Economy Alarm: After a Year of Big-Government and More Spending, Where are the Jobs?

January 26, 2010

After a Year of Big-Government and More Spending, Where are the Jobs?

The Congress that Spends Too Much, Taxes Too Much, and Borrows Too Much, Doesn’t Like to Talk About Jobs Very Much

“After spending a trillion dollars of taxpayer money on a failed stimulus, Americans are left with a ballooning federal deficit and an economy that is worse off than it was a year ago. Today, Democrats in Washington still cannot answer the fundamental question: Where are the jobs? A year later, taxpayers are stuck with the consequences of a partisan giveaway that has stimulated nothing but more debt and bigger government. Democrats continue to rubber-stamp their party leaders’ reckless tax-and-spend policies but one year later, this much is clear: The ‘stimulus’ is a failure.” – NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain


Examples of How the Democrats’ Stimulus Failed American Taxpayers:


Democrats Asked Taxpayers to Trust Them With an Unprecedented Amount of Money: “We cannot overstate the importance of this effort. We are asking the American people to trust their government with an unprecedented level of funding to address the economic emergency. In return, we must prove to them that their dollars are being invested in initiatives and strategies that make a difference in their communities and across the country.” (“Memorandum to Head of Departments and Agencies,”, February 9, 2009)

·         Promising to Save Millions of Jobs: “The president-elect said that a new analysis by his economic advisers indicated that his economic recovery plan ‘will likely save or create three to four million jobs.’” (“Obama: Stimulus will create 4.1 million jobs,” Associated Press, 1/10/2009)

Despite Warnings of Urgency, Democrats Were Slow to Spend the Stimulus Money: “Stimulus spending on infrastructure projects is moving slowly and many projects won’t get started before the summer construction season ends, complicating the Obama administration’s efforts to tout the impact of the $787 billion economic recovery act…The General Services Administration has decided how to spend $1 billion on federal building upgrades, but only about 1% of that money has been spent. The GSA will approve another $1 billion by year’s end, but Anthony Costa, acting commissioner of the GSA’s public buildings services, said it will take until 2011 before the agency picks projects for all of the $5.5 billion it was allocated for infrastructure work.” (Christophe Conkey and Louise Randofsky, “Stimulus Slow to Flow to Infrastructure,” Wall Street Journal, 8/05/2009)

Stimulus Money Went to the Public Sector, Rather Than Small Businesses: “Although President Obama initially said that 90 percent of the jobs created by the stimulus program would be in the private sector, the data suggests that well over half of the jobs claimed so far have been in the public sector.” (Michael Cooper and Ron Nixon, “Reports Show Conflicting Number of Jobs Attributed to Stimulus Money,” The New York Times, 11/5/09)

·         Grants Have been Given to Foreign Companies: “Nearly half of the $2.4 billion in federal grant money awarded Wednesday to stimulate the U.S. economy and boost the production of hybrid and electric vehicles went to six companies with ties to places as far away as Russia, China, South Korea and France.” (Jerry Seper, “Obama sends stimulus aid to foreign firms,” The Washington Times, 8/6/09)

·         Feds Investigate for Fraudulent Spending:Federal prosecutors are investigating a dozen cases of possible fraud involving the $787 billion stimulus package, a USA TODAY review of government records shows…There are an additional 88 active investigations of potential misuse of that money, according to reports filed by internal watchdogs at 29 federal agencies managing stimulus funds and the congressional Government Accountability Office. Separately, GAO criminal investigators are reviewing nine cases, acting GAO head Gene Dodaro has said.” (Matt Kelley, “Feds target misuse of stimulus cash,” USA Today, 11/24/2009)

·         Inaccurate Accounting of Jobs Mislead the Public: “The government’s first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts. The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.” (Brett J. Blackledge and Matt Apuzzo, “Stimulus Jobs Overstates by Thousands,” Associated Press, 10/29/09)

