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Rendell: Stimulus Wasn’t Really Stimulus

Were Democrats Incompetent, or Were They Lying?

I don’t know whether to be angry or to rejoice:

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) on Wednesday urged House members to consider another stimulus package just for infrastructure projects in order to produce more jobs…

“I would like to see a second stimulus devoted solely to infrastructure,” he said. “It’s what produces jobs, and produces orders for factories, American factories…”

“Look, I think the stimulus bill was misnamed,” he said. “Part of it was stimulus, part of it was job creation, but a lot of it was relief,” such as increased unemployment insurance and food stamps.

Rendell suggested that a second stimulus creating more infrastructure projects can lead more directly to jobs.

First off, I’d like to welcome Governor Rendell to the real world. Plenty of us realized that the porkulus wouldn’t do anything to put Americans back to work. We argued against it, and we told Democrats this was a terrible way to try to create jobs. We called for a real job-creation package – one that would give incentives to hire, and lift the regulatory burden on already-strained businesses. Instead, Democrats in Washington – with Rendell’s support – promised again and again that the porkulus was exactly what was needed to get the economy moving and put Americans back to work.

If Rendell agrees that that was all wrong, the question is whether it’s because Democrats had no clue what they were doing, or because they were lying.

Which is it Governor – incompetence, or mendacity?

Let’s recall what David Axelrod said we should expect when Obama signed the bill:

Look, what we’re–first of all, a large part of the package is helping people who are caught in this recession; extending unemployment benefits, health care and so on. That’s going to have a stimulative effect, everybody agrees on that. There’s aid to the states in there to prevent layoffs, and that is going to have a stimulative effect. There are tax cuts in there that we feel are going to have a stimulative effect. And obviously, putting people to work rebuilding this country on energy projects, infrastructure projects, rebuilding classrooms all over this country to bring them up to 21st century standards and so on, all of these things are going to have an impact. And those things are going to happen quickly.

Axelrod and this administration have a lot to answer for.

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