GOP: President Obama, Charlie Melancon Attempt To Launch Second Costly Stimulus After First Debacle Failed Louisianians

September 8, 2010

WASHINGTON – As the Democrats desperately attempt to save their reelection chances this November, President Barack Obama and U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon (D-LA) are planning to force taxpayers to fork over even more of their hard-earned dollars in order to pay for another massive spending bill after their first $787 billion “stimulus” debacle failed to create much-needed jobs.

Despite Melancon’s promise that the first massive bill would “create or save an estimated 50,000 jobs in Louisiana,” his state’s jobless rate has only risen since it was passed in February 2009. And as the Associated Press notes, “Even if he can get the plan through Congress, at a time when lawmakers and voters are worried about federal deficits, the transportation spending plan envisioned by President Barack Obama wouldn’t create jobs right away.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal editorialized:

So two months before an election, and 19 months after the mother of all spending programs, President Obama said yesterday he’s rolling out one more plan to stimulate the economy…Stimulus I failed. Enter Stimulus II, the $814 billion plan that was also supposed to make up for lost private demand… Democrats embarked on the most sweeping expansion of government since the 1960s, imposing national health care, rewriting financial laws from top to bottom, attempting to re-regulate the telecom industry, and imposing vast new costs on energy, among many other proposals. Not to stop there, in January it plans to impose a huge new tax increase on “the wealthy,” which in practice means on the most profitable small businesses… Mr. Obama and the Democratic Congress have succeeded in doing all of this despite the growing opposition of the American people, who are now enduring the results. The only path back to robust growth and prosperity is to stop this agenda dead in its tracks, and then by stages to reverse it. These are the economic stakes in November.

“Last year, Charlie Melancon and President Obama ignored taxpayers’ concerns and promised that their massive stimulus bill would create much-needed jobs in Louisiana and nationwide. Now, after failing to deliver on their economic promises for more than 18 months, the Obama Administration and Melancon want to raid taxpayers’ wallets once again – this time with higher taxes to pay for even more Washington spending,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Chris Bond. “If there is one thing that President Obama and Charlie Melancon should have learned by now, it’s that our country cannot spend its way out of a recession. As Louisianians face skyrocketing unemployment, voters deserve to know: Will Melancon rubberstamp more spending, or will he stand up and finally say enough is enough?”

As a reminder, in the wake of Obama and Melancon’s first failed stimulus spending bill, funds were listed as going to Louisiana Congressional districts that do not
exist
, and stimulus funds were spent on wasteful non-job related
projects
, including:

* $144,541 to see how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine;
* $2 million to study exotic ants;
* Almost half-a-million to provide quitting smokers with a smartphone;
* $554,000 to replace windows at a closed visitor center;
* $760,000 for a computerized choreography program;
* $357,710 to restore an abandoned furnace;
* Over $13 million for repairs at the remote Dry Tortugas National Park in Key West, Florida;
* $700,000 to study why monkeys respond negatively to inequity and unfairness;
* Nearly $300,000 to provide information on interplanetary weather. (Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. and John McCain, “Summertime Blues: 100 Stimulus Projects That Give Taxpayers The Blues,” August 2010)

Background Information:

Louisiana’s Unemployment Was 5.9 Percent In February 2009. (Bureau of Labor Statistics Website, www.bls.gov, Accessed 9/7/10)

Louisiana’s Unemployment Was 7.2 Percent In July 2010. (Bureau of Labor Statistics Website, www.bls.gov, Accessed 9/7/10)

Melancon: The “Stimulus” Will “Create Or Save An Estimated 50,000 Jobs In Louisiana.” “‘Today, we are facing an economic crisis more serious than any since the Great Depression,’ said Rep. Melancon. ‘Last month alone, almost 600,000 Americans lost their jobs and unemployment in Louisiana has risen to 5.9%. With so many people hurting, we can’t afford to sit back and wait for the perfect solution to come along. We must take bold action now to stop the downward spiral. . . . This plan, while far from perfect, will create or save an estimated 50,000 jobs in Louisiana, invest over $538 million in infrastructure projects for our state, and lay a foundation for long-term growth for our country through innovation and education.” (Congressman Charlie Melancon, Press Release, “Rep. Melancon Supports Economic Recovery Plan To Create And Save 50,000 Jobs In Louisiana,” 2/13/09)

* Melancon: “This Bill Is The Right Thing To Do For America’s Future, And I Am Proud To Support It.” (Congressman Charlie Melancon, Press Release, “Rep. Melancon Supports Economic Recovery Plan To Create And Save 50,000 Jobs In Louisiana,” 2/13/09)

Louisiana “Stimulus” Funds Were Listed As Going To Congressional Districts That Do Not Exist

Millions In “Stimulus” Funds Were Listed By Recover.gov As Heading To Phantom Congressional Districts In Louisiana. “When President Barack Obama came before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24 to talk about his $787 billion stimulus package, he acknowledged that there were many ‘who are skeptical of whether this plan will work.’ . . . But Louisianans visiting the site might find themselves not just skeptical but truly puzzled to see that nearly $5 million was listed as headed to Louisiana’s 8th Congressional District, $2.8 million to the 22nd Congressional District, $1.8 million to the 12th Congressional District, and lesser amounts to the 26th, 45th, 14th, 32nd and even the 00 districts. The problem, of course, is that Louisiana only has seven congressional districts, and while those seven, to be fair, are listed as the intended destination of the lion’s share of the $2.2 billion awarded to Louisiana — of which $554 million has been delivered — many millions of dollars are listed as bound for nonexistent districts in Louisiana.” (Jonathan Tilove, “Recovery.Gov Web Site Errors Fuel Criticisms By Opponents Of Program,” NOLA.Com, 11/17/09)

Times Picayune: “Giving Citizens Information On How Federal Stimulus Money Is Being Spent Is A Good Idea, But Only If The Information Itself Is Accurate, And Therein Lies The Problem With The Web Site Recovery.Gov. If the congressional district number is wrong, other information could be wrong, too. Without better quality control, the Web site is an embarrassment for the administration that doesn’t result in a better informed public and doesn’t inspire confidence in government.” (Editorial, “Sorry, Wrong Number On Stimulus: An Editorial,” Times-Picayune, 11/23/09)

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