GOP slams stimulus on fifth anniversary
February 17th, 2014
10:16 AM ET
5 months ago

GOP slams stimulus on fifth anniversary

updated 1:00pm ET

Washington (CNN) – Five years after the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law, the measure, which is better known as the Stimulus or Recovery Act, was roundly criticized once again by Republicans.

"The Stimulus That Wasn't: Five Years Later, It's Clear Obama's Stimulus Was A Waste Of Taxpayer Dollars," was the headline on an email blast from the Republican National Committee Monday morning.

The stimulus was the first major bill pushed by Obama as he took over in the White House, and he signed the measure into law just a few weeks into his presidency. The law was designed to respond to the severe recession and skyrocketing unemployment, which the President inherited, by saving and creating jobs by pumping money into the economy. The original price tag of the measure was $787 billion, which was later revised upward to around $830 billion.

The stimulus was immediately opposed by the GOP, which had lost the White House and lost more ground to the majority Democratic Party in both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the November 2012 elections.

Passed by the House with no GOP support, the stimulus cleared the Senate with just three Republicans voting for the measure. The stimulus, along with the Wall Street and auto bailouts implemented a few months earlier under President George W. Bush, are largely credited with sparking the creation of the tea party movement.

"If you recall five years ago, the notion was that if the government spent all this money – that, by the way, was borrowed- that somehow the economy would begin to grow and create jobs. Well, of course, it clearly failed," said Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, in a video released Monday morning.

"Five years later, underemployment is still too high, the number of people that have dropped out of the workforce is astounding, unemployment remains stubbornly high and our economy isn't growing fast enough – proof that massive government spending, particularly debt spending, is not the solution to our economic growth problems," Rubio added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and two other members of the GOP Senate leadership, Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and John Thune of South Dakota, also released statements critical of the stimulus.

The White House Monday afternoon touted the effectiveness of the law.

"Five years after the Recovery Act, the U.S. economy is undoubtedly in a stronger position than when President Obama took office. The economy has now grown for 11 straight quarters, and businesses have added 8.5 million jobs since early 2010. While far more work remains to ensure that the economy provides opportunity for every American, there can be no question that President Obama's actions to date have laid the groundwork for stronger, more sustainable economic growth in the years ahead,"  said Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, in a statement put out by the White House.

Vice President Joe Biden will mark the stimulus on Wednesday, as he travels to Granite City, Illinois to "highlight the need for continued investment in infrastructure to create jobs and grow our economy," according to a release from the White House.

The most recent non-partisan, live operator polling on the stimulus appears to come from Pew Research two years ago. According to that survey, 37% of Americans supported the stimulus, with 41% disapproving and nearly a quarter unsure. As expected, there was a wide partisan divide, with two-thirds of Democrats but just 12% of Republicans supportive of the measure.


Filed under: Economy • Marco Rubio • RNC
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Unless you count all the GOP governors who used stim money to balance their budgets retroactively, sure, it was a failure. By the way, how are the schools that were falling apart in SC when Mark Sanford " refused" the money?

    February 17, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. guest

    ya well, we cant all steal the tax payers money for personal gain, eventually they had to legislate that it be used for the country again, like most of it was before bush took office.

    February 17, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. rs

    Seeing as the vast bulk of the Stimulus Act was tax cuts, does this mean the GOP is warming up to the idea (finally!) that if we want a functional government, we must pay for it? Or, is this just another feeble attempt to attack something else they once supported? A slap at the TEA Party, perchance?
    All the GOP does with this sort of silliness is demonstrate three things:
    1. They have moved further to the Right than we might have ever imagined
    2. They are playing games, not promoting any sort of logical policy
    3. They are completely unsuitable for any sort of leadership role in national politics

    February 17, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Stuffitu

    One of my favorite moments of the corrupt president s stimulus was Joe Boden telling us that after the regime gave a trillion dollars to the dopers, welfare frauds and corrupt unions, 2010 was the summer of prosperity.. Of course this whole administration has been a bad joke on America, that is why Obozl was laughing about the stimulus yesterday.

    February 17, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    I recall governors like Piyush Jindal who were denouncing the stimulus, but were right there at ribbon cutting ceremonies from stimulus funded projects.

    February 17, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. love344

    the stimulus has work and is working

    February 17, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. ghostwriter

    RS, you are correct. Personally, I'd like to ask how Rick Perry and Paul Ryan, who used stimulus money to pay off political donors, feel about the program. Or maybe "Bobby" Jindal.

    Only conservatives can successfully block any major attempt or idea by Obama to bring the economy back and still blame him for not bringing the economy back. It's like cutting off someone's leg and asking them why they can't run faster.

    February 17, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. Carly

    Congressional Republicans always state the stimulus was a failure but yet they attended ribbon-cutting ceremonies in their own districts the stimulus financed. Hypocrites. Will the true Republicans please return to Congress, we NEED you. Republicans used to be better than this. Disgraceful is what they are now. It is humiliating to be a Republican now which is why we have so many Independents. Former Republicans to ashamed to admit they are Republican. We need the old Republican back ASAP. Get rid of these fake Republicans and be proud of your party again. You'll be glad you did and so will the rest of our country.

