But Wait, There's More! Time Magazine's Stimulus Pitchman
Billy Mays would be proud.
On August 26, Time magazineâs websiteâs lead with a story titled âHow the Stimulus is Changing America,â a 27 paragraph infomercial arguing the stimulusâs goal is a âlong-term push to change the countryâ and the âbattle over the Recovery Actâs short-term rescue has obscured its more enduring mission.â
Reporter Michael Grunwald parroted every White House stimulus talking point, arguing the stimulus is everything from an âall-out effort to exploit the crisis to make green energy, green building and green transportation realâ to calling it Obamaâs âreal down payment on change.â Grunwaldâs major selling point is the green energy provisions within the bill.
âFor starters, the Recovery Act is the most ambitious energy legislation in history, converting the Energy Department into the worldâs largest venture-capital fund,â wrote Grunwald.
Grunwald couldnât 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:
âCritics have complained that while the New Deal left behind iconic monuments â courthouses, parks, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Grand Coulee Dam â this New New Deal will leave a mundane legacy of sewage plants, repaved roads, bus repairs and caulked windows, â Grunwald wrote. âIn fact, it will create new icons too: solar arrays, zero-energy border stations, an eco-friendly Coast Guard headquarters, an âadvanced synchrotron light sourceâ in a
Grunwald gushed over a âbrave new world of electric carsâ and âthe green industrial revolutionâ 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 couldnât 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 couldnât find any negatives in the massive outlay of taxpayer money and the incursion of crushing debt.
âBut itâs main legacy will be change,â Grunwald wrote. âThe stimulus passed just a month after Obamaâs inauguration, but it may be his signature effort to reshape
âProponents pretend to have a crystal ball when it comes to energy policy,â said DeHaven. âOver the past thirty years, theyâve [federal government] funded boondoggle after boondoggle and they donât put their faith in individuals.â
DeHaven added the biggest argument with the stimulus shouldnât be over job creation or long-term energy solutions but about the expansion of government.
âThe primary issue is the role of government and the opportunity cost of money transferred from the private sector to the public sector,â DeHaven said.
Allowing a trusty pitchman-reporter to promote a green agenda fit with Time magazineâs left-wing environmentalist editorial position, having declared war on global warming and offered 51 ways to save the planet but eschewed energy market imperatives.