Archive for the ‘jobs’ Category

Obama Stimulus Job Numbers for Massachusetts “Manufactured in Washington DC”

March 27, 2009

“The question to me was, ‘How in God’s name did Obama’s guys come up with these job numbers for us?’  So, being a good accountant I dove into it.”

“I think they used a ouija board.”

That’s from my friend in Massachusetts speaking about the number of jobs that would be saved there as estimated by team Obama.  The people in Massachusetts have no idea how they can ever save that number of jobs, we were told….

“They must have just manufactured these numbers in Washington DC….”

*****************

By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press Writer

State officials overseeing the federal economic stimulus program in Massachusetts say they have no idea how the White House came up with one key pledge — the promise to save or create 79,000 jobs in the state.

They say they’re not even sure how to measure saved jobs — and fear the jobs figure sets an unrealistic yardstick against which the success or failure of the program will be measured.

“The federal estimate of 79,000, we really don’t know what’s behind that, we just plain don’t,” Jeffrey Simon, Director of Infrastructure Investment in Massachusetts, told The Associated Press.

“I’m not saying it’s not 79,000, but I just don’t have any way of knowing that,” he said.

Simon and his counterparts overseeing the distribution of stimulus funds in Massachusetts said concerns about the state jobs numbers were raised at a meeting earlier this month in Washington between state and federal leaders.

Massachusetts Undersecretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez also attended the Washington meeting and said other states complained that issuing job estimates undercut the administration’s vow of transparency because it was unclear where the estimates came from.

Gonzalez said he was asked at one point how he might come up with a jobs estimate and pointed federal officials to a state task force report, but cautioned them the estimate was very rough and came with “qualifications all over it.”

He said he was surprised when the state was presented with the estimate of 79,000.

“We have no idea where that number came from and now we’re going to be measured against it,” Gonzalez told the AP. “They haven’t even decided yet how they are going to require that we measure new and retained jobs.”

Job creation has been a key selling point of the $787 billion federal stimulus package. The Obama administration said they stimulus package will save or create 3.5 million nationwide.

Critics say the numbers are fuzzy, particularly when it comes to saved jobs.

In a one-page explanation on the federal stimulus Web site, the administration said it arrived at the state numbers by using an average of three different methods of estimating job growth.

The first looks at the total working-age population of each state. (If a state accounted for 10 percent of the country’s total working age population, it was allotted 10 percent of the national job impact of the stimulus package.) The second uses a similar method based on 2007 employment records, before the beginning of the current recession.

The administration said the two methods are reasonable because states with larger populations will get a proportionately larger share of tax cuts, education spending and fiscal relief from the stimulus package.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
327/ap_on_re_us/stimulus_mass_jobs_2

Related:
Obama’s end of the beginning and possibly the beginning of the end

Stimulus: Example of More Wise Spending on “Infrastructure”?

Obama Stimulus; Fewer Jobs, Real Growth Industry is Government Counting, Regulating Jobs (Go Figure)

Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

 The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

 Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/27/no
w-they-tell-us-pt-ii-ap-really-catching-on-t
o-obama-math/

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For Obama and Geithner: Action Would Speak Louder Than What We Have Now

March 27, 2009

“People have confidence in Obama and generally want him to succeed,” says Frank Luntz, an experienced pollster. “But they don’t necessarily translate that confidence into his policies or the government.”

Bingo.

Treasury is a confidence black hole.  Why?  Because despite many efforts to point the blame at Wall Street and greedy executives, nobody has said, “The regulaters screwed up.”  Instead we have been told “we inherited this Bush mess and Bush decreased regulations so we need more regulations — we need more government.”

We don’t need more government.  We need better government and more accountability: from the President through Barney Frank and the rest in congress and to Geither and all the other bureaucrats.

Who among us thinks Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd screwed up?  Who has trust and confidence that Barney and Chris and Tiny Tim Turbo Tax and even Obama can get us out of this?

Yesterday it looks like Mr. Geithner actually fired — or at least sent into the penalty box — one of his top deputies.  Now we are getting to the issue.

Scott Polakoff at Treasury’s  Office of Thrift Supervision  is on ice: and Treasury needs to explain why and take responsibility for him and his actions and fast.

Maybe we don’t need to make more rules: maybe we need to enforce the ones we have and enforce accountability.

Recovery will be about trust and confidence.  Without that, investors hold back, businesses don’t hire and workers don’t spend.

