(CNN) - The Obama administration stepped up its defense of the controversial $862 billion economic stimulus plan Tuesday, releasing an analysis which concludes that the measure is helping to spark major technological advances in energy production, among other things.
According to the analysis, the package's $100 billion "innovation" investment has helped put the United States on track to cut the cost of solar power by 50 percent in the next five years.
The report also predicts that the cost of electric vehicle batteries will drop 70 percent by 2015. The country's total capacity to generate renewable energy, it says, will double by 2012.
Additionally, the analysis says that medical investments funded by the Recovery Act will lower the cost of a personal human genome map to under $1,000 over the next five years - a development that could have significant ramifications for health care.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday offered economic projections that will inform lawmakers tackling one of the most controversial issues they face: how to balance the need to help the economy and curb U.S. debt.
If the Bush tax cuts for the majority of Americans and stimulus spending are allowed to continue, economic growth could be higher and unemployment lower in the near term than if the tax cuts and stimulus efforts expired as scheduled, CBO projected. But deficits would be higher.
"[It would provide] a considerable boost to economic activity in 2011 and beyond for a few years," said CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf. "Over time, [however,] the negative consequences of very high federal borrowing build up."
(CNN) – President Barack Obama will visit Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, on Monday to tour ZBB Energy Corporation and deliver remarks to workers, a White House official said. The company is using a $1.3 million Recovery Act State Energy Program loan to help fund a $4.5 million factory renovation.
The renovation is expected to result in the hiring of 80 new workers and triple the capacity to manufacture flow batteries and power systems, the official said.
ZBB exports renewable power and storage systems worldwide. The loan is part of the $55.5 million in Recovery Act State Energy Program funding that Wisconsin is using to invest in clean energy manufacturing.
Washington (CNN) – Monkeys on cocaine. New windows for a closed visitor's center. Modern dance as a tool for software development.
A report released Tuesday by conservative Sens. Tom Coburn and John McCain cited these and 97 other projects as leading examples of misguided or wasteful spending under the Obama administration's $862 billion economic stimulus bill.
Titled "Summertime Blues," the report is the third by the two senators targeting projects that they say fail to meet the job-creation goal of spending under the Recovery Act of 2009.
The report highlights the extraordinary "waste and mismanagement" of taxpayer dollars, said McCain, R-Arizona. The stimulus plan "was supposed to create jobs. It does not."
(Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET)
New York (CNNMoney.com) - There's at least one stimulus program that's creating jobs and winning praise from both sides of the political aisle.
A little-known Recovery Act initiative is expected to put more than 200,000 unemployed people back to work in 32 states and the District of Columbia. It's called the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Fund, and it subsidizes jobs with private companies, nonprofits and government agencies.
But the $5 billion it receives runs out on Sept. 30, even though employers and state officials administering the money say there's lots more demand out there.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The job market and economy need a serious jumpstart, but the stimulus program likely won't be able to do it.
This summer will be the peak of the $787 billion stimulus program in terms of creating jobs and pumping money into the economy. In fact, the Obama administration is calling it the Summer of Recovery because more than 30,000 miles of highways are being improved, more than 2,800 water projects have been started and 120,000 homes will be weatherized.
After that, it will be a downhill slide for stimulus even as the economy is expected to continue sputtering.
Columbus, Ohio (CNN) - President Obama may love visiting Ohio, but he doesn't always stay long.
Friday's visit to Columbus for a groundbreaking ceremony marking the 10,000th road construction project using stimulus money was Obama's eighth visit to the state since taking office. He joked, "[Gov. Ted] Strickland said I've been in Ohio so much, he might start charging me for it."
But if he is charged by the minute, today's bill would be a small one.
He walked down the steps of Air Force One at Port Columbus International Airport at 11:33 a.m. He began speaking at the construction site on Columbus's southeast side at 11:55am, talking for 13 minutes.
After a quick tour and witnessing the groundbreaking ceremony out of the site of cameras, he was headed back to the airport. And at 12:31 p.m., he bounded up the stairs and waved as he disappeared back into the plane.
Elapsed time: 58 minutes.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama heads back to Ohio Friday, his eighth trip to the politically important state since assuming the presidency a year and a half ago.
The mission for this latest visit is to help kick off what the White House calls "Recovery Summer," a six week long push to highlight what the administration says will be a summer and fall of job creation fueled by a surge in federal stimulus spending across the country. Obama travels to Columbus, Ohio, to mark the groundbreaking of what's touted as the 10,000 Recovery Act road project to get underway.
The president was last in Ohio on May 18, when he defended the federal stimulus and tore into political opponents for what he claimed is political hypocrisy and a defense of failed policies. Obama spoke at a steel pipe plant in Youngstown, Ohio that used funds from the Recovery Act to add more than 300 jobs.
Obama's first visit to Ohio as president, on March 6 of last year, was also to tout the stimulus. The president attended a police class graduation in Columbus that was made possible in part due to federal funding from the Recovery Act.
The stimulus, which is formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was designed to stimulate the country's economy by increasing federal government spending and cutting taxes at a total cost to the government of $862 billion.
Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden Thursday helps kick off what the White House calls "Recovery Summer," a six week long push to highlight what the administration says will be jobs created this summer and fall by a surge in federal stimulus spending across the country.
The vice president, who oversees implementation of the Recovery Act, gives a report later Thursday to President Barack Obama that lays out a projected spike in stimulus activity and how it will contribute to what the White House says will be a steady climb to 3.5 million Recovery Act jobs by the end of the year.
On Friday, Obama travels to Columbus, Ohio, to mark the groundbreaking of what's touted as the 10,000 Recovery Act road project to get underway.
On Monday, Biden visits Midland, Michigan, for the groundbreaking of a new advanced battery manufacturing facility, which was made possible by a $161 million stimulus grant awarded last year.
In addition to the Obama and Biden events, the White House says that five Cabinet Members and other senior officials will hold kickoff ceremonies across the country Thursday and Friday, which they say are the first of over two dozen site visits and groundbreakings Administration officials will participate in across the country in the weeks ahead.
(CNN) – Mitt Romney was not shy Monday about bashing President Obama's stimulus package, but he would not say whether he would have accepted the federal funds had he been governor when the money was doled out to the states.
Romney appeared in Florida to campaign for Senate candidate Marco Rubio, and did a round of interviews with local television networks following a joint rally with the candidate in Tampa.
In a sit-down with CNN affiliate WTSP, the once and possibly future presidential candidate was asked if he would have accepted stimulus money last year if he were governor of Florida. Gov. Charlie Crist, trailing Rubio in the Republican Senate primary, endorsed the stimulus plan and accepted the funds last year.
"What I would not have done would have been to welcome President Obama and say, 'This stimulus is one I support,'" the former Massachusetts governor said. "The Obama stimulus was a mistake for the country. It was a mistake for Florida. It did not create any new net jobs in the private sector. The only place it created jobs was in government."
Pressed again on whether he would have taken stimulus cash, Romney said: "It depends on what the money was."