    February 17, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. wendel

    really five years after seeing the economy recover these stupid republicans think the American people will buy this. Only if your a repo idiot would you fall for this nonsense. I guess they have really run out of things to bash the president about. The party is no longer relevant .Vote all these trolls out

    February 17, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Hector Slagg

    Eh,
    Well of course it's working. Unemployment is at 4 Percent, no? But shucks, A Billion here, a Billion there, pretty soon we're talking real money no? And if we can't afford it, we'll just charge it. And Tax the Rich people out of existence, right? What! They all moved to China? Aghhh! Now what.

    February 17, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -Stuffitu

    One of my favorite moments of the corrupt president s stimulus was Joe Boden telling us that after the regime gave a trillion dollars to the dopers, welfare frauds and corrupt unions, 2010 was the summer of prosperity.. Of course this whole administration has been a bad joke on America, that is why Obozl was laughing about the stimulus yesterday.
    ****************
    Funny, not too long ago you were complaining about how Obama was responsible for you being a failure. If you are a failure, isn't that on you?

    February 17, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. ak_steve

    I am sure the sequester and shutting down the government and the massive amounts of spending the GOP did prior to the recession didn't have anything to do with our slow recovery.

    The GOP would flatten your car tires and then blame you for being late to a meeting.

    February 17, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Pete

    Rubio right now is about as irrelevant as his party is,go away..Most of what Pres.Obama did mind you was without the republicans help did work or you'd hear raves from republicans saying we did it ,we did it..Like the auto bailout,HARP for homeowners and the resurgence of Wall Street all done without one ounce of republicans help..Please republicans chime in about jobs,jobs,jobs the motto you all ran on in 2010 and haven't done one thing about those either have yah...Well at midterms you'll get your just reward the boot to your butt and out the door you go..Thank God for you it'll be warmer weather when you're outside looking in ...

    February 17, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Mr. Moderate

    The stimulus was watered down in an effort to get Republican support, so in essence they sabotaged it so they could continue to hold it up as a failure. It was originally proposed to be a $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill. Republicans said "too expensive and no tax cuts" we won't support it! It was then reduced to $800 billion with almost 40% involving tax cuts and they reneged on their support. Two private sector non-partisan economists for PNC Financial and BNY Mellon both said even in its reduced form it was a "necessary evil essential in stabilizing the economy." I'll accept their opinion more than some political hack. But in the end most economists said that it was too small to have a stimulative effect which is exactly what the Republicans wanted. Party First!

    February 17, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Will the true Republicans please return to Congress, we NEED you. Republicans used to be better than this. Disgraceful is what they are now
    -------------------------------------------------
    I couldn'd agree more.
    I also concur with 'Ol Yeller and Tampa Tim who correctly assessed last week that the only thing this current batch of cray-crays that have hijacked the Republican Party can do is pick their noses and our pockets.

    February 17, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Thomas

    Marco Rubio , the next President of Cuba , in his dreams .

    February 17, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    It's clear the stimulus was a success except to the braindead GOP that CAUSED IT!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Hector Slagg

    Eh,
    Well of course it's working. Unemployment is at 4 Percent, no? But shucks, A Billion here, a Billion there, pretty soon we're talking real money no? And if we can't afford it, we'll just charge it. And Tax the Rich people out of existence, right? What! They all moved to China? Aghhh! Now what.
    *****************
    Eh,

    Maybe we do nothing, and watch money go to fewer and fewer people. Less opportunity is better, no? Feudalism look good, or maybe like banana republic. All that matters is making sure poverty rate goes up to 1890s level. Yes, that sound good, Who need middle class when new aristocrats have control over everything, and tell us what to think and what to do? They make money, maybe throw you change after they run over your kid with limo.

    February 17, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Al-NY,NY

    GOP governers..... "stimulus bad.....gimme $....stimulus bad........hey everyone! Look how I helped our state.....stimulus bad"

    February 17, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    rs

    Seeing as the vast bulk of the Stimulus Act was tax cuts, does this mean the GOP is warming up to the idea (finally!) that if we want a functional government, we must pay for it?
    --------
    I think everyone wants a functional government. There's a difference between a functional government and an obscenely bloated bureaucracy.

    February 17, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Bill from GA

    Comparing the turnaround in the USA with the stagnation in Europe, no one could reasonably deny the effectiveness of Obama's Stimulus. This, in spite of all efforts of the republicans to block any further efforts by our president for growth, such as more infrastructure spending.

    February 17, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. rs

    Hector Slagg

    Eh,
    Well of course it's working. Unemployment is at 4 Percent, no? But shucks, A Billion here, a Billion there, pretty soon we're talking real money no? And if we can't afford it, we'll just charge it. And Tax the Rich people out of existence, right? What! They all moved to China? Aghhh! Now what.
    __________________________
    Indeed it is- unemployment is at its lowest since the Bush Crash of '08.... and the Republicans? They fiddled.

    February 17, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. MTATL67

    The Do Nothing Congressional Republicans need to pick up a business paper. Company made decade record breaking profits they just refuse to create new jobs.

    February 17, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. bcrunner

    I am still waiting for ONE!! Just ONE jobs bill from the Republicans!! WHERE THE HECK IS IT????

    February 17, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. troppo1

    What can you say, If the Pres was/is for it, then they are against it and have been since the beginning. The worst fools in our policital history...

    February 17, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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