A government mea culpa would be a good first step: and continuing this line of “we inherited” is now more than paper thin it is a sign of impotence.

“What we need today is more optimism and more confidence,” Larry Summers said.

“Consumer confidence is slightly up. The market is slightly up,” Biden said.

“We need confidence to make this recovery work,” President Obama said.

Confidence can’t be produced with fairy dust or a magic wand.  We get it the old fashioned way: we earn it.

President Obama has to take dramatic action: not giggle through an appearance on Leno and “60 Minutes” or jabber on an Internet town hall.  That may work with tweens but it is not so good with real adults with real money.

Campaigning is for wannabees.  Those with real responsibility and accountability have to act to be credible and earn trust and confidence.

Now’s the time.

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/27/
the-strange-sacking-of-a-top-treasury-official/

Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

Obama Buys Into Anger, Fear as Political Tool
Obama, Geithner, Summers Plan for “Toxic Assets” May be Toxic Itself

Obama’s public overexposure

Obama Still Thinks After Economy Recovers; Bank, Finance Good Times Can Return?

 Obama’s Economic “Rescue;” “The plan is very, very clever. Maybe too clever.”

 Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

 The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

Obama Stimulus; Fewer Jobs, Real Growth Industry is Government Counting, Regulating Jobs (Go Figure)

March 27, 2009

When President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill last month, he promised it would create or save 3.5 million jobs. Federal and state officials are ramping up efforts to count those jobs, but it won’t be easy.

In Marlborough, N.H., population 2,085, residents meet in the school gym to vote on every detail of the town’s budget for the coming year. Headlining the debate on a recent evening was a plan to dig two wells for drinking water.

NPR

At one point, a man in a leather vest steps to the microphone and asks Selectman John Northcott what sources of money might pay for this.

“We have first applied for stimulus funds from the state,” Northcott says.

In the end, residents vote in favor of digging the wells. And a stimulus job might be born.

 Stimulus: Example of More Wise Spending on “Infrastructure”?

Complicated Job Calculations

Let’s assume Marlborough gets stimulus money for all or part of the project. The federal dollars will pay for some jobs, and the contractor will send a form to the state saying how many jobs were involved and how much those jobs paid.

It sounds simple. But it isn’t.

In an office at the state Capitol in Concord, Bud Fitch flips through a fat white binder. It’s his magna carta for the federal regulations that guide his work as director of New Hampshire’s Office of Economic Stimulus.

Page 174 tells him he must count the jobs, but he’s still waiting for the pages that will tell him how. In the past, government agencies have used different approaches.

“Some would count noses. ‘How many did you hire?’ — without a lot of constraint on whether it’s full-time, part-time, low-paying, high-paying,” says Fitch. “Others would have you count hours, without consideration of how many people work those hours.”

Creating A Yardstick

What’s needed is a yardstick so that a job counted under one program will be the same as a job counted under another. Part of the complication is that not all jobs are created equal. Some are seasonal; some allow a person to work on more than one project at once, and so on.

Picking one yardstick might seem relatively easy compared to the next challenge: How do you tell the difference between a job that was saved by the stimulus and a job that would have been there anyway?

Bruce Meyer, a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, analyzes the labor supply. He says there are reasonable methods, but it’s almost impossible to know what a firm would have done if left on its own.

“They might have increased their employment even without the jobs subsidy,” he says, “because firms increase and decrease all the time.”

Keeping Tally

The agency in Washington that has to sort this out is the Office of Management and Budget. OMB’s Deputy Director, Rob Nabors, agrees that counting jobs, particularly saved jobs, is tricky.

He says agencies will use several methods. They will ask for documentation that layoffs would have occurred without the stimulus. And there will be some estimating. But Nabors says his office will be conservative.

Read the rest and here the radio broadcast:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story
/story.php?storyId=102401019&ft=1&f=1006

Related:
Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

 Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

 The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/2
7/now-they-tell-us-pt-ii-ap-really-catc
hing-on-to-obama-math/

Roubini Says Stocks Will Drop as Banks Go ‘Belly Up’

March 26, 2009

The rise in the stock market shows promise, but we at Peace and Freedom are looking for businesses to re-hire workers and for consumer spending to rebound before we hire a band and celebrate economic recovery….

