamadrugmurdersconnection.blogspot.com

No one was prosecuted for knowingly laundering $378 BILLION dollars !!

Obama helped many CEO’s and other corporate criminals keep their jobs as seen in the additional Non Prosecution Agreements seen at the website above, inlcuding AIG, Prudential, JP Morgan and MetLife receiving multiple Non Prosection agreements as they committed multiple crimes !!

C N N wrote this about the violence Wachovia’s laundering of $378 BILLION helped fund :

“Social media users who denounce drug cartel activities along the Mexican border received a brutal warning this week:

“Two mangled bodies hanging like cuts of meat from a pedestrian bridge. A woman was hogtied and disemboweled, her intestines protruding from three deep cuts on her abdomen. Attackers left her topless, dangling by her feet and hands from a bridge in the border city of Nuevo Laredo. A bloodied man next to her was hanging by his hands, his right shoulder severed so deeply the bone was visible.”
“Signs left near the bodies declared the pair, both apparently in their early 20s, were killed for posting denouncements of drug cartel activities on a social network. Mexico’s notoriously ruthless drug gangs regularly hang victims from bridges and highway overpasses.”

The story can be seen by pasting :

cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/09/14/mexico.violence/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Here’s a quote from Huffington Post :

“MEXICO CITY — Suspected drug traffickers dumped 35 bodies at rush hour beneath a busy overpass in the heart of a major Gulf coast city as gunmen pointed weapons at frightened drivers. Mexican authorities said Wednesday they are examining surveillance video for clues to who committed the crime.”

“Horrified motorists grabbed cell phones and sent Twitter messages warning others to avoid the area near the biggest shopping mall in Boca del Rio, part of the metropolitan area of Veracruz city.”

Full story seen by pasting :

huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/21/mexico-bodies-gunmen_n_973298.html

Obama’s ATF may have also helped increase jobs for people who smuggled thousands of huge guns to the drug cartels (including “AK-47-type assault rifles” and “numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles”) You can see the story by pasting :

cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/03/eveningnews/main20039031.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody

Bush gets the devious credit for creating jobs for Halliburton and other cronies who received the no bid contracts for the war in Iraq.

Frank Gunnels

Oct. 5, 2011, 1:58 p.m.

The auto bail outs were instituted during the last few months of the Bush administration.At that time the Democrats were in full CONTROL of Congress and the Senate.During the first two years of the Obama administration the Democrats were 100 % in CONTROL.Job creation and job salvation took a back seat to future TAX INCREASES and immediate budget expenses through OBAMACARE. Obama’s policies are the problem.

I’m with Ken Arnold and the negative 9 million in job creation by the Republicans; also commentors who mentioned their obstrictionist tactics and deliberate attempts to ruin the economy.  The fact that we are not in a depression is a minor miracle. 

@ Frank Gunnels

That shelf life on that stale GOP canard that Democrats were in “complete control” of the Senate has come and gone.  No party is in comple control of the Senate when it needs 60 votes to bring any amendment to the floor for debate.  Also, the Affordable Care Act - most of it - will not go into effect until 2014 and your taxes have gone down.

@kem

“What about the jobs he’s killed by regulations and business owners refusing to hire because of him. “

Well, what about them? What’s your evidence? ProPublica already investigated this claim, and found that there’s not much to it: http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/whats-the-evidence-that-regulations-kill-jobs

Barbara Crowley

Oct. 5, 2011, 3:17 p.m.

Thanks for this article. I was not aware of how much has been accomplished and attempted by the Obama administration even if the numbers are not solid or clear and some not yet reported. I should think that creating jobs will take many years. Sadly because high unemployment was created almost instantly.

I want to add to those who are still insisting that Obama added a lot of regulations (exactly which ones please?) and that regulations kills jobs. Both are wrong. The Republicans continue to say their lies about this situation knowing full well that people who get their news from FOX will never go to Fact Check to verify those lies.

Employers have made it very clear that Lack of Demand is why they are not hiring. Duh. Not regulations. Regulations have been the whipping boy of the Right since - well, forever. In some of our most prosperous times regulations were higher than they are now. Regulations prevents employee deaths, bad products foisted off on the public, employee health problems. If anything, businesses need more regulations. And regulations don’t necessarily add much to costs. Some of common sense and happy, healthy employees are more productive.

I also want to point out to those who are memory challenged that the bailout of the work of Hank Paulson for George W Bush. It was already in place when Obama became president. Evidently Bush was paralyzed by the financial meltdown and Paulson filled for the president. So naturally as a Wall Street and Goldman alumnus he favored the rich and the banks over The People in spite of huge protests from the public. Remember the congressional websites and phones were overloaded and shut down for a while. Even quite a few members of congress showed backbone back then and voted No.

