Boehner Column: Three Years of President Obama's Failed 'Stimulus' Policies
Piqua Daily Call
By John Boehner
February 22, 2012
On February 17, 2009, after signing his ‘stimulus’ spending bill into law, President Obama described the legislation in this way: ‘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. … It’s that we’re putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done, work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come.’
But facts are a stubborn thing, and the fact is, his plan fell far short of the promises that were made. On this three-year anniversary, there is no denying that President Obama’s ‘stimulus’ policies not only failed, they made things worse.
President Obama said he wanted to be held accountable for the results of his spending binge. Well, the legacy of the failed ‘stimulus’ policies is all around us:
Our national economy has lost 600,000 jobs since the ‘stimulus’ took effect, and for three straight years, the national unemployment rate has been above 8 percent.
- The national debt now tops $15.3 trillion, and is bigger than the size of our entire economy for the first time since World War II, leaving an overwhelming mountain of job-crushing debt for our future generations.
- Gas prices have skyrocketed – nearly doubling since President Obama took office – and are rising again right now.
- Food stamp use is at a record high – now being used by a record 45.8 million Americans, which represents a 46 percent jump since the President took office.
- With millions continuing to struggle to find jobs and make ends meet in the president’s economy, Congress had little choice recently but to enact a $143 billion economic relief package to extend unemployment insurance benefits and the temporary payroll tax holiday for workers. If the president’s ‘stimulus’ had worked as promised, no such aid package would have been necessary.
- And according to a January Gallup poll, just 13 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the economy – a drop of 23 points since January 2008.
The Obama Administration touted its ‘stimulus’ plan with big predictions of millions of jobs ‘saved or created’ and ‘lasting change for generations.’ But after nearly a trillion dollars in spending, these policies have made our economic woes worse, left millions of Americans out of work, and made the future of job-crushing debt even more daunting for our children and grandchildren.
As Americans continue to ask ‘where are the jobs?’ on this third anniversary, House Republicans have an alternative to these failed policies.
In November of 2011, my office released a list of 132 American economists who confirmed that the approach used in House Republicans’ Plan for America’s Job Creators, which we announced in May of 2011, would do more to help spur private-sector job growth in both the near-term and long-term than the ‘stimulus’ spending approach favored by President Obama. These economists from all over the country endorsed a pro-growth strategy that removes government barriers to job creation and investment, including unnecessary government spending, and aims to empower small businesses, families, and entrepreneurs to start growing again.
Instead of more ‘stimulus’ policies, House Republicans have passed nearly 30 jobs bills as a part of our Plan for America’s Job Creators. These bills tackle excessive regulations, job-crushing debt, Washington’s out-of-control spending, and the threat of higher taxes in order to encourage a better environment for private-sector job growth. Unfortunately, nearly all of the 30 pro-growth jobs bills are still sitting in the Democratic-controlled Senate awaiting a vote.
Instead of joining our fight for an alternative approach and urging Senate Democrats to take up these jobs bills, President Obama on February 13 submitted a budget to Congress with more of the same failed ‘stimulus’-style policies. The American people and hard-working taxpayers deserve better.
In the year to come, House Republicans will speak out against the Administration’s failed economic policies and continue to fight for enactment of pro-growth reforms that will help get the American people working again.