Scalise: Obama’s stimulus folly
The leader of the 170-member Republican Study Committee (RSC), the majority of the majority in the House, blasted the legacy of President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan that he signed four years ago today.
“Four years after President Obama signed his $821 billion taxpayer funded stimulus bill into law, American taxpayers are still paying the tab for the broken promises, and all we have to show for it are higher unemployment, higher debt, and higher taxes,” said Rep. Stephen J. Scalise (R-La.), who became the RSC chairman at the beginning of the 113th Congress.
The president signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at a public ceremony at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in front of a large “Making America Work” sign.
In his remarks at the signing, the president said, “But today does mark the beginning of the end — the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs;the beginning of what we need to do to provide relief for families worried they won’t be able to pay next month’s bills; the beginning of the first steps to set our economy on a firmer foundation, paving the way to long-term growth and prosperity.”
The museum received $2.6 million in stimulus funds for ground source pumps, but before the signing ceremony, the president and Vice-President Joseph R. Biden Jr., toured the solar panels on the museum’s roof with the installer Blake Jones, the owner of Namaste Solar.
Jones was a financial partner for the president thanks to his September contribution of $1,000 to Obama’s re-election campaign.
The museum spent $720,000 on the rooftop panel farm, but a museum spokesman told the Denver Business Journal the project would pay for itself in 110 years.
In a Jan. 10, 2009 report titled, “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan,” written by Christina Romer, then-designated chairwoman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein from the vice-president’s office, the goal of Obama’s stimulus plan was to create three million jobs.
“A well designed recovery plan will not only create numerous jobs, but also save many jobs paying good wages and providing full-time employment,” the report said.
The report included a chart that projected two futures, one with and one without the stimulus.
However, Louisiana Congressman Scalise said Sunday that, “The president promised that unemployment would not rise above 8 percent with the passage of his spending bill, but in fact the unemployment rate remained above eight percent for 43 straight months.”
In reality, the president’s programs have left the country further behind than on the day Obama signed the bill, he said.
“Time and time again President Obama’s radical big government proposals have left our nation deeper in debt and have resulted in a more sluggish economy,” he said.
“Big government is the problem, not the solution. In the wake of the stimulus, Americans have suffered through higher taxes, a weak jobs market, and the worst economic recovery seen since the Great Depression,” he said.