As I have talked about here before, I’m keenly watching the Republican contenders for MI-07. One of the top two candidates likely to win the Republican primary already held the seat for one-term: Tim Walberg.
This week he released a statement that said this:
One Year after the Stimulus Package: Higher Unemployment in U.S., Taxpayer Dollars Creating Jobs Overseas
The email Subject line was even more bold:
Stimulus Results in Higher Unemployment & Jobs Overseas
See what he did there? He’s now making the connection that the Recovery Act CAUSED unemployment.
Brilliant and unrelenting hypocrisy.
One year ago today President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package into law. Since signing the legislation, the national unemployment rate has climbed from 7.6% to 9.7% and the cost of the stimulus package has increased by $75 billion.
Congressman Mark Schauer, who voted for the stimulus bill, told his constituents that there was no pork or earmarks in the stimulus bill. Congressman Schauer pledged “vigorous oversight” to ensure the stimulus was “administered efficiently and effectively.” Michigan’s unemployment rate has increased from 12% to 14.6%, while billions of stimulus dollars created thousands of jobs overseas.
Though Congressman Schauer pledged “vigorous oversight”, here are a few examples of how stimulus dollars were wasted:
- $2 billion in energy spending created 6,000 jobs overseas.
- “researchers at Penn State University received $1.57 million to search for fossils in Argentina”
- “$100,000 for socially conscious puppet shows.”
- $1 million to put up signs in Ohio advertising the use of stimulus funds.
- “The National Institutes of Health got $219,000 in funds to study whether female college students are more likely to ‘hook up’ after drinking alcohol.”
- “Two million dollars in stimulus money went to build a replica railroad as a tourist attraction in Carson City, Nev.”
- “Half a million dollars went to Arizona State University to study the genetic makeup of ants to determine distinctive roles in ant colonies”
- “$450,000 went to the University of Arizona to study the division of labor in ant colonies.”
- “The State University of New York at Buffalo won $390,000 to study young adults who drink malt liquor and smoke marijuana.”
- “$5 million grant from the Department of Energy to create a geothermal energy system for the Oak Ridge City Center shopping mall … the mall has been losing tenants for years and is mostly empty.”
“Less government spending, lower taxes, and free-market health care reforms will empower individuals and small businesses, grow our economy, and spur job creation. Unfortunately, Mark Schauer and his liberal Washington allies wasted taxpayer dollars, spent billions to create jobs overseas and voted for trillion dollar deficits,” said Tim Walberg.
“America is great and prosperous when government is limited and citizens are free to use their God-given talents to care for their family and help their community,” Walberg added.
Drawing a causal connection between the Recovery Act which has by any measure kept our country from completely sinking into the abyss and which has without question prevented even larger unemployment numbers is the epitome of chutzpah, particularly since many of his brethren that didn’t actually lose their seats in 2008 like Walberg did are running around the countryside taking credit for the influx of funds and the creation of jobs that they themselves voted AGAINST. And make no mistake, Walberg would have voted against the Recovery Act just like all his Republican friends did. (Note, I will continue to use “Recovery Act” rather than “Stimulus” because it’s important for us to connect the successes of the Recovery Act with the actual legislation which was called the Recovery Act.)
The claims of waste are another level of deceit. If you add up all the numbers, including the biggest one of $2 billion for wind energy that has reportedly created less than 100 jobs in the U.S. vs. 6,000 overseas, you get a grand total of $2,011,229,000.
This represents a whopping 0.23% of the total Recovery Act spending.
If their criticism of the Recovery Act spending is that it created less than one-quarter of one percent in waste, I will gladly help them in their attempt to publicize it because that’s a damn good record for any investment. Even if you take out the one-third of the Recovery Act that is tax cuts — something that should give a guy like Tim Walberg a giant “swell” — you are still only talking about 0.35%, about one-third of one percent.
The $2 billion in spending that it going to overseas companies to make wind turbines creating jobs outside of the U.S. is egregious. Senator Chuck Schumer has even railed about it.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the flow of money to foreign companies an outrage, because the stimulus, he said, was intended to create jobs inside the United States.
“This is one of those stories in Washington that when you tell people five miles outside the Beltway, or anywhere else in America, they cannot believe it,” Schumer told ABC News, “It makes people lose faith in government, and it frankly infuriates me.”
However, when you look at the core reason behind this issue, what you find is that there simply is not enough production of wind turbines in the U.S. to meet the demand created by the Recovery Act. If Tim Walberg and his associates had not repeatedly failed invest in sustainable energy sources and had taken steps to nurture a wind energy sector in the U.S., that might not be the case. Instead, Walberg chanted “Drill Here, Drill Now” while holding publicity stunts like pumping gas at Michigan gas stations to get attention.
Jackson drivers headed to the pump today might get some help filling their tanks from a high-profile politician.
U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg was planning to take on the role of a gas station attendant and fuel up constituents’ vehicles at the Citgo gas station at 1502 Cooper St.
Walberg wasn’t picking up the tab, so gas customers were still going to have to pay, but they could voice frustrations about the high prices to the first-term congressman/temporary attendant.
Walberg planned to ask drivers to jot down stories about their struggles with climbing energy costs and collect their receipts in 5-gallon gas cans that he will take to Washington.
This is the GOP’s answer to our energy problems and reliance on foreign oil, despite the fact that it would have no discernible impact on our oil supply:
So, in essence, Republicans starved a nascent industry so that it could barely get off the ground in this country while they held power. And now that wind energy is in vogue, they are criticizing Democrats for having to buy foreign-made parts.
Oh, and if you take that $2 billion out of the waste calculations, they can only point to 0.0013% in waste.
And where I’m from, that’s what they call very weak tea.
I’m just sayin’…
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