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The recession’s over? Thanks, Rep. DeGette!

By | October 1st, 2010

Dr. Mike Fallon, a Republican candidate for Congress, explained clearly during a recent candidate forum in Denver why further stimulus spending for the states would be a waste and how private-sector job creation must lead the way.

His opponent, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., informed the audience that the recession is over!

Yes she did. Technically she may be correct (that the recession ended in June 2009, according to The National Bureau of Economic Research report that came out the day she spoke). But why did DeGette find THAT worthy of proclaiming given widespread worry about the economy, skepticism about the federal government’s ability to fix what’s wrong and an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent?

DeGette has become a captive of Washington-think during her seven terms in office, a believer that if a little federal government is good, a lot must be better. She has earned a consistent ‘F’ rating from the National Taxpayers Union, interrupted by a ‘D’ in 2003.

Here’s a partial transcript of the candidates’ remarks from the Allied Jewish Federation’s 2010 Candidates Forum in Denver on Sept. 20, 2010, moderated by Adam Schrager of 9News.

FALLON: “What we need to do is grow our economy through the private sector. We need to get government out of the way so that private jobs can be sustainable over a long period of time. So, I’m against further stimulus spending. Our Congress has an addiction to spending. We need to live within our means, just like our families do, just like our businesses do. And government spending has been proven to not be the answer.”

SCHRAGER: “Congresswoman DeGette, your thoughts on further stimulus funding for states, in particular?”

DEGETTE: “I agree with my opponent. We should not have further stimulus spending unless it’s paid for. In other words, if we want to have infrastructure improvements then that needs to be paid for somewhere else in the budget, through tax revenues that are existing or something else. But we should not have any more deficit spending.

“I will beg to differ with my opponent, though, because the stimulus bill of last year, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has just shown that unemployment would be 2% higher if it had not been for that program and we would have many many more jobless people in this country. In additon, we would have had teachers and police officers and other state employees thrown out of their jobs. We would have also lost unemployment benefits for people and COBRA benefits for people.

“The TARP money, which was a bi-partisan bill that was passed when President Bush was president, actually has now been almost totally repaid, in part, due to the leadership of Congress. So while I don’t think that we should have any additional stimulus spending unless it’s offset someplace else, I do think that the stimulus that we passed helped stabilize our economy. And we have really good news today about the fact that the recession’s over and now we need to climb out of it.”

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