*******************

From Bloomberg

U.S. stocks will fall and the government will nationalize more banks as the economy contracts through the end of 2009, said Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who predicted last year’s economic crisis.

“The stock market is a bit ahead of the real macroeconomic and financial news,” Roubini, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the chairman of consulting firm Roubini Global Economics, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in London today. “We’ll have some major banks going belly up that will need to be taken over.”

The global equity rebound in March that sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its best monthly advance in 17 years is a “bear-market rally” and U.S. Treasury yields will “remain relatively low” as investors flock to the safest assets, Roubini said. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s new plan to remove toxic debt from financial companies won’t be enough for insolvent banks, he said.

Roubini’s outlook contrasts with predictions this week from Templeton Asset Management Ltd.’s Mark Mobius and Traxis Partners LLC’s Barton Biggs, who said that equities are poised to rally as government efforts to revive the economy and banking system begin to work. Investors are “way too optimistic” about the prospects for a recovery in the economy and earnings, Roubini said.

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=
20601087&sid=aCvWs8KIIsUo&refer=worldwide

Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

March 26, 2009

The stimulus cost taxpeyers $787 billion.  It was rushed through congress to create jobs.  Few in congress even admitted to reading its 1,000 plus pages.  The stimulus authorized the AIG bonus payments that nearly eveyone since saw as “outrage.”

Thanks to Chris Dodd and Tim Geithner apparently….

Now the president said he will use that anger and outrage that he himslf and congress fueled to sell more spending: his budget.  The $3.6 trillion budget.

Did we get jobs from the stimulus or will we?

Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press said it pretty well today, “If space exploration were conducted like the job forecasts under the government’s new stimulus law, man surely would have missed the moon.”

Related:
 Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

 The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

File:Gator and Python.jpg

********************

CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer
.
WASHINGTON – If space exploration were conducted like the job forecasts under the government’s new stimulus law, man surely would have missed the moon. But this isn’t rocket science.

No promise from President Barack Obama is more important to the wounded economy than his vow to save or create some 3.5 million jobs in two years. In support of that bottom line, the government even tells states how many jobs they can expect to see from the spending and tax cuts.

But precise trajectories are impossible to plot and even approximations can be wildly off, as the authors of these forecasts acknowledge, usually more readily than the policymakers who use them to promote the plan.

Flip through the stacks of economic analyses underpinning the stimulus plan and you find a lot of throat-clearing qualifications and angst:

–“Very uncertain.”

–“Difficult to distinguish among alternative estimates.”

–“We confess to considerable uncertainty.”

–“Subject to substantial margins of error.”

In other words, who really knows?

Economic modeling may prove to be a haywire navigational device in this crisis.

“Large fiscal stimulus is rarely attempted,” Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, told lawmakers. “For those reasons, some economists remain skeptical that there will be any significant effects, while others expect very large ones.”

Zero to nirvana? Even for economists, who routinely differ among themselves, that’s a range beyond the norm.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009
0326/ap_on_go_pr_wh/stimulus_
jobs_numbers

Read Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/26/
now-they-tell-us-ap-admits-that-porkulu
s-numbers-are-bs/

Social Unrest: Hurt by Economy, Europeans Vent Their Anger

March 26, 2009

Tempers are flaring across Europe as the economic pain deepens and more people lose their jobs.

By JULIA WERDIGIER and MATTHEW SALTMARSH
The New York Times
.

French employees of the German tire maker Continental burned tires at a demonstration in Paris on Wednesday. Photo: Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

Just ask Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the ailing Royal Bank of Scotland, whose house and car were vandalized early Wednesday. Or Luc Rousselet, the manager of a 3M factory in France, who was barricaded in an office for a second day by workers demanding better severance packages for 110 employees who are being laid off.

While such instances are scattered so far, the angry mood threatens to overshadow the Group of 20 summit meeting next week in London, where world leaders hope to find approaches to the financial crisis.

Several protests are planned in London’s financial district, and the police are warning financial institutions to bolster security, cancel unnecessary meetings and keep employees inside. Bankers are being advised to wear “casual clothing” so they do not attract attention.

“A recession has all sorts of knock-on effects,” said Christopher Husbands, a professor of sociology at the London School of Economics. “Crimes go up, relationships break down and there are instances of civil disturbance.”

A nationwide strike in France last week, which drew at least 1.2 million people, was peaceful. But the government remains worried about an outbreak of violence similar to that last month in Guadeloupe, a French overseas territory, and in Greece in December.