As Micheal Moore wrote ” Stupid White Men”

Get with the programme Americans, you are not supposed to be working.

The Corporations are deliverying utopia.

By shares with them (or,inherit from your daddy). They deliver dividends (cash , duh) and cheapest good on the planet to cloth you and toys to entertain you from China.

Wake up, you do not need to work.

Republicans are crazy smart.

Without Balancing measures taken immediately (e.g. Re: Taxation, labour, compromised new social security, immigration policies etc.), the itching to work or doing some physical activities for money-the sane (unsmant?) middle class will keep feeling more frustrated and sick in the coming time!
And why the present US administration cannot do better in this regard than the hoped currently non-existent one!

That’s it for me, ProPublica.  You really need to get your facts straight.  Go to the small businessmen trying to make it in Obama’s economy.  For example, ask me what 2 years of stimulus road fixing did to my business…I am shutting it down after making it through 3 recessions.  Ask companies that applied for stimulus about how the “jobs saved” figure was calculated…for example you ask for funding for an expansion that will add 30 jobs to your 100 person workforce…The government will count 100 as saved and 30 as created!  It is all smoke and mirrors.  When you start doing real investigative reporting, let me know and I’ll restart my subscription.

David Kennedy

Oct. 6, 2011, 3:40 a.m.

To thk630

You said “why not just give everyone 100k”

That was my first thought when the bank bailouts occurred.. screw the banks.. save the people - I did the math and found at least every ‘family’ in America could receive that much - and I bet it would have tremendous economic effect…

BUT

Let’s follow the thinking to it’s logical end… What would happen if everyone received 100k in the mail?  A really HUGE mess is what I bet would happen…  Some would quit their jobs.  There would be a HUGE run on merchandise.. a very irrational ‘bubble’ of purchasing.  Prices everywhere would have unpredictable changes - probably they would hyper inflate and then hyper deflate.  - and that is just the beginning.. because on a macro level - it’s practically unimaginable the consequences of that much money distributed to every citizen.  It would definitely be more effective as stimulus - but may cause absolute economic chaos.

So there’s an example of “why not”.  :)

David Kennedy

Oct. 6, 2011, 3:51 a.m.

To CarolynS

You talk about how your small business is struggling..

So that somehow makes the report here wrong.  In logic this is called a non sequitur - meaning “it does not follow”

Sorry you’re having a hard time, sorry you’re closing your businesses doors - although that has nothing to do with what this individual programs did in terms of hiring.. and I’m also sorry you possibly just don’t understand the math of it all.

First - it takes in the area of 200,000 jobs a month to be gained just to keep up with population growth.. which is wild when you consider it.  So each month even if you create 200k jobs - you just break even.  Also, the majority of the states are in a deep hole and have been cutting their pay rolls left and right - 10’s to 100’s of thousands of jobs being cut every single month.. this means even more that have to be created just to stay afloat.

No.. if a business with 100 people received stimulus and added 30 jobs.. it was not counted as “130 jobs” - unless truly the 100 would have been let go otherwise.

This was a god awful deep recession, near complete and total collapse of the system. - The fact that your business is having a hard time neither is surprising.. nor discredits any of the figures given.

David Kennedy

Oct. 6, 2011, 3:53 a.m.

A couple typos above.. - sorry, I should have proofread.

fausto chavez

Oct. 6, 2011, 9 a.m.

Ford weasn’t explicitly bailed out but it sure benefited from the other auto makes being saved from a supply chain point of view.

Dennis Vander Houwen

Oct. 6, 2011, 10:01 a.m.

We cannot expect our economy to improve just by dumping stimulus money into it. It is a short term fix at best. Unless there are some serious changes to our trade policies, “the bucket” we call “the U.S. economy” that we keep pouring stimulus money into is going to continue to leak. We need ways to keep money here in the United States. I think tax incentives for keeping factories in the United States and tax penalties for taking jobs outside of the the United States would be a good start.Just because it’s a global economy does not mean we need to cut off our noses in spite of our face. What good does it do us to have cheap goods if we can’t even afford them because there are no jobs?

I feel President Obama also needlessly extended the Bush tax cuts which has perpetuated the culture of two economies. This is a shortsighted move. Those that have profited the most from our economy pay the least. (damn, I am getting tired of saying that) As a result they have done the least to help repair the economy too. It’s time to wake up and stop playing the “I’ve got mine- I’m just fine” game. Be and American and support American business, jobs and the economy.

As has been mentioned at length…The stimulus programs certainly kept the auto industries alive however the bank bailouts carried no incentives for banks to lend the money they were given.

