“Obama Money”: Don’t Look a Gift President in the Mouth


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Obama Money: Urban Legend, Or Actually Available?

The U.S. Congress has binged on debt during this recession. Photo by Vcelloho

In a sense, the answer depends upon whom you ask, because as demonstrated above, there are sociological, political and economically-generated opinions and suppositions.

There are fringe elements that believe in Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster, not to mention the mainstream millions who buy Powerball tickets even when the odds of being killed by a mountain lion are greater than those of winning the lottery.

Furthermore, the metaphors become decidedly mixed — even by those that know better, like Mitt Romney — when bills are passed by the Congress to stimulate the economy or provide various types of economic relief.

For example, the omnibus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided over $800 billion in economic stimulus between spending and tax credits to ultimately benefit both individuals as well as businesses.

Over 260 separate line items provided supplemental funding ranging between $1 million and $10 billion apiece.

For businesses, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 allocated billions more for tax cuts, fee waivers and other benefits specific to small businesses, a segment hit particularly hard by the financial crisis and credit market freeze.

On the health care front, President Obama’s signature legislation (the most health care reform in nearly 50 years) entitled “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” was passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law on March 23, 2010.

Uncle Sam’s Money

Although it is fact that varying and substantial amounts of money were appropriated toward stimulus and economic recovery following the onset of the Great Recession,  the mantle was carried by the U.S. Congress, which eventually passed all three bills, and presented them to the president for signature.  Obama may have championed all three measures as well as other programs to benefit the middle class, but “Uncle Sam’s money” would be a far more accurate characterization of the billions upon billions spent.

Was the decision to spend billions of dollars in such a manner a wise choice? The effectiveness of Keynesian Economics is a complex issue, and the answer typically depends on whom you ask. Was the stimulus “Obama money”? Our President may have written a few books and won a Nobel Peace Prize, but it’s fair to say that President Obama doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of stash.


Elliott, Philip. Romney: Obama won with ‘gifts’ to certain voters(2012). USA Today. Accessed on November 30, 2012.

Business Dictionary. Gift Economy(2012). Accessed on November 30, 2012.

Newsvine. Near riot in Detroit over “Obama Money.” (2012). Accessed on November 30, 2012.

Opelka, Mike. ‘Obama Money’ Rumor Has People Lining Up in NYC … Again(2012). The Blaze. Accessed on November 30, 2012.

Grabell, Michael and Weaver, Christopher. The Stimulus Plan: A Detailed List of Spending. (2009). Pro Publica. Accessed on November 30, 2012.

Obama Care Facts. What is ObamaCare/What is Obama Care? (2012). Accessed on November 30, 2012.

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