The sense of frustration among those who lost their jobs or savings or a large part of their pension funds is fueled by reports of executives continuing to reap large rewards, as demonstrated by the outrage in the United States over bonuses paid at the American International Group. Europeans have long pointed out that pay packages of top executives in the United States are simply out of whack with the rest of the world, but their hopes of avoiding a public outcry were doused by the latest reports of inflamed local passions.

In Scotland, vandals smashed at least three windows on the ground floor of Mr. Goodwin’s house in an affluent suburb of Edinburgh and damaged a black Mercedes S600 parked in the driveway. Mr. Goodwin was not in the house at the time and no one was hurt, but the incident alarmed Britain’s business community.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is in the United States, said “there could be no excuse for people breaking the law.”

Mr. Goodwin attracted criticism for keeping his pension, worth £703,000 a year, or $1.03 million, despite a string of ill-timed acquisitions on his watch that led to the bank’s being brought under government control. He rejected calls to surrender the payment, and the government is considering legal options.

It was the first such attack on a property owned by a banking executive since the financial crisis started, but some neighbors told local newspapers they were surprised it did not happen earlier.

The author of an e-mail message sent anonymously…

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/b
usiness/worldbusiness/26anger.html?_r=1&hp

Orlando ‘Tea Party’ Rally Draws 4,000; Protests Obama,Taxes, Economy

March 22, 2009

Singer Lloyd Marcus told the crowd assembled in Lake Eola Park on Saturday that he was going to give them his take on the first days of the Obama administration.

Then he shrieked.

| Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer

That pretty much summed up the mood in the park Saturday afternoon, when more than 4,000 people attended the Orlando Tea Party, a conservative rally aimed at expressing discontent with Washington.

“This is maybe the greatest single gathering of God-fearing patriots in the history of Orlando, Florida,” local conservative radio host Bud Hedinger, who emceed the event, told the crowd.

 The attendees, many of whom said they’d heard about the rally on Hedinger’s radio show, brandished flags and homemade signs bearing slogans such as “Repeal the pork or our bacon is cooked” and “Obama lied, liberty died.”

“We’re really scared about what’s happening in our country,” said Debby Whisenand, 71, of Largo in Pinellas County. She waved a sign that read “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money” on one side, and “You can’t blame Bush anymore” on the other.

'Orlando Tea Party' attendees

Valerie Rike, 52, (left) with sister Christy Bishop, 59, attend the ‘Orlando Tea Party,’ a conservative rally Saturday at Lake Eola, downtown Orlando. (Helen Eckinger, Orlando Sentinel / March 21, 2009)

Her feelings were shared by Lisa Feroli, one of the event’s organizers, who said that a similar fear motivated her to e-mail Hedinger with the idea for the Orlando Tea Party.

“The goal was to get people united, to let people know that they aren’t alone in their feelings on despair,” Feroli said. “We want to speak out against the push toward socialization that we feel is taking place in our country.”

Several speakers addressed the crowd, estimated by Orlando police and event organizers at 4,200, on a variety of topics, including gun rights, freedom of speech, the dangers of communism and, most prevalently, the economy, especially the Obama administration’s bailout plan.

“We have had enough of massive government-driven bailout using our money,” Hedinger said, prompting the crowd to start chanting “U.S.A.” over and over.

The country’s economic woes weighed heavily on attendees, such as Ed Squire, 52, of Winter Springs. Holding a sign that read “Obama — he’s robbin U.S. not Robin Hood,” he said that he was worried about the current rate of government spending.

“There’s absolutely no way as a nation that we can sustain that kind of spending,” Squire said.

Several members of the crowd said they’d recently been laid off, including Ross Iannarelli, 66, of Port Orange, who said he’d just lost his job at an electrical-equipment company.

“They need to shove that bum out,” he said, referring to President Obama. “I hate seeing them spend my grandchildren’s money.”

Read the rest:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/
local/orl-locteaparty21032209mar2
2,0,426670.story

Related:
Geithner’s Toxic Asset, Bank Plan Offers Nothing New To A Bad Idea

Sen. Gregg says Obama budget will bankrupt US

Related:
Obama Talks Too Much: Time For Action
(Fire Geithner, for one….)