The programs that were put into place have done some good as patch in the bucket…however for the long term have not done much more than keep the bucket lining wet for just a little longer. The bucket still leaks disproportionately.

I agree all of the Bush tax cuts should have been rescinded as the original law allowed.  Even Alan Greenspan said tax cuts with borrowed money is bad policy.  The Bush tax cuts add $400 billion per year, plus interest, to the national debt and they are now the single biggest factor driving up the national debt.  Get rid of them.  We cannot afford huge tax cuts on a credit card with no credit limit.

To David Kennedy and thk630.

You two seriously need some math lessons.  According to the Census, there are approx 112M households in the US.  $100k per household is $11T, which is about 3X the annual budget.  So, for the “teacher bailout” of $10B each household could have gotten about $88.  I’ll sacrifice that so my kids can keep their teacher and not have to crowd into bigger classes.

What ‘stimulus money’ Dennis? It all went to the bankers and private corporations who are hoarding it or gambling again. If the stimulus money had gone to Mainstreet, Wall Street’s victims instead of the perpetrators, you’d see a different economy.

@ Carol DW You are posting in a website that tracked every stimulus dollar down to the county level.  My little county received $33 million dollars including everything from direct aid to local government to retain teachers, fireman, and law enforcement, to infrastructure projects and loans to small businesses that could not obtain loans from the too-biog-to-fail Banksters.  Surf the website.

What Is Obama’s Actual Record on Creating Jobs? - terrible, and lets leave it at that.

Nice article and interesting replies. Too bad there isn’t a parallel universe where there was no government action taken so that we could compare the difference. It is kind of like complaining about how bad your doctor is when he removes your cancerous tumor but leaves a big scar. I fear we are not out of the woods yet.

Gordon, the real shame is that there isn’t a parallel universe where the government has any kind of accountability and tracks what happens.

As I mentioned, HIRE doesn’t require that or ask if the job is being created.  If it did either, we’d know exactly how many jobs were created by the program.  Tax breaks weren’t predicated on buying American-made products.

If the RIAA can figure out who to sue for downloading a Brittney Spears song (hey, I’m not judging them…), Washington can track which jobs were created by every dollar spent.

Yes, there’s a limit to those figures.  It’s remarkably hard to tell if the guy filling the pothole on your street went out to dinner enough to warrant the restaurant hiring another waitress.  However, throwing around numbers in the millions without any backing is called “making stuff up” (or “guessing,” if you want to be very charitable) and isn’t a proper way to run a government.

Besides ending free trade and transnational and corporate welfare, something else we could (should) do is clean up intellectual property.  Patents have become useless—too vague to replicate and too sweeping to stop.  Copyright terms are absurdly long and carry strict liability, so that it’s impossible to keep something in print if you don’t know the owner.  And with deep pockets and surveillance techniques, Fair Use has been basically exterminated.

(I’ve said it before, but ProPublica deserves a huge pat on the back for releasing its articles under a Creative Commons license.  I’m not one of those creepy info-hippies, but the fact that any of us is allowed to repost the article without worrying about a lawsuit is a great move against the trend of lock-down, even—maybe especially—if one disagrees with the article.)

If we restrict patents to the novel, specific, and complete and allow some copyrights to lapse, we give people the tools to create the next generation of companies and (more importantly) culture.  As it stands now, though, you can’t build something without a lawyer and you don’t really own the books, music, movies, or software you buy at any level.  Reading is copying, so the publisher can tell you when and where you’re allowed to read.

(And with all that power, the artists and authors still only get pennies.)

In a situation like that, no wonder people outsource everything they can to China!

Whoever writes your headlines doesn’t read your articles. And it’s clear that many of your readers only read the headline. Here’s what the article said:

Auto bailout “saved more than 1 million jobs in the car industry, supply chain, and communities where auto workers spend their paychecks”

“stimulus raised the number of employed Americans by 1 million”

Extending unemployment benefits acted by “preserving about 1.6 million jobs each quarter” (because unemployed people are able to buy things)

” The program [aid to states] estimates that it has created or saved 114,407 teaching jobs so far.”

By your own count, 3.7 MILLION jobs saved or created.

The correct headline should be: “Obama record on creating jobs: significant, but not a match for the worst downturn since the Great Depresssion.”

You should include the free trade agreements negotiated with South Korea, Colombia and Panama among the Obama Administration’s job creation failures. Granted, the President has finlly sent these agreements to Congress, but only in the last few days. He held them up for two years, ignoring the estimates of the International Trade Commission and others that, if the agreements are implemented, they will generate more than 300,000 American jobs.

