Newly sworn-in Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has parroted his party’s line on most issues since he began receiving national attention, even changing his opinion on the health care bill. Yesterday, at his first press conference as a U.S. senator, he took another chance to side with the most orthodox conservatives, falsely claiming that the Recovery Act has not created “one new job“:
Last stimulus bill didn’t create one new job. Some states the money that was released hasn’t even been used yet. We lost another 85,000 jobs again, give or take, last month. Massachusetts has not created one new job. Throughout the country as well. May have retained some but has not created any new jobs.
After the conference, CNN’s David Gergen took issue with Brown’s claim, saying, “I think that there are an awful lot of people out there who would dispute the assertion.” Watch it:
Gergen’s right. Among those people are the nearly 600,000 whose jobs were saved or created in the last quarter of 2009 alone. Economists have consistently praised the Recovery Act for rescuing the economy, projecting that without the “boldest countercyclical fiscal stimulus in American history,” unemployment would have hit 10.8 percent and there would have been another 1.2 million lost jobs. Today, unemployment stands a full percentage point lower at 9.7 percent.
Brown understood this last week, when he asked Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick to increase “the pace of the state’s economic stimulus spending.” This came after reports that the stimulus had added last quarter more than 9,000 jobs to the 23,000 already created or saved in Massachusetts. Despite the evidence and the economists’ consensus, however, Brown has endorsed his fellow Republicans’ “clueless” denial of the stimulus’ effectiveness.