Snap Fact #185
President Obama's "Stimulus" Act Included A "Buy American" Restriction To Promote U.S. Job Growth!
When we hear terms like "ObamaCare" and "Stimulus Package" coming from the right wing, and we don't educate ourselves to the details of the actual programs, we become the victims of cleaver framing that is meant to sway our minds by filling us with simplistic slogans that divert our attention from the actual facts. Today's SNAP-CAP is an example of one successful component of the many that have gotten lost in the rhetoric about the Stimulus Package". 

In February, 2009 President Obama signed into law The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) . The Act includes the "Buy American" restriction requiring that projects receiving ARRA funding purchase American-made goods wherever possible. There are several unavoidable exceptions to the Buy American restriction. They are all necessary because of either existing international agreements or just good common sense. This

preference for goods produced in the United States helps the American worker by saving and creating jobs. It specifically states that, regarding ARRA funded jobs, all steel, iron, and manufactured goods used as construction material in the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or a public work must be produced or manufactured in the United States 

On her Sept. 23, 2011, Diane Sawyer broadcast, ABC News reported on bridge repair contracts going to Chinese firms in three states: Alaska, New York and California. The report gave details on one project — a $7.2 billion repair of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. ABC News explained how and why the Chinese firm wound up with the contract, beginning with a decision by the California transportation department (CalTrans) not to accept federal ARRA funds for the project. ABC News interviewed a CalTrans official who said the Chinese firm could provide the fabricated bridge decks more quickly because U.S. firms don’t have enough welders. 
The broadcast failed to note, however, that only some jobs, not all, will go to China as a result of the purchase. The bright side of the picture is that many American jobs were created and taxpayers saved a bundle on the purchases, according to a story in the New York Times last June. The President can't be given credit or take blame for this project that the federal government had no part in.

Still, patently false emails were immediately circulated, quickly morphing into blaming President Obama for the "responsibility for Chinese companies building U.S. bridges with stimulus money, as reported by ABC News?" If the perpetrators took the trouble to listen to the Sawyer segment (as you can below) the could be accused of intellectual malfeasance and chicanery for twisting the reporter's words into their own knowingly false claim and making it sound accurate by referring to a legitimate news-person as their source. 

Besides illustrating an accomplishment of the Obama administration, this is a good example of how things get distorted and go viral even when the facts are just a click away. It’s true that ABC News did a report on Chinese firms winning contracts to repair U.S. bridges. But the report pointedly said the states were responsible for the decisions. Ms. Sawyer specifically mentioned that California turned down federal money so they could hire a Chinese firm. The Federal Government had no say in the matter at all, yet even today in 2012 super pac ads are still spouting the same untrue and misleading disinformation in their TV ad campaign. Disparaging e-mails are still making the rounds accusing the President of personally sending jobs to China.

The bottom line is that this ill-selected falsehood manipulates us and steers us away from the fact that under the strong leadership of President Obama 4 million American jobs have been created in America since the President took office. The reconstruction that has gone forward under the Stimulus has brought in many of those jobs. If the President had had the support of the Congress, it is reasonable to assume that many more jobs would have been created under similar stimulus programs and that we would be much further along the road to recovery.