A Summer of Recovery

Deputy Secretary Ron Sims

Cross posted from White House.gov

With tens of thousands of projects funded and millions of Americans on the job today, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been 16 months since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. And with so many successes so far, you might think that the Recovery Act’s greatest impact is behind us.

But it’s not.

As the summer heats up, it is becoming clear that it could quite possibly be the most active season yet when it comes to recovering our economy. There are Recovery Act-funded projects breaking ground across the country that are creating quality jobs for Americans and economic growth for businesses, large and small.

This summer is sure to be a Summer of Economic Recovery.

Today, I had the opportunity to see this first-hand during my visit to Baltimore’s Wayland Village Senior Apartments, a $13.7 million HUD Recovery Act-funded Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) project that is currently under construction. When it’s complete, this development will provide 89 quality, affordable apartments for low-and moderate-income seniors and for adults with disabilities.

Although it will be several months before these seniors will be able to move into their new affordable apartments in this building, the project is already helping hundreds of Baltimore residents. It broke ground in April, and now – just a few weeks later – there are already more than 400 people working on the site as a result. Wayland Village is a perfect example of what the Recovery Act is doing across the country to put American back to work.

It isn’t the only example, though. This summer, we’ll weatherize 82,000 homes versus 3,000 last summer – that’s 27 times as many homes this summer as last!

When it comes to the economy and job creation, our work is far from complete. But seeing Wayland Village today – and the men and women that are working on the project – it is clear to me that we are making real progress thanks to the aggressive steps President Obama took last year to repair and rebuild America’s economy.

So, with thousands of road, bridge, rail and housing projects – like the one I saw today – under construction across the country this summer, the American people will get to see first-hand the full force of Recovery Act dollars being put to work in their community – including at Wayland Village – making long-overdue infrastructure improvements, creating new opportunities for local economic growth and supporting well-paid jobs. I am proud to say that the Recovery Act is working!

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NHGOP Denounces NH Dem Candidate’s Palin Death Wish

Dem NH House Candidate Wishes Gov. Palin Was On Sen. Stevens’ Fatal Plane Crash

CONCORD – The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today denounced Democrat NH House candidate Keith Halloran’s public death wish for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The Party also called on Governor John Lynch and Congressional Candidate Ann McLane Kuster to personally denounce his hateful remarks and call for him to apologize to the Palin family.

In a Facebook post yesterday regarding the tragic plane crash that killed former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, Halloran wrote, “Just wish Sarah and Levy [sic] were on board.Levi Johnston is the father of Governor Palin’s grandson (RedHampshire, 8/11).

“Mr. Halloran’s outrageous comments are a new low, even by the standards of the New Hampshire Democrat Party,” said NHGOP Communications Director Ryan Williams. “His publicly stated death wish for Governor Palin and her family is abhorrent, and has no place in our public discourse. Governor Lynch and Ann McLane Kuster need to immediately denounce Mr. Halloran’s hateful remarks and demand that he personally apologize to the Palin family.”

Mr. Halloran served on the Rindge, NH planning board. He is running as a Democrat for State Representative this year in Cheshire County House District 7. He describes himself as “an active local citizen and supporter of NH Governor John Lynch” (Jaffrey, Rindge, Dublin Democrats Committee website). Mr. Halloran is also a prominent supporter of Second Congressional District Candidate Ann McLane Kuster.


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Memo to Republicans:  It’s Big Government, Stupid!

The suburban voters the GOP desperately needs aren’t culture warriors. But they’re mad as hell about what the Democrats are doing to the economy.

NRO – Michael Tanner

Riding a record of unprecedented government spending, rising debt, a government takeover of the health-care system, high unemployment, and proposals to tax everything they stumble across, Democrats have put themselves in position for an epic electoral defeat that will rival the Republican debacles of 2006 and 2008.

Given this record of Democratic ineptitude and the voters’ reaction to it, one would think that Republicans would be talking about these issues every day. Instead, Republicans and conservatives have spent recent weeks talking about such distracting side-issues as immigration, the 14th amendment, gay marriage, and when and where mosques should be built.

No doubt these are important issues to various constituencies. But, the merits of the issues aside, if Republicans believe that the key to victory this year is to refight the culture wars, they are mistaken.

