Politics

Even After CBO Reports Stimulus Created Up To 1.6 Million Jobs, Conservatives Claim It ‘Failed’

AP090909054851Today, the White House is hosting a jobs forum, “to sound out ideas for accelerating job growth during the worst labor market in a generation,” as Democrats in both houses of Congress are attempting to craft jobs legislation. Yesterday, the administration for the first time expressed support for new legislation, so long as it has a “relatively small deficit impact.”

This effort comes in the wake of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report showing that the economic stimulus package is having its intended effect — creating or saving 600,000 to 1.6 million jobs — albeit in a weaker than anticipated economy.

Republicans, though, have said that additional jobs legislation “would meet resistance.” They’re justifying this position — aided by the conservative media — by claiming that the “failed economic stimulus” has not created jobs, despite the CBO reporting otherwise. Here’s a roundup of conservative statements that have occurred after the CBO released its report:

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA): The 800-billion dollar stimulus bill that Washington passed has failed to create – or save – the jobs it promised…There is now talk of a second — or is it a third – stimulus bill…More government spending, more bailouts for states, more transfer payments to individuals, expanded government agencies.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele: [Obama’s] failed economic stimulus has considerably added to our national debt, skyrocketing it to a record-breaking $1.42 trillion in 2009…This time using a “jobs summit” to distract from the 10.2 percent national unemployment rate as well as President Obama’s and Congressional Democrats’ plans to unleash a second wave of stimulus spending on the American public, known as Stimulus II.

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH): Washington Democrats staked their credibility on a nearly trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ that was supposed to be about putting people back to work…Given the last 11 months of outrageous ‘stimulus’ claims, the American people are right to wonder whether Washington Democrats can be trusted to create jobs and cut the deficit.

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: [T]he stimulus has been a manifest bust, much as the critics who appeared on our pages predicted. As the recovery continues, sooner or later the economy will begin to create new jobs, thank heaven. But the stimulus won’t have much do with it, except insofar as the higher taxes to finance the runaway spending further retard private investment and hiring.

For their part, Republicans have organized an economic roundtable for today, chock full of former Bush administration and McCain campaign staffers who, among other things, are responsible for the Bush tax cuts and Medicare Part D. Cantor also released a jobs plan yesterday, which Andrew Leonard characterized as a “magic pony jobs plan.” “Cut regulations. Freeze spending. Cut taxes. No new taxes. That’s the plan,” Leonard wrote.

Cross-posted on The Wonk Room. Read more about confronting the jobs dilemma in today’s Progress Report.