POLITICS

WH and DNC admit that 2009 stimulus spent money to create jobs overseas

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and the Democratic National Committee conceded — in the face of repeated questions — that the 2009 stimulus sent money to foreign companies and created jobs overseas.

“Recovery Act dollars helped create jobs for Americans here in the United States,” Carney told reporters today. “And when you have foreign companies that are creating operations here in the United States, the fact that  — in one case, South Koreans were a part of that — the broader truth of it is that many many jobs for Americans were created here and facilities were built here that will continue to create jobs and give economic benefit here in the United States.”

His answer provoked some push-back in the briefing. “Jay, doesn’t that sort of undermine the whole outsourcing argument?” one reporter asked. “If money invested overseas also creates jobs here, isn’t that also true for the kinds of investments that Bain is making?”

Carney refused to answer that “campaign specific” question.

He mentioned the South Koreans because Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have dubbed President Obama the “outsourcer-in-chief” based on the stimulus spending for foreign projects. “Among them are solar panels built in Mexico, electric delivery trucks assembled in Great Britain and parts used to build U.S. wind-power farms that came from South Korea, Japan and Mexico,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“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,” DNC Spokeswoman Melanie Roussell told KPCC radio today, per Breitbart News.

When the White House unveiled the stimulus, President Obama’s advisers predicted that the bill would prevent the unemployment from reaching 8 percent. “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,” Carney said of the stimulus today.

The national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent last month.

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