Stimulus Anniversary Not So Happy

One year ago today President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Democrats’ $1.3 trillion so-called “stimulus” bill.  In conjunction with signing, the White House released detailed projections — broken down by State and Congressional district — of all the new jobs this massive spending bill would create (or save).  By the administration’s own standards, the “stimulus” spending orgy has failed miserably.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave his own assessment.

“Over the last year, as job losses have continued to mount, the Obama Administration has doubled down on discredited ‘stimulus’ spin,” Boehner said.  “The ‘jobs saved or created’ metric was quietly abandoned last year after it turned out that raises were counted as jobs and jobs were counted that simply didn’t exist.  The ‘state-of-the-art’ website designed to track the ‘stimulus’ was also discredited after it depicted spending in dozens of phantom congressional districts.  Today, fewer than one in 10 Americans believe the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ has created jobs.”

In fact, a CBS/New York Times poll last week found that only six percent of Americans believe the Democrats’ “stimulus” spending spree has created jobs.  

To put that six percent figure into perspective, according to a CBS poll conducted on the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death in 2002, more Americans — seven percent — believe that Elvis Presley is still alive.

Yet the Democrat spin continues.

At a Michigan event touting the success of the “stimulus” programs yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden referred to the program as, “one of the best run programs in terms of fraud and abuse and waste of any program the federal government has ever initiated.”

You can read that two ways, of course.

Biden’s assertion is contrary to reports of stimulus checks going directly to prison inmates and millions of dollars in funding being wasted on projects such as tunnels for turtles in Florida, studies for marijuana and malt liquor consumption in New York, honeybee learning patterns in Hawaii, a Napa Valley wine train in California and a martini bar and Brazilian steakhouse in Missouri.

House Ways and Means ranking Republican Dave Camp’s (R-Mich.) office produced an extensive set of charts crunching numbers on everything from unemployment rates and jobs numbers to state-by-state unemployment checks for the over 12 million Americans now out of work.

“If you are measuring jobs, the stimulus bill has been a complete failure,” Camp told HUMAN EVENTS.  “Virtually every state has lost jobs, unemployment has increased and there is a record number of Americans receiving unemployment checks instead of a paycheck.  The only thing the Democrat bill stimulated was more debt.”

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office put together a chart comparing the administration’s projections to actual job numbers and changes in unemployment rates, broken out by state, using real numbers provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Democrat controlled Washington’s ideological pursuits — like cap and trade, tax increases, and the push for government health care — have created such great uncertainty that hiring is simply not a reality for businesses and entrepreneurs,” Cantor said.  “Small businesses will not add jobs while they are worried about paying higher taxes next year. Who is going to invest or take risks with what they’ve seen and heard coming out of Washington this year?”

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) provided his own appraisal of the “stimulus” effectiveness on CBS News just one day after announcing he would not seek re-election in November.

“[I]f I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months,” Bayh said.

Indiana’s Democratic Party Avoids Train Wreck

Indiana U.S. Senate hopeful Tamyra D’Ippolito fell miserably short of meeting qualification requirements by yesterday’s noon deadline for inclusion on the primary ballot as the sole Democrat candidate.  D’Ippolito was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight Monday when Sen. Bayh, the only other Democrat in the running, announced he would not seek re-election in November.

Fox News reported that as of last night D’Ippolito’s count was only 112 signatures statewide after having repeatedly said in media interviews that she had the 4,500 needed for ballot qualification. (Too bad she didn’t meet the signature deadline.  A detachment from reality appears to be a highly-sought after trait for Democrats this election year.)

The Indiana Democrat Party’s steering committee will instead handpick a candidate for placement on the ballot.

The Indianapolis Star reported yesterday that two Republicans are officially on the ballot with a total of five claiming to have submitted their signature petitions to qualify for the primary:

“On the Republican side, State Sen. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, today filed his paperwork with the secretary of state to officially be on the ballot, joining Richmond financial adviser Don Bates Jr. who filed his paperwork last week.

“Stutzman was endorsed [yesterday] afternoon by Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne.

“At least three other Republicans — former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler and Fishers plumbing company owner Richard Behney — say they have filed the necessary petition signatures and will be filing later this week with the secretary of state.”

Stutzman is a young, pro-life, pro-gun, fiscally conservative state senator with a farming background and a bright future ahead.  He’s definitely worth a second look.