Debbie Wasserman Schultz: It's 'Baloney' to Say Stimulus Didn't Work

Susan Jones | September 12, 2011 | 11:02am EDT
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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) chairs the Democratic National Committee. (AP Photo)

( - Public pensions have not dragged down state budgets, and the "mantra that the Recovery (stimulus) Act did not work is such baloney," Democrat Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Monday morning.

The Florida Democrat was plugging President Obama's jobs plan on Fox News. She said the plan would be paid for by "closing corporate loopholes," bringing jobs back to the U.S., and by raising taxes on the "wealthy and more fortunate."

"At the end of the day, we have to make sure that we don't continue to deepen our problems by laying off more teachers, firefighters and police officers. We have to make sure we put construction workers back to work like the American Jobs Plan would do by investing in the infrastructure we need, and we have to make sure that this is paid for by folks who are not paying their fair share now, making sure that the wealthy and more fortunate step up to the plate, and that's how we're going to get this done."

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Schultz said the Democrats' $787 billion Recovery Act was credited with "creating 3.6 million jobs in this country, and it made sure that we didn't have tens of thousands of teachers, firefighters and police officers and other first responders laid off -- left twisting in the wind.

"It made sure that we had an infusion into the economy which at the time was spiraling downward, bleeding 750,000 jobs a month, and now we've had 18 straight months of private sector job growth, so there's just no way -- I mean, you can repeat it over and over -- but to say that the Recovery Act didn't work is simply false."

Christina Romer, who formerly chaired the White House Council of Economic Advisers, predicted that the stimulus package she helped create would prevent unemployment rates from rising above 8 percent. But it didn't happen. In the two years since the first stimulus package passed the unemployment rate has climbed, reaching 10.2 percent at its peak and more recently hovering in the 9.1 percent range.

Republican critics of the stimulus plan, including Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), described it at the time as "social engineering and welfare."


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