Today’s Q’s For O’s White House

By Lindsey Ellerson

Jul 2, 2009 2:34pm

ABC News' Yunji de Nies reports:  Robert, just to follow on what Dan was saying earlier, yesterday, the president, at a health care forum, said the stimulus has done its job.  Are we to take that as an indication that the president thinks the stimulus is working?

GIBBS:  The stimulus is working.  The stimulus — the stimulus plan is injecting money into the economy.  The stimulus plan has obligated $160 billion to deal with the dip in the amount of growth. The stimulus plan is creating 1900 road and construction projects.  I think you'll hear the president say today, as he's said each and every day of his administration, that we've got a long way to go; that he's not going to be satisfied until we see positive job growth, positive economic growth.  And that's going to take some time.

de Nies:  Well, is it working fast enough?

GIBBS:  Well, again, this was a — a program over the course of spend-out, I think, 75 to 80 percent of the money over the course of two fiscal years to do so in a way that's transparent, to do so in a way that's accountable, which is what has happened in this piece of legislation.  And it's just going to take some time. We understand that.  Again, the president sees this through the eyes of the American people.  The American people are hurting.  More and more people are losing their jobs.  They're losing their health care.  They're losing their home and their opportunity.  And that's what the president is focused on each and every day.

de Nies:  But the message seems to be, well, just wait; it's coming, it's coming.

GIBBS:  Well, again, let's look at — in the second — in the second quarter of 2008, we just finished the second quarter of 2009, in the three-month average, we were losing 153,000 jobs a month.  This past quarter, it's 436,000.  Because that trend line shows that, in the third quarter, we went from averaging 153,000 a month in that quarter to 208,000.  In the fourth quarter of 2008, we had gone to 553,000 jobs a month.  In the first quarter of 2009, we were almost at 700,000 jobs lost a month including a January number, 741,000 jobs lost, which is the greatest one-month total in the history of our country.  That is not something that's going to turn around overnight.  The American people understand that; the president understands that.  That's why we've taken important steps to get the economy moving again.  Is it going to take some time?  Absolutely.  Is the president impatient for results?  You heard him say that last week when you all had a chance to ask him questions about our economy.

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