Obama Overexposed

 Threat of inflation sky high

Obama’s Katrina Moment Is Here Now

Obama Administration May Not Understand Economy

 Public Outrage Could Devour Obama Presidency

Financial Advice, Recovery, Trumped by Obama, Congress, Media, Polls
(Maybe Axelrod is giving better advice than Summers, Geithner…)

Protesters At Homes Of AIG Execs
.
Obama, Biden Chat Up Economy; Congress Talking “Stimulus II”

Rosy Talk From Obama and Gang is BS

Michelle Malkin
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/21/liveblogging-the-lexington-k
y-tea-party/

Obama’s Katrina Moment Is Here Now

March 22, 2009

A CHARMING visit with Jay Leno won’t fix it. A 90 percent tax on bankers’ bonuses won’t fix it. Firing Timothy Geithner won’t fix it. Unless and until Barack Obama addresses the full depth of Americans’ anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts, his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed. It would be foolish to dismiss as hyperbole the stark warning delivered by Paulette Altmaier of Cupertino, Calif., in a letter to the editor published by The Times last week: “President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.”

By Frank Rich
The New York Times
.
Six weeks ago I wrote in this space that the country’s surge of populist rage could devour the president’s best-laid plans, including the essential Act II of the bank rescue, if he didn’t get in front of it. The occasion then was the Tom Daschle firestorm. The White House seemed utterly blindsided by the public’s revulsion at the moneyed insiders’ culture illuminated by Daschle’s post-Senate career. Yet last week’s events suggest that the administration learned nothing from that brush with disaster.

Otherwise it never would have used Lawrence Summers, the chief economic adviser, as a messenger just as the A.I.G. rage was reaching a full boil last weekend. Summers is so tone-deaf that he makes Geithner seem like Bobby Kennedy.

Bob Schieffer of CBS asked Summers the simple question that has haunted the American public since the bailouts began last fall: “Do you know, Dr. Summers, what the banks have done with all of this money that has been funneled to them through these bailouts?” What followed was a monologue of evasion that, translated into English, amounted to: Not really, but you little folk needn’t worry about it.

Yet even as Summers spoke, A.I.G. was belatedly confirming what he would not. It has, in essence, been laundering its $170 billion in taxpayers’ money by paying off its reckless partners in gambling and greed, from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup on Wall Street to Société Générale and Deutsche Bank abroad.

Summers was even more highhanded in addressing the “retention bonuses” handed to the very employees who brokered all those bad bets. After reciting the requisite outrage talking point, he delivered a patronizing lecture to viewers of ABC’s “This Week” on how our “tradition of upholding law” made it impossible to abrogate the bonus agreements. It never occurred to Summers that Americans might know that contracts are renegotiated all the time — most conspicuously of late by the United Automobile Workers, which consented to givebacks as its contribution to the Detroit bailout plan. Nor did he note, for all his supposed reverence for the law, that the A.I.G. unit being rewarded with these bonuses is now under legal investigation by British and American authorities.

Within 24 hours, Summers’s stand was discarded by Obama, who tardily (and impotently) vowed to “pursue every single legal avenue” to block the bonuses. The question is not just why the White House was the last to learn about bonuses that Democratic congressmen had sought hearings about back in December, but why it was so slow to realize that the public’s anger couldn’t be sated by Summers’s legalese or by constant reiteration of the word outrage. By the time Obama acted, even the G.O.P. leader Mitch McConnell was ahead of him in full (if hypocritical) fulmination.

David Axelrod tried to rationalize the lagging response when he told The Washington Post last week that “people are not sitting around their kitchen tables thinking about A.I.G.,” but are instead “thinking about their own jobs.” While that’s technically true, it misses the point. Of course most Americans don’t know how A.I.G. brought the world’s financial system to near-ruin or what credit-default swaps are. They may not even know what A.I.G. stands for. But Americans do make the connection between their fears about their own jobs and their broad understanding of the A.I.G. debacle.

They know that the corporate bosses who may yet lay them off have sometimes been as obscenely overcompensated for failure as Wall Street’s bonus babies. As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, chief executives at businesses as diverse as Texas Instruments and the home builder Hovnanian Enterprises have received millions in bonuses even as their companies’ shares have lost more than half their value.

