‘Recovery Summer’ Ends With Economic Pothole : NPR

September 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Charles Dharapak/AP

President Obama meets construction workers after speaking at a Recovery Act highway project in Columbus, Ohio, in June.

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September 3, 2010

Whatever happened to recovery summer?

This was supposed to be the season the economy heated up, thanks to a wave of public works projects, funded by the government’s stimulus program. But summer is coming to an end, and the recovery has not taken root. Forecasters are expecting another gloomy employment report on Friday.

And before long, stimulus dollars will be fading like autumn leaves.

None of that is encouraging for President Obama, who launched the summer with a crew in hard hats in Columbus, Ohio, on June 18.

“Today, I return to Columbus to mark a milestone on the road to recovery: the 10,000th project launched under the Recovery Act,” Obama said, announcing a $15 million effort to widen a roadway and add bike lanes.

Recovery summer was partly designed to recover the reputation of the government’s $787 billion stimulus program. While many economists believe that program has worked to boost employment, the public is unimpressed. Advisers say by front-loading the stimulus with tax cuts and aid to states, they were able to get the money out quickly, but at the expense of visibility.

“As happened with many decisions, pragmatism won out,” said outgoing White House economic adviser Christina Romer this week. “We agreed that many of the things that would improve the economy fastest were unglamorous measures … many of which don’t come with Recovery Act signs or easily identifiable links to the act. It has been hard for people to see what the act has done.”



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