“We're not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that in eight short years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin. We can't embrace the losing formula that offers more tax cuts as the only answer to every problem we face, while ignoring critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil, the soaring cost of health care, failing schools and crumbling bridges, roads and levees. I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV - if you're headed for a cliff, you have to change direction.”
- President Barack Obama [2/5/09]
Last week, the House passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, working from priorities shared with President Barack Obama. This week, the Senate is working to finish action on this measure so that a final economic recovery package can go to the President next week for his signature.
Rather than offer new, workable ideas to find a bipartisan solution, Republican critics continue to spread misleading information about the Economic Recovery plan offering instead only the same failed policies that led to this recession. Despite these partisan attacks, a new Gallup poll shows support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has remained steady.
Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post
“…what's striking is that supposedly intelligent people are horrified at the thought that, during a deep recession, government might try to help the economy by buying up-to-date equipment for the people who protect us from epidemics and infectious diseases, by hiring people to repair environmental damage on federal lands and by contracting with private companies to make federal buildings more energy-efficient.
“What really irks so many Republicans, of course, is that all the stimulus money isn't being used to cut individual and business taxes, their cure-all for economic ailments, even though all the credible evidence is that tax cuts are only about half as stimulative as direct government spending.” [Washington Post, 2/6/09]
Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times
“The American economy is on the edge of catastrophe, and much of the Republican Party is trying to push it over that edge.” [New York Times, 2/6/09]
Dean Baker, Co-Director of Center for Economic and Policy Research
“Spending that is not stimulus is like cash that is not money. Spending is stimulus, spending is stimulus. Any spending will generate jobs. It is that simple.” [American Prospect, 2/3/09]
Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times
“House Republicans this week released a list of $19 billion in provisions they called ‘wasteful' (i.e., 2% of the total package). But the list includes numerous projects that many Americans would support and that would plainly stimulate our limping construction and manufacturing sectors. For example, the purchase of new computers and vehicles for federal agencies, the building of fire stations and other public facilities, and the upgrade of rail lines…
“Is this the best the GOP can come up with? Or are Republicans just determined to undermine the recovery effort? It's hard to disagree with Obama's complaint that ‘modest differences' over the package are being inflated to stall the whole program.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/5/09]
Chad Stone, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
“Contrary to what some critics say, the economic recovery package working its way through Congress by and large is focused on the task at hand, which is to provide a needed boost to an economy that is in the midst of a long and deep recession.” [2/6/09]
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will:
- create and save 3 to 4 million jobs, rebuilding America, making us more globally competitive and energy independent, and transforming our economy for long-term growth.
- give 95 percent of Americans an immediate tax cut.
- invest over $100 billion in roads, bridges, mass transit, flood control, clean water projects, and other infrastructure projects.
- invest quickly into the economy - 75 percent in the first 18 months.
The Recovery Plan has unprecedented accountability measures built in--providing strong oversight, an historic degree of public transparency, and including no earmarks.