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President's Second Stimulus Bill Garners Bipartisan Opposition


Location: Washington, DC

"It's been a week now since the President unveiled his second stimulus. And today, a week later, White House aides are expected to hold a briefing to explain it all to Democrats who don't understand the details.

"Well, one would think they'd want to be briefed on the details before the President demanded they pass it "right away,' not after. But then again, the White House probably expected stronger support from Democrats than it's gotten so far.

"After all, this bill's top selling point, according to the President, was that both parties should like it.

"Yet, so far, the only thing both parties in Congress seem to agree on is that there's got to be a better way.

"Earlier this week, after several of us suggested that the President would have a hard time convincing members of his own party to support this plan, a number of them proved us right.

"While the President was out in Ohio insisting over and over again that Congress pass the bill, it seemed like the only Democrats who were even willing to talk about it here on Capitol Hill were tearing it apart.

"You had the Democratic Majority Leader basically treating it like a legislative afterthought.

"One freshmen senator called parts of the bill `frustrating' and `unfair.'

"Another Democrat called a central part of the bill `terrible.'

"One veteran Democrat was tamping down expectations of it passing in one piece.

"And another veteran Democrat suggested a completely different approach to jobs altogether.

"So I know the President and his advisors are keen on this idea of making Republicans look bad, but from what I can tell, he's got a bigger problem at the moment lining up supporters in his own party. And that brings me to the real issue.

"The truth is, the President has a problem that no amount of political strategizing can solve: his economic policies simply haven't worked.

"Yet he and his advisors seem to be the only folks in Washington who aren't ready to admit it.

"I mean, we're in the middle of a crisis.

"The average length of unemployment is at an all-time high. Median income is going down instead of up. Poverty levels are higher than they've been in nearly two decades. Millions of Americans can't find work.

"The numbers just keep getting worse.

"And the President's solution is to demand another Washington stimulus bill, because the first one worked out so well.

"The first stimulus is a national punch line. Turtle tunnels, sidewalks to nowhere.

"And now we're hearing reports that the White House fast-tracked a half billion dollar loan to a politically-connected energy firm that their own analysts said wasn't ready for primetime.

"This place was supposed to be the poster child of how the original stimulus would create jobs. Now it's bankrupt and most of its 1,100 employees are out of work.

"And they want another stimulus?

"Look: even if you didn't know about any of the waste or the alleged cronyism, here's the bottom line: two and a half years after the President signed the first stimulus, there are 1.7 million fewer jobs in this country, 1.7 million fewer jobs after borrowing and spending $825 billion to create them.

"What more do you need to know than that?

"We've gone down that road.

"Shouldn't we try something different?

"How about we do what job creators in America are telling us they need in order to create jobs: tax reform, loosening the grip of government regulations, and free-trade agreements.

"That's how we'll create a better environment for jobs in this country.

"It might mean the President doesn't get his tax hikes, but it would mean more jobs.

"Now, I know that some people sometimes get attached to a single idea. And this President seems to have come into office with one big idea -- that there isn't a problem we have that bigger government can't solve.

"But at a certain point, you've got to take stock. You've got to check your results, see how you're doing.

"And I think it's pretty clear to most people what the results suggest.

"Mr. President, it's time to change course."

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