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Press Release - President Obama's Not-So-Shovel-Ready Jobs

March 03, 2012

In March 2009, President Obama Claimed He Was "Seeing Shovels Hit The Ground" Because Of His Trillion-Dollar Stimulus:

President Obama In 2009: "We Are Seeing Shovels Hit The Ground." OBAMA: "Because of Joe, and because of all the governors and mayors, county and city officials who are helping implement this plan, I can say that 14 days after I signed our Recovery Act into law, we are seeing shovels hit the ground." (President Barack Obama, Remarks On Transportation Infrastructure, Washington, D.C., 3/3/09)

After Three Years, Even President Obama Has Admitted "Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected":

President Obama In 2011: "Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected." "Remember ‘shovel-ready projects.' Those were construction projects in the 2009 stimulus bill that were supposed to get moving right away ... ‘Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected,' Obama said." (David Jackson, "Obama Jokes About 'Shovel-Ready Projects'," USA Today, 6/13/11)

"The Term ‘Shovel Ready' Has Become An Inadvertent Badge Of Government Bureaucracy." (Kendra Marr, "'Shovel Ready' Jobs Could Take Time," Politico, 9/26/11)

The Associated Press Found That The Stimulus' Shovel-Ready Infrastructure Spending "Had No Effect On Local Unemployment." "A January 2010 Associated Press analysis of Recovery Act spending on roads and bridges ‘had no effect on local unemployment and only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry,' regardless of how many dollars lawmakers threw at the various projects." (Devin Dwyer, "Shovel-Ready, Take II: Would Obama Infrastructure Plan Create Jobs Now," ABC News, 9/8/11)

President Obama's "Shovel-Ready" Claim Wasn't His Only Broken Promise From The Stimulus:

President Obama's Advisors Initially Predicted The Stimulus Would Keep Unemployment Below Eight Percent. (Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, " The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan ," 1/9/09)

  • "The Congressional Budget Office Is Projecting Unemployment Of More Than 8% Throughout This Election Year And Into 2014." (David Jackson, "CBO Projects 8%-Plus Unemployment Into 2014," USA Today, 2/16/12)
  • Thirty-Six Straight Months Of Unemployment Above 8%: The jobless rate has been above 8% since February 2009, a thirty-six month span unequaled in recorded history. (Bureau of Labor Statistics,, 3/1/12)
  • Nearly 24 Million Americans Are Unemployed, Underemployed, Or Have Stopped Looking For Work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics,, 3/1/12)

Shortly After The Stimulus Passed, President Obama Promised That His Administration Would Guard Against "Wasteful Spending." OBAMA: "I know there are some in this chamber and watching at home who are skeptical of whether this [stimulus] plan will work. I understand that skepticism. Here in Washington, we've all seen how quickly good intentions can turn into broken promises and wasteful spending. And with a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right." (President Barack Obama, Remarks To Joint Session Of Congress, Washington, DC, 2/24/09)

  • President Obama Has Projected The "Fourth Straight Year Of Deficits Over $1 Trillion." "Obama's budget projects that the deficit for the current year will total $1.33 trillion, the fourth straight year of deficits over $1 trillion." ("Highlights Of Obama's $3.8 Trillion Budget," The Associated Press, 2/14/12)

Mitt Romney, Press Release - President Obama's Not-So-Shovel-Ready Jobs Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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