He Botched The ‘Stimulus,’ Will He Reject Another Massive Spending Bill?
WASHINGTON – After promising that he would not raise taxes on 95 percent of Americans as a candidate, President Barack Obama’s administration refused to rule out the possibility of a middle class tax hike yesterday in order to pay for the Democrats’ massive government-run health care overhaul proposals.
According to the Associated Press, “Two of President Barack Obama’s economic heavyweights said middle-class taxes might have to go up to pare budget deficits or to pay for the proposed overhaul of the nation's health care system... Geithner said the White House was not ready to rule out a tax hike to reduce the federal deficit; Summers said Obama's proposed health care overhaul needs funding from somewhere.”
As the New York Daily News reported, “President Obama pledged often on the campaign trail that taxes would stay the same or go down for 95% of Americans. Asked on Sunday if even the middle class could face hikes, neither Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner nor Lawrence Summers, head of the President’s National Economic Council, would say for sure they’d stick to the pledge.”
“If Paul Hodes wants a promotion to the U.S. Senate, he needs to explain: will he unequivocally vote against any legislation that raises taxes on the middle class and breaks the President’s campaign pledge that he would not increase taxes for 95 percent of Americans? Or will he once again toe the line for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, even if it means increasing taxes for New Hampshire families who are struggling to make ends meet?” asked National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson.
In February, Hodes joined Democrat leaders and voted for the massive $787 billion “stimulus” bill, promising that the bill would “reduce soaring unemployment.” Unemployment in New Hampshire was 5.7 percent in February 2009 when Hodes cast his vote, but it reached 6.8 percent four months later in June 2009, leaving over 48,000 Granite State workers still unemployed.
According to the Union Leader, $3 million in stimulus funds being given to the University of New Hampshire will not be used to rehire employees terminated in June. In Manchester, the Union Leader reported that $22,157 of stimulus funds were to purchase a new SUV to replace a functional car. And ABC News reported that road signs touting “stimulus” projects in the state cost $500 each.
Congressman Paul Hodes (D-NH) And The Obama Administration Touted The So-Called “Stimulus” Bill As A Means Of Job Creation:
Hodes Said The “Stimulus” Would “Reduce Soaring Unemployment.” (Travis Andersen, “Hodes Says Stimulus Will Help,” The Nashua [NH] Telegraph, 1/27/09)
The Obama Administration Claimed The “Stimulus” Bill Would “Jumpstart Growth And Transform Our Economy.” (“American Recovery And Reinvestment Act: State-By-State Jobs Impact,” The White House, 2/13/09)
Tens Of Thousands Of New Hampshire Workers Are On Unemployment Months After Hodes Praised And Voted For The “Stimulus” Bill:
Unemployment In New Hampshire Was 5.7% When Hodes Voted For The So-Called “Stimulus” Bill In February. (United States Department Of Labor Bureau Of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, Accessed 7/9/09; H.R. 1, CQ Vote # 70: Adopted 246-183: R 0-176; D 246-7, 2/13/09, Hodes Voted Yea)
By May, New Hampshire’s Unemployment Rate Had Jumped To 6.5% And Over 48,000 Granite State Workers Were Unemployed. (United States Department Of Labor Bureau Of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, Accessed 7/11/09)
Today, Reports Show New Hampshire’s Unemployment Reached 6.8% In June, Months After Hodes Voted For The “Stimulus” Bill He Claimed Would Reduce Unemployment. (United States Department Of Labor Bureau Of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, Accessed 7/17/09; H.R. 1, CQ Vote # 70: Adopted 246-183: R 0-176; D 246-7, 2/13/09, Hodes Voted Yea; Andersen, “Hodes Says Stimulus Will Help,” The Nashua [NH] Telegraph, 1/27/09)
At 9.5%, National Unemployment Is The Highest It’s Been In 26 Years, With 14.7 Million People Unemployed In June. (Jeannine Aversa, “467K Jobs Cut In June; Jobless Rate At 9.5 Percent,” The Associated Press, 7/2/09)
