POLITICS

McConnell: Obama’s stimulus created more late-night jokes than jobs

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney conceded yesterday that the 2009 stimulus created jobs overseas, but declared that even some “detractors” of the bill admit that it “saved or created” 3 million American jobs.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would have none of it. “This is just the latest unintended consequence of a bill that’s been better at creating punch lines for late-night talk show hosts than good American jobs,” McConnell told The Washington Examiner  after Carney acknowledged that the bill funded overseas jobs.

Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Melanie Roussell explained why the stimulus bankrolled foreign projects. “In some of these cases, the components for these projects were built in other countries because we didn’t have the market for it here,” she told KPCC radio yesterday.

Even so, Carney maintained yesterday that the stimulus was a success. “It helped build a foundation for a 21st century economy that will allow us to compete at a level that otherwise we would not have been able to,” he said yesterday.

Carney made that claim even though the national unemployment rate has been above eight percent for 41 months — a level that President Obama’s advisers said it would never reach if the $787 billion stimulus bill was enacted.

“Unfortunately, President Obama’s faith in government is so absolute he still doesn’t seem to see what a titanic failure this bill has been,” McConnell replied after the White House press briefing yesterday.

The Federal Reserve is considering further alternative means of stoking the economy. “A few members expressed the view that further policy stimulus likely would be necessary to promote satisfactory growth in employment and to ensure that the inflation rate would be at the Committee’s goal,” Bloomberg reported based on the record of a recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

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