Friday, May 15, 2009

President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.

That is a statement which Republican leadership nationwide must start repeating over and over again.

Say it with me.

President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.

Some will disagree. Many will say we haven't given it enough time to do whatever good they think it will do.

But from a political perspective, it's vital for Republicans to gain the upperhand before the economy eventually does right itself(which it quite possibly would have done much faster without a stimulus in the first place) and the Democrats reap the benefits.

President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.

There is enough rhetoric and data to convincingly discuss the issue on Meet the Press or in special order speeches on the House floor.

When the President was selling the plan to the public back in January and February he explicitly stated the stimulus would quickly turn the economy around.
[The stimulus] is the right size, it is the right scope. Broadly speaking, it has the right priorities to create jobs that will jump-start our economy.
So let's check this out. Did it jumpstart the economy?

Let's ask my home state of Ohio where just yesterday we learned of 2,358 more auto workers losing their jobs. Or we can ask the Washington Post which just released this mind-boggling report on the actual number of unemployed Americans:
This morning's news that U.S. unemployment has hit 13.7 million, pushing the rate to 8.9 percent, tells only half the story of this recession.

The total number of Americans who are not working full-time but ought to be is actually about 22 million, or 15.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The 15.8 percent figure is the highest since the bureau began keeping these figures in 1994. Excluding the current recession, the highest previous rate came in January 1994, when it hit 11.8 percent.

The number was 8.7 percent in December 2007, when the current recession began. That means the number of the unofficially unemployed has shot up 7.1 percentage points since then.


By the way, in February, the White House predicted unemployment would top out at 8.1 percent this year, a figure that was blown through the following month.

It has made no call on how high the unofficial unemployment rate will go.

President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.

But will the public buy what we're selling?

All signs point to yes.

According to 2008's most accurate pollster, Scott Rasmussen, at time of its passing in Congress more Americans were against the stimulus than for it by a margin of 43-37. Among the all-important "unaffiliated" voters, a full 50% were against it. In other words, they came in thinking it was a bad idea. They are waiting to hear the news of its success or failure.

And how about now? Americans' confidence in the Democrats' ability to handle the economy has dropped a full 12% since right before last year's election. These people need to hear from the Republicans first. They need to know that the economy didn't buy what the President was selling.

President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.

As we detailed on Wednesday, the Administration is trying to paint a rosy picture of the economy. They are trying to convince the media and the voting public that things are turning around. While they aren't directly linking it to the stimulus, the implication they want to make is clear: With Obama in office, the economy is getting fixed.

Republicans can't let that happen.

The evidence is clear. Things aren't getting better. President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.

Come next year we'll have even more bellwethers with which we can judge the President's policies.

The White House still is projecting that the nation's economy will shrink by 1.2 percent this year and increase by 3.2 percent next year. In addition, it projects that "by the end of this year," the economy will be growing at a 3.5 percent annual rate.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts a gross domestic product decline of 3 percent this year, but 2.9 percent growth next year, while the April consensus of 50 blue-chip private economists sees a 2.6 percent decline in 2009 and only 1.8 percent growth next year.

Of those, who are you gonna trust?

Start prepping your commercials now.

"The President said things would improve. He spent nearly one trillion of our money to turn things around. He was wrong."

President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.

UPDATE: Nice timing. I beat Byron York's "The Stimulus is a Bust" column by an hour. Great minds... Ha.

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