For the Past Year, American Taxpayers Have Consistently Believed Democrats’ Stimulus to be a Failure:According to a CNN poll released Sunday, 56 percent of the public opposes the stimulus, with 42 percent supportive of the plan. Last March, just weeks after the stimulus bill was signed into law by President Obama, a CNN survey indicated that 54 percent supported the program, with 44 percent opposed.” (“CNN Poll: 3 of 4 Americans say much of stimulus money wasted,” CNN, 1/25/2010)


·         Americans Believe The Stimulus to be Wasted and Nothing More Than a Political Ploy: “Twenty-one percent of people questioned in the poll say nearly all the money in the stimulus has been wasted, with 24 percent feeling that most money has been wasted and an additional 29 percent saying that about half has been wasted. Twenty-one percent say only a little has been wasted and 4 percent think that no stimulus dollars have been wasted…’One reason why the economic stimulus bill is no longer popular with the American public is the perception that a lot of the money has been wasted. Six in 10 believe that the projects in the stimulus bill were included for purely political reasons,’ said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.’” (“CNN Poll: 3 of 4 Americans say much of stimulus money wasted,” CNN, 1/25/2010)


After Billions of Dollars Spent and Numerous Promises of Recovery, Unemployment Remains in Double-Digits: “The unemployment rate has surpassed 10 percent for the first time since 1983. Nearly 16 million people can’t find jobs and employers cut a net total of 190,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department says.” (Jim Abrams, “Jobless Rate Tops 10 Pct. For First Time Since ’83,” Associated Press, 11/06/09)


·         Democrats Have Failed to Keep the Housing Market Afloat: “A record 3 million U.S. homes will be repossessed by lenders this year as high unemployment and depressed home values leave borrowers unable to make their house payment or sell, according to a RealtyTrac Inc. forecast…Government and lender efforts to keep people in their homes are failing to relieve the worst foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment was 10 percent in December, unchanged from the previous month, while the so-called underemployment rate that includes part-time workers and discouraged workers rose to 17.3 percent from 17.2 percent, the Labor Department said Jan. 8.” (Dan Levy, “U.S. Foreclosures May Rise to 3 Million This Year,” Bloomberg, 1/14/2010)


·         Local Unemployment Has Been Unaffected: “’A federal spending surge of more than $20 billion for roads and bridges in President Obama’s first stimulus has had no effect on local unemployment rates, raising questions about his argument for billions more to address an ‘urgent need to accelerate job growth…’There seems to me to be very little evidence that it’s making a difference,’ said Todd Steen, an economics professor at Hope College in Michigan who reviewed the AP analysis.’” (Matt Apuzzo and Brett J. Blackledge, “Stimulus cash doesn’t create local jobs,” Associated Press, 1/12/2010)


·         Jobless Claims Continue to Rise: “U.S. unemployment claims unexpectedly surged in the latest week, generating fresh anxiety about a labor market that has yet to catch up with growth in the overall economy…On Thursday, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment insurance shot up by 36,000 to 482,000 in the week ended Jan. 16, rather than an expected decline of 4,000. The four-week moving average, which aims to smooth out volatility, increased by 7,000 to 448,250. Jobless Claims Rise in Latest Week.” (Michael S. Derby, “Jobless Claims Rise in Latest Week,” Wall Street Journal, 1/22/2010)


Regardless of Their Evident Failures, Democrats Continue to Spin Their Stimulus as a Success: “With the recovery package, we not only created jobs – about 2 million saved or created with more being rolled out – but pulled us back from the brink of even deeper recession. In his [President Obama’s] budget, which we passed one hundred days after his swearing-in, he had a blueprint for how we go into the future, create jobs, stabilize the economy [and] do so as we reduce the deficit – [it’s] very central to everything we do – reduce the deficit.” (Matt Cover, “Pelosi Says Jobs ‘Permeated’ Congressional Actions in Year of 10 Percent Unemployment,”, 1/25/10)