Michelle Malkin
On Feb. 17, 2009, President Obama promised the sun and the moon and the stars. That was the day, five years ago, when he signed the $800 billion "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act." President Modesty called it "the most sweeping economic recovery package in our history." He promised "unprecedented transparency and accountability." He claimed the spending would lift "two million Americans from poverty." Ready for the reality smackdown?

The actual cost of the $800 billion pork-laden stimulus has ballooned to nearly $2 trillion. At the time of the law's signing, the unemployment rate hovered near 8 percent. Obama's egghead economists projected that the jobless rate would never rise above 8 percent and would plunge to 5 percent by December 2013. The actual jobless rate in January was 6.6 percent, with an abysmal labor force participation rate of 63 percent (a teeny uptick from December, but still at a four-decade low).

Five years after the Recovery Act, 10.2 million people are out of work. The number of able-bodied Americans who have simply given up looking for work or are "not in the labor force (but) who currently want a job" has exploded. By some estimates, a record 90 million-plus people are hopelessly sitting on the sidelines.

The unemployment rate for black Americans is 12.1 percent: nearly double the national rate. The Obama campaign excoriated President George W. Bush when it exceeded 10 percent under his watch. The black teen jobless rate is now a whopping record 38 percent. Some 50 million Americans remain below the poverty level. And 47 million are now on food stamps, a third more than when Obama first took office in the halcyon days of Hope and Change.

After $150 billion in stimulus and other spending on green energy boondoggles, what does the White House have to show for it? According to The Green Corruption Files blog, 32 Obama-backed environmental firms have gone bankrupt as of February 2014. These include crony-clogged Solyndra at a cost to taxpayers of $535 million; Beacon Power, $240 million; Abound Solar, $400 million-plus; Fisker Auto, $529 million; A123, $250 million; ECOtality, $100 million; and Ener1, $118.5 million. In addition, 22 other Obama green energy projects are now in dire financial trouble.

Unprecedented transparency? Section 1513 of the Recovery Act required the White House to submit a progress report every three months. Last year, blogger Doug Powers noted: "Under their own guidelines, the administration should have released 14 of these reports by now, but they've only submitted eight of them for public review." Whatevs.


Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

©Creators Syndicate