Austan Goolsbee, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, tried this weekend to reel back in the economic expectations of the administration's disastrous "Recovery Summer" campaign:
Goolsbee also said the "Summer of Recovery" touted by Vice President Joe Biden was a reference to the stimulus plan, not economic recovery.
"The vice president was talking about the Summer of Recovery in reference to the recovery act — that you would see the creation of a series of infrastructure and other projects ramping up over the summer, and you did see that," Goolsbee said.
Goolsbee is right on emphasis, but dead wrong on absolutism. The Recovery Summer was focused on highlighting that the number of stimulus-funded projects was really gonna kick in this summer. But if you think that the vice president wouldn't use that opportunity to make extravagant claims about the economy, then you don't know Joe. Here he was launching the propaganda tour:
"The fact is the Recovery Act is working," Biden told a news conference as the administration kicked off a six-week series of events called "Recovery Summer," to highlight the numerous infrastructure programs funded by the 787-billion-dollar plan.
"We've gone from hemorrhaging over 700,000 jobs a month the first several months we got here and turned on the lights in the West Wing here, to adding more—several hundred thousand jobs a month the last several months."
Biden said that the US economy as measured by gross domestic product "was shrinking at 6.4 percent the first quarter we came into office" but that it "grew three percent last quarter, and averaged four percent over the last three quarters."
Biden said the bill enacted in February 2009, of which 620 billion dollars has been allocated, is still stimulating growth and jobs.
"As a result, the Recovery Act is responsible for somewhere between 2.3 million and 2.8 million jobs that were either saved or created," he said. "So, folks, the act is working."
And remember, the administration was already practicing its endzone dance long before the Solstice. Our April 2010 cover story, "The Myth of the Recovery: The White House claims the economy is on the mend. That's a fantasy," spelled out in detail how the economy's underlying problems had not been fixed, despite all happy talk about how Stimulus=Recovery:
"The Recovery Act has created jobs and spurred growth," President Barack Obama said in a December  speech trumpeting the success of his economic policies. "We are in a very different place today than we were a year ago." Lawrence Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, concurs. "Everybody agrees that the recession is over," Summers said that same month on ABC's This Week.
To sum up: They said the stimulus would cap unemployment at 8.8%; we said it wouldn't work. They said both before and during Recovery Summer that the stimulus done greened our shoots; we were all like, nu-uh. So what are they saying now? That it's the Republicans' fault. Somehow I don't think this latest pig will fly, either.