It’s now been several months since Congress and President Obama passed the trillion dollar spending and debt package.
While the administration has been moving its goal posts several times, the economy has continued to lose jobs – and it appears that it has in fact lost MORE jobs WITH the "stimulus" in place than the administration’s economic advisers predicted would be lost absent passage of the package. (For a fun visualization of this in pennies, click here ). Economists agree that passing the package was a mistake, and are joining Republicans in Congress who are calling for a repeal of the package.
On Tuesday this week, Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) offered an amendment during a House Appropriations Committee meeting to rescind unobligated money in the "stimulus" spending bill. While the amendment was rejected on a party line, it raises an important issue. Congressman Tiahrt will be introducing the amendment as stand-alone legislation later this week, and ATR and CFA have sent a letter in support urging all Members to join Rep. Tiahrt in co-sponsoring and passing this legislation.
From our letter:
The package has not prevented the jobless numbers from going above 8%, as the Administration had claimed it would. Instead, unemployment has recently peaked at 9.4% – even higher than the White House’s prediction of what would happen if Congress hadn’t passed the package.Several months into the implementation of the package there are still no clear reporting requirements in place, and instead of unprecedented transparency and accountability, taxpayers have to learn of numerous instances of waste and abuse from week to week. Those instances are likely to be more frequent if the President makes good on his promise to accelerate the spending under the stimulus, as haste is known to make waste.At the time, we made our opposition to the package very clear, and pointed out that government cannot create wealth, it merely moves it around. This package has merely been taking money out of the productive sector of the economy to throw political favors in the form of hand-picked projects with often dubious merits.
Photo credit: Nima