President Barack Obama is announcing Monday that he is ramping up stimulus spending exponentially in the next three months, allowing the administration to “save or create” 600,00 jobs — four times as many as during the first 100 days since he signed the bill.
The spending plans include National Parks, summer youth jobs, veterans’ medical centers, police and teachers.
Obama will make the announcement during a late-morning Cabinet meeting, when Vice President Joe Biden will present a Roadmap to Recovery, which the White House calls “an Administration-wide effort to accelerate implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in its second 100 days.”
“As a result of this accelerated pace of activity, over 600,000 jobs are expected to be created or saved by the Recovery Act in the second 100 days,” compared with roughly 150,000 in the first 100 days, the White House said.
While the administration is sensitive to criticism that stimulus spending has been too slow, a new Gallup Poll shows danger in the other direction. For the first time, a majority of respondents disapprove of Obama on the issue of “controlling federal spending” (51 percent to 45 percent), compared to the 67 percent who view him favorably overall.
Could “deficit politics” return as the economy steadies? The poll suggests that the nation’s exploding red ink could be an issue in next year’s midterm congressional races.
Obama also will face increasing questions not only about the deficit explosion, but uncertainty about the effectiveness of the $787 billion stimulus bill. Republicans say the “save or create” metric for jobs is meaningless, since it’s impossible to prove or disprove.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a quote provided to POLITICO: “I’m very skeptical that the spending binge that we’re on is going to produce much good and, even if it does, anytime soon.”
In prepared remarks, Obama declares: “We have a long way to go on our road to recovery but we are going the right way. Our measure of progress is the progress the American people see in their own lives. And until that progress is steady and solid; we’re going to keep moving forward. We will not grow complacent or rest. Surely and steadily, we will turn this economy around."
The vice president said in a statement: “We’ve laid a good foundation in the first 100 days of the Recovery Act and in the next 100 we plan to build on that foundation and accelerate our efforts so we can accomplish even more. We’re going to get more dollars out the door, more shovels into the ground and more money into the pockets of workers and families who need it most.”
The White House is launching WhiteHouse.gov/Recovery, a new webpage “that will allow the public to follow America’s Recovery story and hear from people across the country whose lives are being influenced by the Recovery Act. “
“The new site provides snapshots of Recovery Act dollars at work, the latest Recovery news and opportunities for visitors to share their Recovery stories through comments, photos and videos, while Recovery.gov remains the go-to site for tracking Recovery Act spending,” the White House said.
Here are the projects to be spotlighted by the administration:
—Enable 1,129 Health Centers in 50 States and 8 Territories to Provide Expanded Service to Approximately 300,000 Patients – Department of Health and Human Services
—Begin Work on 107 National Parks – Department of the Interior
—Begin Work on Rehabilitation and Improvement Projects at 98 Airports and Over 1,500 Highway Locations throughout the Country – Department of Transportation
—Fund 135,000 Education Jobs Including Teachers, Principals and Support Staff – Department of Education
&mdas;Begin Improvements at 90 Veterans Medical Centers across 38 States – Department of Veterans Affairs
—Hire or Keep on the Job Approximately 5,000 Law Enforcement Officers – Department of Justice
—Start 200 New Waste and Water Systems in Rural America – United States Department of Agriculture
—Begin or Accelerate Cleanup Work at 20 Superfund Sites from the National Priority List - Environmental Protection Agency
—Create 125,000 Summer Youth Jobs – Department of Labor
—Initiate 2,300 Construction and Rehabilitation Projects at 359 Military Facilities across the Nation - Department of Defense