Today is no exception.
The Trib say: North Shore connector - bad, Coburn-McCain report - good.
The P-G? As you might expect, sees things differently.
Since the overlap begins with the Coburn McCain report, we'll start there.
Laurel: To Tom Coburn and John McCain. The Republican U.S. senators, of Oklahoma and Arizona, respectively, list Pittsburgh's North Shore Connector as the nation's third-worst waste of federal "stimulus" money. And what a waste it is. Its benefits were oversold. It's dramatically over budget. And it's a monument to both the state in ineptness and the ineptness of the state. It is "waste" incarnate.And the P-G:
Don't mistake the report this week by Republican Sens. John McCain and Tom Coburn for an economic analysis of the federal stimulus. "Summertime Blues" is a political stunt, designed to make the stimulus sound foolhardy by belittling and mischaracterizing projects it has funded.As usual in supporting it's position, the Trib relies on some Scaife-funded think tank without ever declaring his support for that think tank. In this case the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy is referenced twice. You get what you pay for, I guess.
In it's defense of the Stimulus bill, the P-G points out:
It begins with an oversimplification, long stated by opponents of the $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that "Eighteen months since the law's passage, millions of jobs are still gone and the economy is as uncertain as ever."In doing so, they left something out.
That conclusion ignores countervailing findings, such as those issued last week -- by a former McCain adviser who is chief economist for Moody's investment service as well as Princeton economist Alan Blinder -- which said the stimulus program and the bank bailout likely averted a depression.
The CBO (that's the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, for you newbies) has declared that the stimulus package:
- Raised the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.2 percent,
- Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points,
- Increased the number of people employed by between 1.2 million and 2.8 million, and
- Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 1.8 million to 4.1 million compared with what those amounts would have been otherwise. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers.)
When Congress passed the $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, otherwise known as the stimulus bill, it passed with assurances that it would stem the loss of American jobs and keep the economy from floundering. As most can see, it hasn’t.
Eighteen months since the law’s passage, millions of jobs are still gone and the economy is as uncertain as ever. The only thing getting a boost is our national debt – the stimulus has helped push it 23 percent higher, to $13.2 trillion, a new record.You know they're just spinning. And that everything that follows is just a part of the spin. The facts may be true, but as the frame is skewed, so is the conclusion.
As the P-G points out:
No one is suggesting that every dollar of stimulus money has been spent wisely, but this report starts with a weak hypothesis supported by exaggeration. There ain't no cure for this "Summertime Blues."As it's Friday and Fridays should be fun, here's some Eddie Cochran:
UPDATED to include the frickin link to the CBO report