If the criticism of you is that you’re all talk and no action, I’m not sure that a long speech is really going to help, no matter how emphatically you deliver it.
President Obama spent a large portion of the beginning of his speech last night defending the stimulus and insisting that it was indeed working wonders:
Because of the steps we took, there are about 2 million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed. Two hundred thousand work in construction and clean energy, 300,000 are teachers and other education workers. Tens of thousands are cops, firefighters, correctional officers, first responders. And we’re on track to add another one-and-a-half-million jobs to this total by the end of the year.
The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. That’s right — the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill. Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster. But you don’t have to take their word for it. Talk to the small business in Phoenix that will triple its work force because of the Recovery Act. Talk to the window manufacturer in Philadelphia who said he used to be skeptical about the Recovery Act, until he had to add two more work shifts just because of the business it created. Talk to the single teacher raising two kids who was told by her principal in the last week of school that because of the Recovery Act, she wouldn’t be laid off after all.
Talk to all of those folks after next Friday’s jobs report and let’s see how cheery they, and other Americans, are about what they’re getting for their $787 billion. And Mr. President, if you’re going to fight with anecdotes, you might as well give us some names.