Rep. Price Gets It Wrong On The Recovery Act

December 21, 2009 4:49 pm ET

On December 21, 2009, Rep. Tom Price, chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Examiner in which he lobbed false criticisms at the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In reality, the Recovery Act created up to 1.6 million jobs and kept 6 million Americans out of poverty, including 244,000 in Price's home state of Georgia.

Rep. Price Gets It Wrong On The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act

Rep. Tom Price:

If leaders were judged based on their promises and rhetoric, President Obama may have had one of the most accomplished first years of any president. Obama set forth an agenda of historic proportions with sweeping proposals to tackle climate change, health care, Wall Street regulations, and even, incredulously, deficit reduction. 

Unfortunately for Obama, Americans judge their leaders on an ability to solve problems. Upon that standard, the president and Democrats in power in Congress have failed miserably, as each of their plans actually impair the one matter Americans want resolved, job creation. 

[...]

Now, our wary forecasts for the "stimulus" have come to bear, with unemployment a full two percentage points higher than promised and once-unfathomable deficits undermining the stability of our entire economy. 

In the months since the sham stimulus bill, hurting Americans have seen no relief from the rest of the Obama agenda. On the contrary, we have seen only initiatives that work to preclude us from job creation. [Washington Examiner, 12/21/09]

Recovery Act Created Up To 1.6 Million American Jobs

CBO: The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Has Created Up To 1.6 Million American Jobs. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, "CBO now estimates that in the third quarter of calendar year 2009, ARRA's policies raised real GDP by between 1.2 percent and 3.2 percent, lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points, and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise." [CBO, 11/30/09; emphasis added]

Recovery Act Kept 6 Million Americans Out Of Poverty

CBPP: Recovery Act Is Keeping 6 Million Americans Out Of Poverty. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Although meant chiefly to help the broad economy, the stimulus plan Congress enacted earlier this year (the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act of 2009, or ARRA) had the important secondary effect of significantly ameliorating the recession's impact on poverty. This analysis, which comes one day before the Census Bureau will release updated poverty figures (for 2008), examines seven of the recovery act's provisions - two improvements in unemployment insurance, three tax credits for working families, an increase in food stamps, and a one-time payment for retirees, veterans, and people with disabilities - and finds that they alone are preventing more than 6 million Americans from falling below the poverty line and are reducing the severity of poverty for 33 million more. Those 6 million people include more than 2 million children and over 500,000 seniors. This analysis includes state-specific estimates for California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois." [CBPP, 9/9/09]

CBPP: Recovery Act Lifted 244,000 Georgians Out Of Poverty.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act lifted an estimated 244,000 Georgians above the federal poverty level.  [CBPP, 12/17/09]

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