- Obama said the stimulus bill will create or save 4 million jobs. Perhaps he misspoke, but the distinction = 4 million jobs.
- The bill may lack earmarks, as Obama repeatedly boasted, but that doesn’t mean it’s pork-free.
There are no “earmarks,” as they are usually defined, inserted by lawmakers in the bill. Still, some of the projects bear the prime characteristics of pork – tailored to benefit specific interests or to have thinly disguised links to local projects.
For example, the latest version contains $2 billion for a clean-coal power plant with specifications matching one in Mattoon, Ill., $10 million for urban canals, $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars, and $255 million for a polar icebreaker and other “priority procurements” by the Coast Guard.
Still, Obama had a good night. He was well-informed and persuasive, a dramatic reversal from his predecessor. Forget whether Bush was “smart”; he didn’t communicate well and rarely inspired confidence.
Obama does, though some questions remain unanswered.