Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Westmoreland: No celebrating on stimulus birthday

One year ago today, President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law with great hype and big promises, but the facts show that after 365 days, we have more debt, lots of wasteful spending, funding for a liberal wish list but no new jobs. In fact, the cost has risen $75 billion to $862 billion because unemployment benefits had to rise to pay for people who lost jobs that the bill was supposed to save.

“President Obama and the Democratic Congress said the stimulus would stem the tide of unemployment ‘almost immediately,’ but instead we’ve seen a continued deterioration of the job market while we’ve piled up hundreds of billions of dollars in new debt,” U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland said. “We know there’s been a lot of spending, but where are the jobs? The administration had a tough job in defending all this deficit spending that we can’t afford to pay back, but it’s that much harder for them when the country lost an additional 3 million jobs AFTER the stimulus.”

When the stimulus passed, the nation’s unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. The administration stated this massive new spending would keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent. It quickly soared above 10 percent – and it’s actually higher than that if you include the many millions of Americans who have simply given up looking for the time being. In Georgia, the unemployment went from 9.2 percent before the stimulus to 10.3 percent at the end of 2009.

“All of this money was deficit spending,” Westmoreland said. “We’ll be paying the interest on this for years – taking hundreds of billions a year away from future priorities and future needs and emergencies. We’ve worsened our fiscal crisis, and adding insult to injury we haven’t gotten much in return for it.

“As a nation, we have spent our way into a lot of trouble. A brighter future depends on less government, less spending and less debt so that we can free our small businesses to create the jobs we need.”
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