Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Barry In Charge: The Truth About The First 100 Days

From Minority Leader John Boehner

Washington, May 27 - Today, the Administration is releasing yet another report on its trillion-dollar “stimulus” spending bill – one that Democrats claim will produce only half the jobs at twice the cost of the House GOP’s better stimulus solution. It’s been a full 100 days since the bill became law, and the Administration is pulling out all the stops to put a positive spin on the legislation, which has been increasingly panned by media and state and local officials as wasteful and inefficient – basically, anything but the “timely, targeted, and temporary” bill Washington Democrats promised earlier this year. As the Administration marks the 100th day of the “stimulus” spending bill, let’s take a closer look at some of the claims Democrats made about the legislation earlier this year – and how those claims stack 100 days later:

Claim: The President claimed that the stimulus “…will save or create 3 million to 4 million jobs over the next two years.” (Remarks by the President in Elkhart, Indiana,

Fact Check: “State officials have complained about the difficulty of obtaining grants for construction projects, while economists question administration claims that the effort already has saved or created 150,000 jobs.” (Adriel Bettelheim, “Tinkerbell Effect, Part 3: Obama’s Job Creation Efforts,” CQ Politics, May 27, 2009) The Associated Press reported that: “The early trend seen in the AP analysis runs counter to expectations raised by Obama, that road and infrastructure money from the historic $787 billion stimulus plan would create jobs in areas most devastated by layoffs.” (Matt Apuzzo and Brett Blackledge, “Stimulus Watch: Jobs, But Not Where Needed Most,” Associated Press, May 11, 2009)

Claim: The President claimed that it would contain, “[n]ot a single pet project. Not a single earmark.” (Remarks by the President at his first press conference,

Fact Check: The “stimulus” “contains dozens of narrowly defined programs that send money to specific areas or cater to special interests.” In fact, the “stimulus” contains “$50 million for habitat restoration and other water needs in the San Francisco Bay Area” and “$62 million for military projects in Guam.” (Michael Grabell and Christopher Weaver, “In stimulus bills, earmarks by any other name,” ProPublica, Feb. 5, 2009)

Claim: The President claimed that the stimulus “…contains an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability, so that every American will be able to go online and see where and how we’re spending every dime.” (Remarks by the President at his first press conference,

Fact Check: “Although President Obama has vowed that citizens will be able to track ‘every dime’ of the $787 billion stimulus bill, a government website dedicated to the spending won’t have details on contracts and grants until October and may not be complete until next spring — halfway through the program, administration officials said.” (Matt Kelley, “Details thin on stimulus contracts,” USA Today, May 6, 2009)

Claim: The President pledged that “nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges.” (Remarks by the President,

Fact Check: So far “a full 99.7 percent” of money allocated to the Transportation Department remains unspent, according to The Washington Post. Perhaps an aide to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) said it best: “To some extent, I think the administration oversold the transportation aspect of this…It was sold as the heart and soul of the package, and it really just isn’t.” (Matt Apuzzo and Brett Blackledge, “Stimulus Watch: Jobs, But Not Where Needed Most,” Associated Press, May 11, 2009)

Claim: Then-Senator Obama promised that was he would, “not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” (Organizing For America, “Obama’s Stance on Ethics”)

Fact Check: Congress passed the stimulus bill on Friday, February 13; the President signed it in Denver on Tuesday, February 17 – less than the five day review period promised by the President. This troubling trend has continued throughout the year. Just last week, for example, the President waited only one day before signing the Defense Department weapons acquisition bill after Congress passed it and waited two after Congress passed the “Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights Act” before his signature made that bill law (Stephen Dinan, “Obama ducks promise to delay bill signings,” Washington Times, May 26, 2009); in fact, as of March, “Of the nine bills Mr. Obama has signed so far in his term, he has signed six of them less than five days after Congress sent them to him,” including the trillion-dollar “stimulus” bill. (Stephen Dinan, “Obama to sign lands bill before 5 days of comment,” Washington Times, March 30, 2009) [source]

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