September 11, 2009

Republicans scoff at stimulus bill report

The first official White House report on the $787 billion stimulus spending bill provoked quick protest from Washington Republicans who voted against it.

Presenting the report, Christina Romer, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, said the economic stimulus bill was absolutely working effectively. The report claims the $150 billion spent so far raised the U.S. economic output by about 2.3 percentage points in the second quarter, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said the report used fuzzy math.

Considering the so-called Recovery Act is little more than a spending binge for liberal constituencies, it's no surprise the White House has to fudge the numbers to make it look successful, he said.

Despite skyrocketing unemployment rates and millions of lost jobs, the administration can use these models time and again to avoid accountability, said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

IHS Global Insight chief economist Brian Bethune said the impact on jobs has not been as strong as it could have been.

Firms are making do with fewer people and squeezing more out of the people who are working, he said.

His Global Insight projects 650,000 jobs have been created or saved so far.

Fewer jobs are going to be needed, Bethune said.