Time: “The $787 Billion Stimulus Plan Is Turning Out To Be Far Less Stimulating Than Its Architects Expected. Back in early January, when Obama was still President-elect, two of his chief economic advisers, and leading proponents of a stimulus bill, predicted that the passage of a large economic-aid package would boost the economy and keep the unemployment rate below 8%. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Last month, the jobless rate in America hit 9.5%, the highest level it has reached since 1983.” (Stephen Gandel, “Obama’s Stimulus Plan: Failing By Its Own Measure,” Time, 7/14/09)
“The Administration Once Vowed To Use Stimulus Policies To Keep The Jobless Rate Below 8 Percent; It Is Now Just Shy Of 10 Percent.” (Jeanne Cummings, “Obama’s Rosy Scenario Turns Thorny,” Politico, 7/14/09)
$3 Million In Stimulus Funds Being Given To The University Of New Hampshire Will Not Be Used To Rehire Employees Terminated In June. “Hopes that federal stimulus money would help restore cuts at the University of New Hampshire appear to be dashed after officials announced this week they will get $3 million, but none of the money will be used to rehire employees terminated in June.” (Clynton Namuo, “Federal Stimulus Money Will Not Restore Jobs At UNH,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 7/10/09)
Despite Four Years Of Dropping Home Prices In New Hampshire, $8.3 Million In Stimulus Funds Is Being Used To Build Lower-Priced Housing. “Home prices in New Hampshire have dropped for four years straight, according to the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. And the drop has been big. The median home price in the first five months of 2008 was $237,000. The median price in the first five months of this year: $200,000. That’s a 16 percent reduction. Housing has suddenly become vastly more affordable in New Hampshire. Now, enter the federal government. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen announced last week that through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill), New Hampshire has received $8.3 million ‘to jumpstart affordable housing projects across the state and create jobs.’ Genius. In the midst of a years-long decline in home prices, Washington gives us $8 million to reduce home prices. Even better, people struggling to sell their homes will now have to compete with federally subsidized housing projects. There is little demand for housing construction, and thus construction jobs. So Washington’s answer is to invent demand where there is none. Who cares if the new ‘affordable’ homes stay empty? The point is to ‘create jobs.’ That’s exactly the sort of make-work project we were assured the stimulus bill would not fund.” (Editorial, “Housing Stimulus,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 7/5/09)
Manchester Used Stimulus Funds To Purchase A New SUV To Replace A Functional Car. “The field supervisor at the Manchester Transit Authority will be driving a new SUV while on the job, thanks to the national economic stimulus program. The MTA is spending $22,157 of the $408,000 it will receive in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to purchase a six-cylinder, 2009 Ford Explorer, the MTA said last week. The city bus company needs the SUV to transport passengers in case a bus breaks down and to shuttle drivers occasionally during shift changes, said Carey Roessel, MTA executive director. . . . He said the SUV replaces a 1998 Crown Victoria that has 68,275 on the odometer. While the mileage is low, the car has had a lot of use,” Roessel said. (Mark Hayward, “City Transit Agency To Buy SUV With Stimulus Money,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 5/23/09)
Road Signs Noting “Stimulus” Projects Cost $500 Apiece In New Hampshire. “Signs with the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act logo are plastered at stimulus-funded construction project sites around America. The costs of these signs -- some of them reaching into the thousands of dollars -- are drawing sharp criticism from one member of Congress...The signs cost $500 apiece in Maryland and New Hampshire, $1,700 in Georgia, $2,000 in Pennsylvania and New York, and $3,000 per project in New Jersey. For the price of one $2,000 sign, 40 potholes could be repaired. The costs of the signs are adding up for some states.” (Jonathan Karl, “Expensive Stimulus Road Signs Raise Eyebrows,” ABC News, 7/10/09)