Monday, June 8, 2009

Pres. Obama Catching Heat Over Continued Job Losses

President Barack Obama assured the nation hisrecovery plan was on track Monday, scrambling to calm Americans unnerved by unemployment rates still persistently rising nearly four months after he signed the biggest economic stimulus in history.

Obama admitted his own dissatisfaction with the progress but said his administration would ramp up stimulus spending in the coming months. The White House acknowledged it has spent only $44 billion, or 5 percent, of the $787 billion stimulus, but that total has always been expected to rise sharply this summer.

"Now we're in a position to really accelerate," Obama said.

He also repeated an earlier promise to create or save 600,000 jobs by the end of the summer.

Neither the acceleration nor the jobs goal are new. Both represent a White House repackaging of promises and projects to blunt criticism that the effects haven't been worth the historic price tag. And the job estimate is so murky, it can never be verified.

The economy has shed 1.6 million jobs since the stimulus measure was signed in February, far overshadowing White House announcements estimating the effort has saved 150,000 jobs. Public opinion of Obama's handling of the economy has declined along with the jobs data.


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