Barry Schmittou

Oct. 7, 2011, 1:28 p.m.

John wrote :

“the real shame is that there isn’t a parallel universe where the government has any kind of accountability and tracks what happens”

I toss and turn at night and wake up every day finding it hard to believe that the leaders of both political parties intentionally have no accountability, enforce almost no corporate violations, and when they do enforce the law they only fine the corporation a small percent of the profits from the crime.

I greatly respect the thoughts and opinions of every one who may not think this is Biblical.  I just don’t see how every agency of the U.S. and global governments can be so corrupt and engage in such intricate complex crimes worldwide unless this is the powers and principalities and wickedness in high places mentioned in Ephesians 6:12

These numbers are a disgrace

This reminds me so much of herbert Hoover’s wasteful 4 years in office , and his apologists constantly making p stories to soften the blow of his horrible term .

80 years later , Herbert Hoover is widely scorned as a presidential failure ........ 

Obama shares this legacy and will be reviled for the next 80 years


.

These numbers are a disgrace

This reminds me so much of Herbert Hoover’s wasteful 4 years in office , and his apologists constantly making up stories to soften the blow of his horrible term .

80 years later , Herbert Hoover is widely scorned as a presidential failure ........ 

Obama shares this legacy and will be reviled for the next 80 years


.

Barry,

I’d say, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself,” but I think that’s already happened. Get a life.

To Max
Whatever your fortunate county received didn’t even cover the losses in revenue, jobs, opportunity, etc. or address the increased need on human services. Almost every state is running massive deficits. Community programs, healthcare. vital services and education have been slashed across the nation.
Much of the TARP money that escaped the boney hands of Wall Street went to temporary and wasteful ‘shovel ready projects’ that benefited those with the most powerful State Legislative lobbies. As we can see from the unemployment and job growth figures the impact of the Wall Street driven policies on jobs and rebuilding the economy was nil.
This was the biggest heist by the ruling elite in US history made even worse by putting the righting of the ship of state in their felonious hands.

Barry Schmittou

Oct. 10, 2011, 10:54 a.m.

Jethro,

You attacked me while ignoring that Wachovia Bank laundered $378 billion for Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for 35,000 murders. Obama prosecuted no one !!

Based on your comment to me, you seem like the type of person who would be hateful to the family members of the murder victims if they sought justice.

Jethro, if that is your real name, I believe you are either an Obama supporter or connected with MetLife, Wachovia, or any of the other corporations who have committed multiple crimes but received no prosecutions as listed at seekingindictments.blogspot.com

I believe that is the reason you ignored the other commenters and attacked me, or maybe you like to be mean to people or bully people on the internet.

Jethro, you told me to “get a life”. I have a desperate life trying to seek justice for the tens of thousand of lives that are being destroyed by corrupt U.S. and world leaders every year.

Your entire comment is hateful considering you know nothing about me, and the fact that my life was destroyed by Obama and Bush campaign contributors as seen at mypsychologistsreport.blogspot.com

MetLife ignored my LTD claim for eye cancer for six years while I often had no money for medical treatment or additional surgeries.

Please note my Psychologist wrote :

“In light of the violations Metlife has committed against Mr. Schmittou and Metlife’s awareness of the additional harm caused him, Metlife’s actions seem irresponsible, inhumane, dangerous, and reckless.”

Obama’s DOL Directors took no action after reading my psychologists reports.

They also read the quotes from Numerous Federal Court Judges that prove Insurance Company Doctors’ ignore life threatening medical conditions including Brain lesions and Multiple Sclerosis, cardiac conditions of many patients, and a foot that a new mother broke in 5 places.

The quotes can be seen at the following website :

deadlyorganizedcrimes.blogspot.com

Obama’s DOL and DOJ Directors know that “Metlife and its henchmen” is an exact quote written by U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen that is seen at that website.

Obama’s DOL Director’s also read this quote that WFAA - TV in Dallas wrote about Workers Comp :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care. Some insurance companies send peer review doctors medical files “stripped” of records important to the possible approval of workers’ comp claims.”

Obama’s DOL Directors in Washington wrote to me saying it is their top priority to stop these violations, but they have done nothing about any of the evidence I’ve sent that is posted at treasonevidence.blogspot.com

I greatly respect the thoughts and opinions of every one who may not think the widespread corruption is Biblical.  I just don’t see how every agency of the U.S. and global governments can be so corrupt and engage in such intricate complex crimes worldwide unless this is the powers and principalities and wickedness in high places mentioned in Ephesians 6:12

Jethro, if that is your real name, you chose to single me out an attack. I am certain you have a hidden agenda. I am only taking time to respond because my true evidence must be important if it is attacked, and I want the honest people who read these comments to see the evidence, because someday we may have a real Department of Justice and the criminals in both parties of our government can be brought before Grand Juries that are supported by a real Attorney General instead of the corporate puppets that Obama and Bush appointed.