Today, the Republican base is fired up, and Democrats are dispirited. To see how important that is, look no further back than 2008, when overall Republican voter turnout was down by 1.5 percent. Putting this in perspective, in the crucial swing state of Ohio, Barack Obama received 40,000 fewer votes in 2008 than did John Kerry in 2004. Yet, Obama carried the state while Kerry lost it.

Despite their repeated threats to stay home if Republicans deviated from a commitment to conservative social issues, it wasn’t the Religious Right that deserted Republicans in 2008 (or 2006, for that matter). Turnout among self-described members of the Religious Right remained steady from 2004 to 2008, and these voters remained loyally Republican. Roughly 70 percent of white evangelicals and born-again Christians voted Republican in 2006, and 74 percent in 2008, essentially in line with how they have been voting for the past two or three decades.

It was suburbanites, independents, and others who were fed up with the Republican drift toward big government who stayed home — or, worse, voted Democratic in 2008. Republicans carried the suburbs in both 2000 (49 to 47) and 2004 (52 to 47), but in 2008, suburban voters — notably wealthy, college-educated professionals, many of whom consider themselves moderate on social issues but economically conservative — voted for Barack Obama by a margin of 50 to 48. The switch among voters in the suburbs of Columbus, Charlotte, and Indianapolis, for instance, was largely responsible for moving Ohio, North Carolina, and Indiana into the Democratic column. Democrats also continued their gains in the more independent, libertarian West.

These independent and suburban voters are now regretting their Democratic flirtation. They didn’t vote for record deficits, the health-care bill, bailouts to banks and auto companies, or cap-and-trade. Having rejected big-government conservatism, they never realized they were going to get even-bigger-government liberalism.

But these voters are not culture warriors. Polls show that while they are fiscally conservative, and very upset by excessive government spending and rising deficits, they are socially moderate, tending toward indifference or even support on issues like gay marriage.

It is true that many vulnerable House Democrats this year represent culturally conservative districts. But those Democrats are likely to share the same positions on social issues as their Republican opponents. One is not likely to get to the right of, say, Tom Perriello (D., Va.) on social issues. But if cultural issues come to dominate the fall campaign, it could hurt Republican candidates in more moderate suburban districts — candidates like, say, Keith Fimian, who is challenging Gerry Connolly in northern Virginia. On the other hand, both Connolly and Perriello voted for the stimulus, the health-care bill, and cap-and-trade.

If one needs a template for victory, Republicans need look no further than last year’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie did not run as culture warriors. Instead they won their upset victories on issues like jobs, the economy, and a commitment to limited government.

The polls are overwhelming. Those are the issues that voters care about, not whether two men in California get married. Republicans should focus on creating jobs, reducing spending, repealing Obamacare, and cutting the size of government — and leave the culture wars for another day.

US Government Posts $165.04 Billion Total Budget Deficit In July

By Jeff Bater and Darrell A. Hughes, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. government spent itself deeper into the red last month, paying nearly $20 billion in interest on debt and an additional $9.8 billion to help unemployed Americans.

Federal spending eclipsed revenue for the 22nd straight time, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. The $165.04 billion deficit, while a bit smaller than than the $169.5 billion shortfall expected by economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires, was the second highest for the month on record. The highest was $ 180.68 billion in July 2009.

The government usually runs a deficit during July, which is the 10th month of the fiscal year. So far in fiscal 2010, the government spent $1.169 trillion more than it made. That figure is about $98 billion lower than during the comparable period a year earlier.

For all of fiscal 2009, the U.S. ran a record $1.42 trillion deficit. Fiscal 2010 might run a little higher–the Obama administration sees $1.47 trillion.

Wednesday’s monthly Treasury statement said U.S. government revenues in July totaled $155.55 billion, compared with $151.48 billion in July 2009.

Spending was higher, totaling $320.59 billion. July 2009 spending amounted to $332.16 billion.

Year-to-date revenues were $1.75 trillion, compared with $1.74 trillion in the first 10 months of fiscal 2009. Spending so far in this fiscal year is $2.92 trillion, versus $3.01 trillion in the prior period.

Spending for benefits for the unemployed year to date totaled $121.4 billion; for July, the tab was $9.8 billion, the Treasury statement said.

Years of deficit spending by Washington have led to a mounting national debt. Interest payments so far in fiscal 2010 amount to $185.25 billion; by contrast, corporate taxes collected by the government during the same 10 months were $ 139.71 billion. Interest payments in July alone were $19.9 billion.

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WSJ: Deficit in July Totals $165.04 Billion