‘The Stimulus Isn’t Working,’ Republican Says -- Six Months Out
August 17, 2009 - 11:14 AMSix months have passed since President Barack Obama signed the $787-billion stimulus bill into law, promising that it would "create or save three-and-a-half million jobs over the next two years."
On Monday, Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said the results are in – and “the stimulus isn’t working.”
Pence noted that the multi-billion-dollar infusion of taxpayer money has not prevented unemployment from rising above 8 percent. The latest numbers put the nation’s jobless rate at 9.4 percent. More than two million jobs have been lost since the stimulus was signed, Pence said in a news release.
When Obama signed the stimulus in Denver on Feb. 17, he called it “the most sweeping economic recovery package in our history.”
“What makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save three and a half million jobs over the next two years, including nearly 60,000 in Colorado. It’s that we are putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done in critical areas that have been neglected for too long – work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come.”
Obama called it a plan “without earmarks or the usual pork barrel spending.” And he promised “an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability.”
A USA Today/Gallup poll released on Monday shows that 57 percent of adults say the stimulus package is having no impact on the economy -- or is making it worse.
Sixty percent doubt that the stimulus plan will help the economy in the years ahead, and only 18 percent say it has done anything to help improve their personal situation, USA Today reported.
Almost half of the adults polled are "very worried" that stimulus money is being wasted.
“The American people know we can't borrow and spend our way back to a growing economy,” Pence said. “Thousands of Americans are filling town hall meetings expressing outrage and disappointment at the policies of a Congress and an Administration that promised to mend our economy and get people back to work, and that has only offered more spending, more deficits, more bailouts and more unemployment.”
Pence said in the next six months, Democrats should start working with House Republicans “on real solutions” such as fiscal discipline and fast-acting tax relief for working families and small businesses.