The debate over how effective -- or ineffective -- the $787 stimulus package has been continues, but the articles about it are frustrating to read because they allow contradictions of the Obama administration's defense of it to go unchecked.
For example, the administration touts the success of the stimulus for pulling America back from the brink of financial ruin, but there's widespread agreement that the actual financial collapse was prevented in the fall of 2008 when Congress reluctantly passed the bank rescue bill.
In making the case for its $787 billion stimulus, the administration said that it would prevent unemployment from rising higher than 8 percent, but here we are with a very troubling -- and possibly persistent -- 9.8 percent unemployment rate.
The administration defends today's higher unemployment rate by saying the stimulus hasn't been given enough time to work yet, and that only 14 percent of the money has been spent. If that's the case, then how could it also be true that the stimulus saved us from economic disaster? And if only 14 percent has been spent and it's worked so well, could we get the 86 percent back?
When Vice President Biden said that never in his wildest dreams would he have believed the stimulus would have worked as well as it has, I expected some collective eyebrow raising from the press. There wasn't working better than the wildest dreams, surely we don't need another stimulus, right?
Is it me, or is someone trying to have it both ways? These Jedi mind games are starting to get to me.
If the administration really thinks America needs another stimulus to end the recession, they're going to have to be straightforward about why the February stimulus hasn't worked. America is going to want answers to questions including, Where are all the shovel ready projects you talked about? Why is the unemployment rate rising when you said it would go down if we supported the package? And where are all the new green jobs?
We need policies that will help us create stable and well-paying jobs, regardless of color -- green, blue, white, whatever -- which means support for the entrepreneurs who want to build and expand their businesses. We can't at the same time raise their taxes and burden them with more regulations and expect them to hire more people. That isn't possible in anyone's dreams, wild or otherwise.
Despite the double-talk, the government has once again proven that even with $787 billion it still can't create jobs like the private sector can. Going forward, we should all be a bit more skeptical when we hear these claims.
Dana Perino currently serves as co-host of FOX News Channel's "The Five" (weekdays 5-6PM/ET). She previously served as Press Secretary for President George W. Bush. She is the author of the new book "And the Good News Is...: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side" (Twelve, April 21, 2015). Ms. Perino joined the network in 2009 as a contributor. Click here for more information on Dana Perino. Follow her on Twitter@DanaPerino.