Since Americans get the big picture of this inequitable system, that grotesque reality dwarfs any fine print. That’s why it doesn’t matter that the disputed bonuses at A.I.G. amount to less than one-tenth of one percent of its bailout. Or that CNBC — with 300,000 viewers on a typical day by Nielsen’s measure — is a relatively minor player in the crash. Or that Edward Liddy had nothing to do with A.I.G.’s collapse, or that John Thain, of the celebrated trash can, arrived after, not before, others wrecked Merrill Lynch.

These prominent players are just the handiest camera-ready triggers for the larger rage. Passions are now so hot that even Bernie Madoff’s crimes began to pale as we turned our attention to A.I.G.’s misdeeds, just as A.I.G. will fade when the next malefactor surfaces.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/
03/22/opinion/22rich.html?_r=1

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

March 17, 2009

President Obama said on February 12, 2009, in Peoria, that the stimulus would allow Caterpillar to re-hire workers recently sent home.

Instead, today, March 17, 2009, Caterpillar announced a fresh round of job cuts Tuesday, laying off more than 2,400 employees at five plants in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia.

“Yesterday, Jim [Owens], the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off,” Obama said in Peoria on February 12, 2009.

But when asked if the stimulus could do that, Jim Owens said last February, “I think, realistically, no. The honest reality is we’re probably going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again.”

President Barack Obama addresses employees at the Caterpillar ... 
President Barack Obama addresses employees at the Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

****************

By DANIEL LOVERING, AP Manufacturing Writer

PITTSBURGH – Caterpillar Inc. announced a fresh round of job cuts Tuesday, laying off more than 2,400 employees at five plants in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia as the heavy equipment maker continues to cut costs amid the global economic downturn.

Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment, has seen its sales wither as the sluggish world economy and credit crises weaken demand for its products used to build everything from houses to highways. The company had expanded dramatically in recent years, helped by a building boom in developing countries.

In response to the worsening conditions, Caterpillar in January announced job cuts that will ultimately eliminate 20,000 positions. It also said it would slash executive compensation by up to 50 percent and offer buyouts to about 25,000 U.S.-based employees. Caterpillar, which employs about 112,000 people worldwide, said it had imposed a global hiring freeze.

In the latest cuts, the Peoria, Ill.-based company said 2,365 support and management workers had been laid off for at least six months and 89 workers had been let go permanently. Some 245 of the 2,365 layoffs had been announced previously.

Among the affected workers are 1,726 people at plants in East Peoria and Aurora, Ill.; 439 at a plant in Lafayette, Ind., and 289 in Jefferson and Griffin, Ga.

Shares of Caterpillar slid 32 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $26.10 in late morning trading.

Related (From Feb 13, 2009)
Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus in Peoria, Caterpillar Remarks

 Obama Says Stimulus Means Re-Hiring; CEO Says No Can Do

In this Feb. 10, 2009 file photo, Caterpillar earth moving equipment ... 
In this Feb. 10, 2009 file photo, Caterpillar earth moving equipment is lined up in Wahoo, Neb., Tuesday, Feb.10, 2009. The U.S. trade deficit plunged in January to the lowest level in six years as a deepening recession cut demand for imported goods at an even faster rate than exports.(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)

Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

March 16, 2009

State governments that contract jobs paid for with stimulus money will be required to pay workers on construction projects union wages rather than market rates — good news for workers but good news for not as many of them. 

The Office of Management and Budget included in the $787 billion stimulus bill the Davis-Bacon provision, a 1931 law typically only used on federal highway projects. But under the new spending plan, Davis-Bacon will apply to all state and local jobs on energy, housing, agriculture or construction.

Fox News

Higher costs per project mean fewer projects completed, especially since some “shovel ready” projects were bid as non-union jobs. Some local officials and economists say the union wage mandate means taxpayer dollars won’t be stretched as far as otherwise was planned.

“All this recovery money being spent, you have a lot of hands out,” said economist Jack Kyser. “And so people have said OK, this has to conform to Davis Bacon, which means prevailing wage. And so you get hung up. So as I say, you’re going to have projects, but you’re not going to have the money go as far as you’d wanted it to go.”

Los Angeles County officials who received $8 million in Community Development Block Grant money to weatherize homes for low-income people said they typically bid the job low and pay about $15 an hour for a worker to caulk windows. However, under union scale, that job pays $25 an hour and $5 in benefits, so instead of repairing 100 homes, they might do 50 homes for the same price.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100da
ys/2009/03/16/union-wage-rule-means-fe
wer-projects-completed-stimulus-cash/