Breaking His Own Law

Obama fails to release mandated stimulus reports


The president’s administration is not providing the legally mandated reports on the stimulus money, the Weekly Standard has reported.

The $831,000,000,000 economic "stimulus" that President Obama spearheaded and signed into law requires his administration to release quarterly reports on its effects.  But "the most transparent administration in the history of our country" is now four reports behind schedule and has so far not released any reports whatsoever in 2012.  Its most recent quarterly report is for the quarter than ended on June 30, 2011. …

Section 1513 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "stimulus") explicitly states, "In consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers shall submit quarterly reports to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and House of Representatives that detail the impact of programs funded through covered funds on employment, estimated economic growth, and other key economic indicators." …

In other words, the Obama administration is required by law to submit quarterly reports on the "stimulus" through the third quarter of 2013.  Yet the administration has apparently found it more convenient to stop after the second quarter of 2011 — more than two years early.  Or perhaps it has just decided to put the release of these reports on hold until after the election.  Either way, the Obama administration is now in violation of the president’s most prominent piece of legislation this side of Obamacare.

The Standard speculates about why the administration has not issued the reports.

Why would the administration not want to release these reports?  Presumably because they have shown what a colossal waste of taxpayer money Obama’s "stimulus" has been.

In January 2010, Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors reported that, using "mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus" (which it described as a "natural way to estimate the effects of" the legislation), the "stimulus" had at that point cost $263.3 billion and had added or saved about 1.8 million jobs, whether private or public.  In other words, for every $148,000 in taxpayer money that had gone out the door, only one job had been added or saved — according to an estimate from Obama’s own economists.

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