by Rep. Todd Akin (MO)
In February 2009, the President urged the passage of a grand rescue plan. Fearing certain disaster, he told the country that if they borrowed and spent $787 billion dollars, then everyone would have jobs again.
So began President Obama’s saga of spending. With a straight face, the President promised America that if his stimulus package passed, unemployment – then at 7.6 percent – would abate. Without it, we were told we would surely reach 9% unemployment – a rate our country has not seen in a quarter of a century.
Four months later, the unemployment rate for May has come in at 9.4% and seems to be climbing.
So, what happened to all the “stimulus” monies that were supposed to put Americans back to work? Well, they aren’t revamping our nation’s aging infrastructure. Instead, they are going to such “shovel-ready” projects as expanding Washington D.C.’s “Smartbike” program. That’s right, $3 million of your tax dollars are going to buy 400 bikes and 40 bike racks for the elite neighborhoods of Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill, and Georgetown – where the average single family home is $1.2 million. Now, I have no objection to bicycles, but at that price, these had better be made of gold!
It is not too early to conclude that February’s stimulus package has failed to deliver on the promises Speaker Pelosi and President Obama made for it. Unemployment is rising and even Vice President Biden has admitted that the money is going to waste, leaving our grandchildren with an unprecedented debt burden.
Just a little over a year ago, when President Obama was campaigning, he reminded us of the foolishness of continuing to grow the National Debt. Back then, he asked: “the first thing you do when you're in a hole is what?” It is not too late for the President to take his own advice: Stop digging!
Stop the wasteful spending. Stop growing the national debt. Stop inviting hyperinflation. Stop nationalizing private businesses. Instead, do what has always worked to grow our economy: unleash the power of American entrepreneurs. Cut the red tape on developing home grown energy. Incentivize productivity. Rollback unfunded mandates and encourage small business to hire new employees. In other words: do what works.