Please note in Carol’s comments immeaidately above she wrote :

“This was the biggest heist by the ruling elite in US history made even worse by putting the righting of the ship of state in their felonious hands”

Jethro, I sincerely pray God will help you to overcome your bias and see the destruction of lives that is evidenced at seekingindictments.blogspot.com and the associated links.

Nothing will ever be perfect but ‘Perfection’ is in the acts of balancing (50%‘s of opposing forces) and that’s how everything about our humanly existence is programmed.
To be honest, I assume, Obama will exactly understand what I am trying to say because he surely knows that dishonesty always to be remained in the fabric of politics and the norm was up until now: there won’t be enough honest supporters behind a honest leader, therefore, negatively powerful dishonest leader-ships will prevail.

A mistakenly believed word: “Unbold” may have the cosmic-power to modify the vulnerable by default: ‘belief-system inside each human brain’, therefore change the world (Each human, actually can see and feel own existence individually and the “Wealth and power greedy thugs have always been manipulating this secret and abused it and so far got away unchallenged after wrecklessy doing whatever whimsical evil things they had on their dumb or blind belief system”) in a peaceful and non-violent way.
(Ridiculously, I won’t talk about universal topics now.)  But I feel a strong desire in me to say: ‘Now, there is a short lasting opportunity to change the future course of global politics that is to be history of American recent Glory by as early as 2017’.
I just know that it won’t be a lucky thing should we miss this chance and let the ‘disguised new generation of old thugs’ take control of world’s trades and economy from as far as Dubai, India, China etc.!

For a better peaceful world, a fair and totally honest declaration of Amnesty will do the magic right now in regard to Assad, then only few dozens of thugs under veil: Emirs, Sheikhs and their Western business partners will take advantage of a new trend of ‘non-violent changing process in ‘Greed-money oriented global leader-ships’, in a positive chain reaction.

Why not we unanimously elect one ‘Not or less greedy’ guy to accomplish the job of positive-global-change and encourage him to selflessly take the pain of selflessly leading the world for a noble cause and to show the World once again the unique humanitarian power of Great North-America. God created resources on Earth: e.g. Oil-Dollars, like billions of Gaddafi or Emirs or Kings of Middle East can be used for establishing one benevolent dictatorial type Authority (Doing its activities in a “No Secret” and transparently visible digital methods having random access to and from each member of the Global Public.) of impartial UN power to supervise on corporate capitalism in control of ‘less tax-paying a small group of businessmen’ and balance the world wide democracy. New UN (A few more Wise guys or at least “Some like me in the Think-tank”) can only ensure ‘Tax collection from each rich guy on Earth, regardless of the color of blood: Red or blue (?), including the so called spiritual leaders, hereditary owners of natural resources, kings’ etc.

When even God-made (?) political policies e.g. Women’s voting and driving etc. in a piece of Arab Lands can be changed, then, Man-made policies of all kinds in the West are easily changeable too for the benefit of our American public today and global Public tomorrow.
The source of the knowledge is so genuine, clear and strong that no one will believe it to be true now and I shall not divulge to anyone or second or third party!
Just watch how things unfold in an unprecedented way, one by one before the now digitally interconnected World. The days of old style politics are now history! The moment any of the heads of powers starts just one killing of own or foreign Country Citizens to remain in power, a crime against Humanity gets committed and such crime approving Head, just like a ordinary Citizen: Criminal, now have to face True Justice backed by the new Global Public.
Simultaneously, in pace with the natural or cosmic weakening of all the old political platforms in disguise of religions, the old autocratic days of Emirs, Shaikhs, Kings etc. are not too far from ending.
The land piece of Syria will be “King-Free’ soon and many other lands such as Nepal, Thailand, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi, Oman etc. will be among the next ones.
The evidences (noted and automatically saved by electronic Medias, therefore, by the collective Public minds on a ongoing basis) of extremely negative cruel acts or in other words, crimes against Humanity are now not destroy-able anymore.
Brutalities like the following fact in Arab-lands, for example, now, will have great negative impacts on the future generation of declining pilgrimages in all parts of the World.

.................................

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Buying Your Vote

Buying Your Vote: Dark Money and Big Data

ProPublica is following the money and exploring campaign issues in the 2012 election you won't read about elsewhere.

Get Updates

Stay on top of what we’re working on by subscribing to our email digest.

optional

Our Hottest Stories

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •