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U.S. Reps. Salazar and Perlmutter deploy the stimulus smear

Posted by WhoSaidYouSaid on October 24th, 2010
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U.S. Reps. John Salazar and Ed Perlmutter of Colorado think they’ve got a winning issue by smearing their Republican challengers with stimulus spending. But it reveals desperation by the Democratic incumbents who supported the flawed plan to begin with.

Salazar cries hypocrisy, saying a company co-founded by the father of Scott Tipton (a company Tipton says he has nothing to do with) received $12 million in stimulus funds. Perlmutter cries hypocrisy, saying a charter school co-founded by Ryan Frazier received $100,000 in stimulus funds.

And the cries of hypocrisy are amplified in news reports as if they’re meaningful because Tipton and Frazier say the stimulus spending was a waste.

Guess what? EVERYONE, either directly or indirectly, is a “recipient” of the $787 billion [revised to $814 billion] deficit-fueled stimulus spending because its effects are so diffuse. That was one outcome of the Democratic-led spree, advancing the culture of economic dependency, whereby anyone could be implicated in the receipt or pursuit of government funds - and therefore no one dare criticize it.

For that hit on current officeholders, see “Stimulating Hypocrisy: Scores of Recovery Act Opponents Sought Money Out of Public View,” a report from The Center for Public Integrity.

Yet, the real scandal of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is explained in this Economist article, False expectations: the historic infrastructure investment that wasn’t.”

The stimulus was oversold by the Obama Administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress. And now its underperformance (such as a 9.6 percent national unemployment rate, higher than when the stimulus was enacted in February 2009) prompts incumbents who voted for it - like Salazar and Perlmutter - to deploy the stimulus smear.

Pres. Obama tried it himself during a July visit to Holland, Mich., to announce a new battery plant backed by stimulus spending. As part of his remarks, Obama called out U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Republican whose Congressional district Obama was visiting, who had voted against the stimulus and who was in the audience.

“Some made the political calculation that it’s better to obstruct than lend a hand,” said Obama, in remarks reported by The Washington Post “They said no to the tax cuts, they said no to small business loans, they said no to clean energy projects. It doesn’t stop them from [being at] ribbon cuttings — but that’s OK.”

See the cringe-inducing video clip above.

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    WhoSaidYouSaid, with Kelly Maher and Mary Smith, presents video and commentary on politics, people and policy. Contact us at [email protected]

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