Not a Unified Field Theory of Arnold Schwarzenegger
Rain in San Francisco on June 27...

The Obama Administration Is Doing All It Can to Boost Employment: For the Virtual Green Room

Questioned by David Dayen: Small Business Lending Fund: No Money Spent in Nine Months:

I don’t think we’re making enough out of incompetence as a primary reason we’re mired in a zero-growth decade....

Nearly nine months after its formation, a $30 billion government fund to foster small-business lending has yet to pay out a single dime, even as the nation struggles with traumatic levels of unemployment. Now, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) wants an explanation. And as chairman of the Small Business Committee, he hopes his sole witness at a hearing Wednesday — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner — can shed some light on the holdup. “This isn’t a witch hunt in any sense of the word,” Graves said. “We’re just trying to figure out why the fund isn’t performing as advertised.”

Yes, I would like to know the same thing. This was one of the few successful bills passed that had anything to do with jobs last year. In theory, it was supposed to use $30 billion to lever up to $300 billion in small business lending through community banks. When it was signed last September, the theory was it could help create 500,000 jobs. There has not been a lack of effort: 844 businesses have applied for $11.6 billion from the Small Business Lending Fund, according to Politico....

UPDATE: Sen. Jeff Merkley was one of the leaders who got the small business lending bill passed last year. I asked his office about this story today. “Senator Merkley has been extremely frustrated with the slow pace of Treasury in setting up the Small Business Lending Fund – and urged Treasury last month to pick up the pace,” they said. You can read Merkley’s letter to Treasury here. Simply put, Merkley’s office believes this fund should be the highest priority at Treasury, especially with unemployment so high, and he doesn’t see that kind of commitment yet.

Rebuttals to talking-points misinformation that I want to have at the forefront of my brain--for when I am surprised, as I will be, by an unexpected question from an unexpected direction while talking to reporters, phone callers, passers-by, radio interviewers, cable TV interviewers, etc....

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