Although it's pretty apparent there are a lot of stupid people on the right side of the congressional aisle, I doubt their concerted efforts to undermine economic recovery are the result of not knowing what they're doing. I think it's pretty obvious: they're hanging their 2012 electoral hopes on a flagging economy and will do everything they can to see that it happens. If ever there were an example of politicians choosing their own interests over those of their country, this is it. Read this comprehensive report, and see if you can come to any other conclusion:
The Recovery Act Lowered The Unemployment Rate And Increased The Number Of People With Full-Time Jobs By Millions. According to the CBO:
CBO estimates that ARRA's policies had the following effects in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010:
- They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product by between 1.1 percent and 3.5 percent,
- Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.9 percentage points,
- Increased the number of people employed by between 1.3 million and 3.5 million, and
- Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 1.8 million to 5.0 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers).
[Congressional Budget Office, 2/23/11]
- All 176 Republicans In The House And 38 Republicans In The Senate Voted Against The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act. [H.R. 1, Vote #70, 2/13/09; H.R. 1, Vote #64, 2/13/09]
The Affordable Care Act "Could Increase The Number Of Jobs In The United States By About 250,000 To 400,000 Per Year." According to the Center for American Progress: "In the analysis that follows, we combine these two studies to show that health care reform could increase the number of jobs in the United States by about 250,000 to 400,000 per year over the coming decade." [Center for American Progress,1/8/10]
- No Republicans In The House Or Senate Voted For The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act. [H.R. 3590, Vote #165, 3/21/2010; H.R. 3590, Vote #396,12/24/09]
The Jobs For Main Street Act Could "Create More Than One Million Jobs."According to Rep. Ray Oberstar (D-MN) via National Journal: "We have the opportunity to build on the foundation set by the Recovery Act in H.R. 2847, the Jobs for Main Street Act. This bill, which won approval in the House on December 16, 2009, would invest another $37.3 billion in our nation's highways and transit systems, and create more than one million jobs." [National Journal, 1/4/10]
The report, which thoroughly enumerates Republican efforts to destroy job growth, concludes with this:
Rove Op-Ed: "Democrats Are Being Held Accountable For [The Economy's] Poor Performance." From a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Republican Strategist Karl Rove: "Instead, they [the Democrats] will be killed at the polls. This election's top issue is the economy, and the Democrats are being held accountable for its poor performance. After all, the party controls the White House and Congress and passed all the spending and stimulus measures it could dream up." [Wall Street Journal, 10/7/10, emphasis added]
I guess it's reassuring at some level to know elected Rs aren't simply blithering idiots: they have a well-organized plan. It's just that it happens to be to destroy America so they can run against Obama.