Senator Burr: Having it both ways with BarryO’s stimulus




U.S. Senator Richard  Burr (R-NC) published a great piece the other day in The Charlotte Observer on the evils of BarryO’s stimulus:

Three years ago, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Investment Act, better known as the stimulus bill, into law, promising the American people that his $825 billion spending package would create shovel-ready jobs, keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent, and turn the economy around.

These claims, however, have amounted to nothing more than broken promises. Shovel-ready jobs are still nowhere to be found, and unemployment has exceeded 8 percent every month that he has been in office, hitting a national record of 36 straight months.

I do not blame the president for the economic difficulties he inherited, but I do hold him accountable for the ineffective, expensive, job-killing policies he has forced onto the American people over the last three years. It is time for him to face the facts – his policies have failed, and they are making our economy worse.

Despite clear indicators like our national unemployment rate, the administration still refuses to acknowledge that the stimulus failed to deliver. President Obama and others in the administration, including Vice President Joe Biden in this very paper, continue to tout the success of the stimulus bill, asserting that their expensive law not only overcame the economic hurdles they inherited, but also jolted our economy back to life. One has to wonder what evidence they are looking at that could lead them to such a misguided perception.

Rather than implement policies that will actually spur growth and put our economy back on the right track, the president has continually and stubbornly led us down the wrong road. He has even ignored the suggestions of his own commission on fiscal responsibility. Rather than implement even a single reform suggested by the Simpson-Bowles panel, the president calls for more spending and bigger government in his most recent budget, even though we have learned that throwing money at our problems is not the right approach to restoring our economy.

More government spending has not spurred job growth over the past three years, and it won’t work now. President Obama promised that the stimulus would create 3.5 million jobs, but 1.2 million jobs have been lost since he took office. Close to 20 million Americans are unemployed. He promised that the stimulus would lift 2 million Americans from poverty, but 6.3 million Americans have fallen into poverty under his watch.

The bottom line is that the stimulus wasted taxpayer money and failed to deliver on its promises. Billions of dollars went to companies and projects connected to Democrats’ political allies and donors, including half a billion dollars to now-bankrupt Solyndra, which laid off 1,100 workers last year.

Rather than acknowledging the gravity of our economic challenges and making tough choices to get our economy back on track, the president’s 2013 budget proposes more of the same egregious spending, imposes tax hikes that will hurt job creators and our economy, ignores the pending insolvency of Medicare and Social Security, and fails to reduce the debt and rein in spending. I have news for the president: words alone are not enough to turn our economy around and put Americans back to work.

Instead, we need to pass common-sense legislation that makes the rules governing job-creating investments more predictable. In addition, we can simplify the tax code so that all businesses, both large and small, play by the same rules and have a clear idea what their tax burden will look like in the next year and in the years ahead.  […]

So, let’s recap:  the stimulus, and the idea of throwing federal money we really don’t have at local pet projects is a bad idea.  Right?

Burr backed up his tough talk with action, in 2009, by voting against Barry’s stimulus travesty.  Though, things got  a little iffy for Burr in October of that year:

The Bethlehem community’s population has been growing for years, but its volunteer fire department is still working out of the 1962 fire station, built when the Bethlehem Community Volunteer Fire Department was founded.

This summer, the department applied for and won a $2,008,515 federal grant that will pay for a new 19,000-square-foot fire station.

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr was in Bethlehem to present the grant to the department.

“This is a great thing for this county,” he said. “We’re not accustomed to federal dollars in that magnitude finding their way to North Carolina.”

“This will serve a huge need for us,” said ChiefShannon Lowrance of the Bethlehem Community Volunteer Fire Department. “This is a very fast-growing community. We’re building for the next 50 years.”

Lowrance said the department responded to more than 700 calls this year, as compared to about 400 three years ago.

He said the new station will be built on N.C. 127 across from Richey Road. It will contain a community room and serve as an emergency shelter in times of need.

“We hope to have it done by next spring,” Lowrance said.

He said the grant will pay for the station and everything in it except for the furniture.

In 2002, architectural plans for a new station were drawn up at a cost of $20,000. Two years ago those plans were updated to conform to new building codes at a cost of $2,000.

Having the plans ready to go helped the department win three American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Assistance to Firefighters Station Construction Grants issued this year from the Federal Emergency Management Agency / Department of Homeland SecurityLowrance said.

So, apparently, the stimulus and the idea of throwing federal dollars at pet projects is badUNLESS that money is being thrown at a project in your home state just as you’re kicking off your reelection campaign.