The Recovery Act

The story of the economic recovery package (photos)

Posted by Macon Phillips on February 16, 2009 at 03:33 PM EDT
As President Obama says, the economic recovery package is just one of three “legs of the stool” — a milestone, but an early one, the very beginning of the long process of fixing the economic crisis we inherited.
Tomorrow we’ll mark the end of that beginning, as President Obama travels to Denver, CO to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that the House and Senate approved last Friday.
Over the past few weeks, the President spent some time with Americans across the country who are hurting because of this crisis. And the team has been working around the clock, meeting with House members, Senators, and governors — Democratic and Republican alike — to build and pass the recovery package.
Along the way, White House photographer Pete Souza, whose job it is to visually document everything the President does, has captured some pretty incredible behind-the-scenes images. It’s a glimpse of the President and of the White House that you don’t usually get to see.
Flip through the photo gallery below — then take a look at the finished product and offer your thoughts.

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Where Is The Recovery? A Higher Percentage Of Americans Had Jobs Three Years Ago

Where Is The Recovery?If you think that the latest employment numbers are good news, you might want to look again.  In April 2013, 58.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  But three years ago, in April 2010, 58.7 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Well, you may argue, that is not much of a difference.  And that is precisely my point.  The percentage of Americans that have a job fell like a rock during the last recession.  It dropped from about 63 percent all the way down to below 59 percent, and it has stayed below 59 percent for 44 months in a row.  So where is the recovery?  This is the first time in the post-World War II era that the employment-population ratio has not bounced back after the end of a recession.  So anyone that tells you that we are experiencing an employment recovery is lying to you.  Yes, the U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs last month.  But it takes nearly that many jobs just to keep up with population growth.  The truth is that we are just treading water.

So why has the unemployment rate been going down?  Well, it is because the government has been pretending that millions upon millions of unemployed Americans “don’t want jobs” anymore.  In fact, an astounding 9.5 million Americans have “left the workforce” since Barack Obama took office.

Some in the mainstream media have started calling them “missing workers”.  But whatever label you want to use, the reality of the matter is that they are really hurting.  They are part of the reason why food stamp enrollment has soared from 32 million to more than 47 million while Barack Obama has been in the White House.

If you still believe that the employment market is getting better, just look at the following numbers.  The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been sitting at about the same level for four years in a row…

April 2008: 62.7 percent

April 2009: 59.8 percent

April 2010: 58.7 percent

April 2011: 58.4 percent

April 2012: 58.5 percent

April 2013: 58.6 percent

So why is everyone getting so excited over the latest numbers?  When you step back and look at what has happened to the employment-population ratio over the past decade it really is quite horrifying…

Employment-Population Ratio 2013

So exactly what part of that chart are we supposed to get excited about?

Yes, I suppose that we should be thankful that the percentage of Americans with a job has not continued to decline over the past few years.  Unfortunately, the next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching and that is going to make our employment crisis far worse.

A recovery was supposed to already happen by now.  Now we are running out of time before the next major downturn strikes.


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Reform & Fiscal Responsibility


President Obama has led the way on structuring the government to live within its means through a balanced approach that protects key priorities and ensures that everyone pays their fair share.
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Five Things You SHould Know

In 2011, President Obama signed a bipartisan compromise that cut nearly $1 trillion in spending over the next decade, reducing discretionary spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy since Dwight D. Eisenhower was president while protecting job-creating investments like education and research. Learn more


As part of President Obama’s plan to create a 21st regulatory system, government agencies have identified over 580 proposals to reduce regulatory costs and streamline federal regulations. Just a fraction of those reforms will save more than $10 billion over the next five years and eliminate tens of millions of hours of paperwork. Learn more (PDF)


The Affordable Care Act provides new tools to help crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs. Already, the number of individuals charged with criminal fraud increased from 797 in 2008 to 1,430 in 2011. Learn more (PDF)


The Buffett Rule is a principle of tax fairness that asks everyone to pay their fair share by making sure that no household making more than $1 million each year pays a smaller share of in their income in taxes than a middle class family pays. Learn more


The Campaign to Cut Waste is hunting down and eliminating misspent tax dollars across the federal government, already identifying $3 billion in information technology cost reductions, shutting down hundreds of duplicative data centers, and getting rid of excess federal real estate. Learn more


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