But Wait, There's More! Time Magazine's Stimulus Pitchman
Billy Mays would be proud.
On August 26, Time magazine‚Äôs website‚Äôs lead with a story titled ‚ÄúHow the Stimulus is Changing America,‚ÄĚ a 27 paragraph infomercial arguing the stimulus‚Äôs goal is a ‚Äúlong-term push to change the country‚ÄĚ and the ‚Äúbattle over the Recovery Act‚Äôs short-term rescue has obscured its more enduring mission.‚ÄĚ
Reporter Michael Grunwald parroted every White House stimulus talking point, arguing the stimulus is everything from an ‚Äúall-out effort to exploit the crisis to make green energy, green building and green transportation real‚ÄĚ to calling it Obama‚Äôs ‚Äúreal down payment on change.‚ÄĚ Grunwald‚Äôs major selling point is the green energy provisions within the bill.
‚ÄúFor starters, the Recovery Act is the most ambitious energy legislation in history, converting the Energy Department into the world‚Äôs largest venture-capital fund,‚ÄĚ wrote Grunwald.
Grunwald couldn‚Äôt contain himself, hyping everything from electric cars to wind turbines to smart electric meters in homes. He compounded his liberal bias by claiming the Recovery Act could be a green New Deal:
‚ÄúCritics have complained that while the New Deal left behind iconic monuments ‚Äď courthouses, parks, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Grand Coulee Dam ‚Äď this New New Deal will leave a mundane legacy of sewage plants, repaved roads, bus repairs and caulked windows, ‚Äú Grunwald wrote. ‚ÄúIn fact, it will create new icons too: solar arrays, zero-energy border stations, an eco-friendly Coast Guard headquarters, an ‚Äėadvanced synchrotron light source‚Äô in a
Grunwald gushed over a ‚Äúbrave new world of electric cars‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúthe green industrial revolution‚ÄĚ but never mentioned any drawbacks about green industry. Specifically, the simple fact that green cars are not popular in the marketplace and the costs of green technology are expensive, which businesses would pass on to the consumer.
While he mentioned the existence of critics of the stimulus, Grunwald apparently couldn‚Äôt find one for quotation. Official stimulus boosters like Vice President Joe Biden, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and soon-to-be-former Obama Council of Economic Advisers chair Christina Romer were freely quoted. Clearly, Grunwald just couldn‚Äôt find any negatives in the massive outlay of taxpayer money and the incursion of crushing debt.
‚ÄúBut it‚Äôs main legacy will be change,‚ÄĚ Grunwald wrote. ‚ÄúThe stimulus passed just a month after Obama‚Äôs inauguration, but it may be his signature effort to reshape
‚ÄúProponents pretend to have a crystal ball when it comes to energy policy,‚ÄĚ said DeHaven. ‚ÄúOver the past thirty years, they‚Äôve [federal government] funded boondoggle after boondoggle and they don‚Äôt put their faith in individuals.‚ÄĚ
DeHaven added the biggest argument with the stimulus shouldn‚Äôt be over job creation or long-term energy solutions but about the expansion of government.
‚ÄúThe primary issue is the role of government and the opportunity cost of money transferred from the private sector to the public sector,‚ÄĚ DeHaven said.
Allowing a trusty pitchman-reporter to promote a green agenda fit with Time magazine‚Äôs left-wing environmentalist editorial position, having declared war on global warming and offered 51 ways to save the planet but eschewed energy market imperatives.