AFP's Latest Ad Says "Yes" To Big Falsehoods

October 22, 2010 1:40 pm ET

Americans for Prosperity's latest attack ad targets Arkansas House candidate Chad Causey, portraying him as a Washington insider before he's even been elected to Congress. AFP criticizes Causey for being a "lifelong Congressional staffer" and — to the dismay of AFP — earning a salary while he worked for Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR). The organization also slams Causey for his support of the Recovery Act — even though the program was instrumental in reviving the economy and creating millions of jobs — and his "refusal" to sign a pledge to stop a potential "energy tax," presumably referring to a cap-and-trade policy that Causey, in fact, opposes.

AFP: "Tell Chad Causey To Stop Saying Yes To Big Government"

Chad Causey: A Washington yes man. A lifelong Congressional staffer, Causey said yes to $800,000 in taxpayer-paid salary and benefits. Yes to the failed Obama-Pelosi stimulus. Causey refuses to sign a pledge against higher taxes, and Washington's new energy tax? Causey refuses to sign the pledge to stop it. Tell Chad Causey: Stop being a Washington yes man to higher taxes and more government spending. Americans for Prosperity is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Causey Earned $800,000 In Congress ... Over 10 Years

Causey Earned $800,239 Over 10 Years While Working For Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR). According to Legistorm, Chad Causey earned a total of $800,239.29 while working for Congressman Marion Berry. His annual salary ranged from $29,000/year in 2001 to $148,000/year in 2009. [, accessed 10/22/10]

The "Failed" Stimulus Actually Created Millions Of Jobs And Boosted The Economy

The Economy Shed Almost 8 Million Jobs Under Republican Policies Before The Recovery Act Was Passed. According to economist Robert J. Shapiro:

From December 2007 to July 2009 - the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy - private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs. Employment continued to fall, however, for the next six months, reaching a low of 107,107,000 jobs in December of 2009. So, out of 8,467,000 private sector jobs lost in this dismal cycle, 7,796,000 of those jobs or 92 percent were lost on the Republicans' watch or under the sway of their policies. Some 671,000 additional jobs were lost as the stimulus and other moves by the administration kicked in, but 630,000 jobs then came back in the following six months. The tally, to date: Mr. Obama can be held accountable for the net loss of 41,000 jobs (671,000 - 630,000), while the Republicans should be held responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs. [, 8/10/10, emphasis added]

Based on Shapiro's research, the Washington Post's Ezra Klein created the following chart showing net job losses before and after the Recovery Act was enacted:


[Washington Post8/12/10]

CBO: The Recovery Act Created Jobs, Lowered Unemployment, And Boosted GDP. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, through the second quarter of 2010, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

  • Raised the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent,
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points,
  • Increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million, and
  • Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 2.0 million to 4.8 million compared with what those amounts would have been otherwise.

[CBO, 8/24/10]

Reuters: The Recovery Act May Have "Prevented The Sluggish Economy From Contracting" Between April And June. According to Reuters

The massive U.S. stimulus package put millions of people to work and boosted national output by hundreds of billions of dollars in the second quarter, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

CBO's latest estimate indicates that the stimulus effort, which remains a political hot potato ahead of the November congressional elections, may have prevented the sluggish U.S. economy from contracting between April and June.

CBO said President Barack Obama's stimulus boosted real GDP in the quarter by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent, adding at least $200 billion in economic activity. [Reuters via ABC News, 8/24/10]

Job Statistics Trend Shows Recovery Act Is Working. Below is a graph prepared by the Speaker's office showing net private sector job gains or losses per month since December 2007.

[Bureau of Labor Statistics via The Gavel, 10/8/10]

Princeton, Moody's Economists Say "Highly Effective" Government Response To Crisis Saved 8.5 Million Jobs. According to the New York Times: "Like a mantra, officials from both the Bush and Obama administrations have trumpeted how the government's sweeping interventions to prop up the economy since 2008 helped avert a second Depression. Now, two leading economists wielding complex quantitative models say that assertion can be empirically proved. In a new paper, the economists argue that without the Wall Street bailout, the bank stress tests, the emergency lending and asset purchases by the Federal Reserve, and the Obama administration's fiscal stimulus program, the nation's gross domestic product would be about 6.5 percent lower this year. In addition, there would be about 8.5 million fewer jobs, on top of the more than 8 million already lost; and the economy would be experiencing deflation, instead of low inflation. The paper, by Alan S. Blinder, a Princeton professor and former vice chairman of the Fed, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, represents a first stab at comprehensively estimating the effects of the economic policy responses of the last few years. 'While the effectiveness of any individual element certainly can be debated, there is little doubt that in total, the policy response was highly effective,' they write." [New York Times7/27/10, emphasis added]

Causey Opposes A So-Called "Energy Tax"

Causey Favors "Incentive-Based Programs" Instead Of Punitive Tax Programs. From Chad Causey's campaign website: "Our energy solutions will spring from a mix of current and emerging technologies, and I believe the only way to encourage that growth is through incentive-based legislation, not punitive 'cap-and-tax' based programs." [, accessed 10/22/10]

Causey: "I Wouldn't Have Supported Cap-And-Trade." According to the New York Times, "'I wouldn't have voted for the cap-and-trade bill, and I couldn't have supported the health care bill,' Mr. Causey said." [New York Times, 10/18/10]