Today, on the one year anniversary of the signing of the Recovery Act, like clockwork we're seeing opponents of the bill on the attack on cable TV and in the newspaper. That's no surprise. What is surprising, though, is that many of these very same Members who voted against the bill and take every opportunity to go on national television and attack it have actually celebrated and taken credit for Recovery Act money making an impact in their own districts.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) voted against the Recovery Act twice, but then touted the job-creation and economic development potential of a stimulus-funded high speed rail project in Virginia. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voted against the Recovery Act twice but then touted a military project in Kentucky funded by the stimulus as "a source of significant employment."
They can't really have it both ways. Yet Recovery Act opponents across the country are trying to do just that: bash the Recovery Act in Washington while taking credit for it at home. Just take a look at some of these stories from the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal for more examples.
As David Leonhardt highlighted in the New York Times today, the bottom line is that the Recovery Act has created jobs that otherwise would not have existed and cushioned the blow of the economic downturn. Well-known independent economic research firms IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody's Economy.com have all estimated that the Recovery Act has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs to the economy so far, and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimate of jobs created thus far is even higher: 2.4 million. While we won't be satisfied until we begin to see net job growth, the fact is that job losses today are a fraction of what they were a year ago before the Recovery Act was passed.
The President is also working with Congress on additional jobs measures, many of which are rooted in the early successes of the Recovery Act. The President continues to work every day to find more ways to create more jobs and drive economic growth and he won’t be satisfied until our economy is back on firm footing.
Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director