Wrong From the Start: Top Ten Outrageous Claims About the Stimulus

The House GOP Conference sent this along to me.

The White House will convene a “jobs summit” tomorrow against a backdrop of rising unemployment, soaring debt, and declining public confidence in the Obama Administration’s economic program. Washington Democrats staked their credibility on a nearly trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ that was supposed to be about putting people back to work, but has instead produced countless examples of wasteful government spending while more than three million more Americans have lost their jobs. Even the accounting methods designed to keep track of the ‘stimulus’ have been widely discredited. Given the last 11 months of outrageous ‘stimulus’ claims, the American people are right to wonder whether Washington Democrats can be trusted to create jobs and cut the deficit:

1. CLAIM: “Just 10 days before taking office, Obama’s top economic advisers [Christina Romer & Jared Bernstein] released a report predicting unemployment would remain at eight percent or below through this year if an economic stimulus plan won congressional approval.” (Associated Press, 6/14/09)

FACT: The nation’s unemployment rate now stands at 10.2%. The President and several members of his economic team explicitly stated that the ‘stimulus’ was needed to avert double-digit unemployment.

2. CLAIM: “Q: If the president gets his way and gets this package approved, he signs it into law, how soon before — the American public starts to feel results, the creation of jobs? NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR LAWRENCE SUMMERS: You’ll see the effects begin almost immediately.” (CNN, 2/9/09)

FACT: The U.S. economy has lost more than three million jobs since the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ became law. One House Democrat this week referred to the ‘stimulus’ as the “jobless American Recovery Act.” A recent survey found that fewer than one in ten Americans believe the ‘stimulus’ has helped create jobs.

3. CLAIM: “More than 90 percent of the jobs created by this plan will be in the private sector.” – President Obama (News conference, 2/9/09)

FACT: “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.” (The New York Times, 11/4/09)

4. CLAIM: “There will be no earmarks or pet projects in this bill.” – Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Floor statement, 2/13/09)

FACT: The trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ has produced countless examples of wasteful government spending, including repairs to a bridge that reportedly carries about 260 cars per day, many to a place called Rusty’s Backwater Saloon in Wisconsin, and in North Carolina, where ‘stimulus’ funds were reportedly used by one town to hire a new worker whose job is to apply for more ‘stimulus’ funds from Washington.

5. CLAIM: “We must make sure the public understands this is a very fiscally sound package.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Talk Radio News Service, 3/10/09)

FACT: With the help of the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus,’ the Obama Administration spent more in its first 100 days than all previous presidents have combined. The national debt has topped $12 trillion for the first time in U.S. history. The federal government is now operating on a budget that doubles the national debt in five years and triples it in ten.

6. CLAIM: “The second hundred days you’re going to see a lot more jobs created.” – Vice President Joe Biden (ABC’s This Week, 7/5/09)

FACT: The U.S. economy lost roughly 930,000 jobs in June, July, and August. It was during this period that the President proclaimed he could “see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

7. CLAIM: “There is a lot more ammunition left in the stimulus package.” – Jared Bernstein, chief economist to the Vice President (MSNBC, 10/30/09)

FACT: “The government’s economic stimulus spending has already had its biggest impact and probably won’t contribute to significant growth next year, a top White House adviser said Thursday.” (Associated Press, 10/22/09) “An interesting tidbit from Dr. Christina Romer’s testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. Citing economic analysts she says the fiscal stimulus will have its greatest impact on growth in the second and third quarters of 2009. (Editor’s note – those quarters are now behind us).” (ABC News, 10/22/09)

8. CLAIM: “I think we got the Recovery Act right. … It may be desirable to have a given amount of work shared among more people. But that’s not as desirable as expanding the total amount of work.” – National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers (The Washington Post, 11/8/09)

FACT: The Obama Administration’s attempt to suddenly make job creation seem like a lesser goal of the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ flies in the face of numerous public statements made in the days before the bill was passed, including the President’s statement that creating jobs was his “bottom line number one.”

9. CLAIM: “If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job.” – Department of Health and Human Services spokesman (Associated Press, 11/4/09)

FACT: This is one of several attempts by the Obama Administration to define a job “saved or created” by the ‘stimulus.’ In this particular case, the AP found “more than 9,300 existing employees in more than 9,300 existing employees in hundreds of local agencies who received pay raises and benefits and whose jobs weren’t saved.” In a newly released report, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office states that “it is impossible to determine how many of the reported jobs would have existed in the absence of the stimulus package.”

10. CLAIM: “We’ve been in business seven, eight months. You haven’t seen wasteful spending. No one has said we spent $2 million on things that didn’t exist.” – Vice President Joe Biden (The Daily Show, 11/17/09)

FACT: “Stimulus jobs reported in non-existent congressional districts. … Of all the problems found in the latest round of stimulus reporting, add another one: congressional districts that don’t exist. ABC News reported yesterday that White House officials have found 700 mistakenly credited congressional districts out of more than 130,000 stimulus grants.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/18/09) “The reports on jobs created or saved by the $787 billion economic stimulus package are ‘riddled with inaccuracies and contradictions,’ the federal watchdog overseeing the spending acknowledged Thursday.” (USA TODAY, 11/19/09)

BONUS CLAIM: “Vice President Biden offered an impassioned defense of the Obama administration’s policies on the economy, health care, and energy this morning… He chastised administration opponents for not offering alternatives to solve the problems of the nation.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/23/09)

FACT: “House Republicans Press Obama on Job Creation. House Republicans sent a letter to President Barack Obama today, pushing the administration to seek more business tax breaks as a way to boost the number of new jobs. … Republicans say in their letter that they’re hoping to work with the White House toward a bipartisan jobs plan.” (WSJ Washington Wire, 10/7/09) The proposals contained in House Republicans’ October letter, some of which were presented to President Obama as early as his first week in office, were developed by House Republicans’ Economic Recovery and Health Care solutions groups. Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), who heads up the Economic Recovery Solutions Group, will discuss additional proposals to spur job creation in a speech today at the Heritage Foundation.