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Americans Not Sold On New Stimulus Or Tax Hikes; Meanwhile Solyndra Shows Results Of 1st Stimulus | Missouri Political News Service

Americans Not Sold On New Stimulus Or Tax Hikes; Meanwhile Solyndra Shows Results Of 1st Stimulus

September 14th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

There’s a great deal of skepticism of President Obama’s latest stimulus proposal today among Democrats in Congress and among the general public, which is certainly understandable, given the well-known failures of Obama’s original stimulus and the revelations about Solyndra.

Politico reports today, “President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan is hitting some unexpected turbulence in the halls of Congress: lawmakers from his own party. As he demands Congress quickly approve his ambitious proposal aimed at reviving the sagging economy, many Democrats on Capitol Hill appear far from sold that the president has the right anecdote to spur major job growth and turn around their party’s political fortunes.”

Rank-and-file Senate Democrats clearly aren’t sold on the tax hikes in the bill. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) told Politico the tax hikes were “terrible,” saying “We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income.” According to Politico, “Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, from the oil-rich state of Alaska, said it was ‘frustrating’ to see the president single out the oil industry after calling on the congressional supercommittee in last week’s address to Congress to find savings. ‘When you start singling out certain industries, there’s an unfairness to it,’ he said in an interview.” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was blunter: “That offset is not going to fly, and he [the president] should know that.” And Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), told Bloomberg News, “I disagree with the president,” concerning a tax on health care plans.

Even Senate Democrat leaders don’t sound enthusiastic. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said yesterday, “I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do yet with the president’s jobs bill . . . .” According to Bloomberg News, “Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said the caucus isn’t yet united behind all of Obama’s proposals to cover the bill’s $447 billion cost.” And Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said, “I don’t think anybody expects it to pass en bloc.”

Meanwhile, the American public is skeptical the president’s stimulus proposal will even live up to his assertion it will create jobs. Bloomberg News reports, “A majority of Americans don’t believe President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan will help lower the unemployment rate, skepticism he must overcome as he presses Congress for action and positions himself for re- election. . . . By a margin of 51 percent to 40 percent, Americans doubt the package of tax cuts and spending proposals intended to jumpstart job creation that Obama submitted to Congress this week will bring down the 9.1 percent jobless rate. That sentiment undermines one of the core arguments the president is making on the job act’s behalf in a nationwide campaign to build public support. Compounding Obama’s challenge is that 56 percent of independents, whom the president won in 2008 and will need to win in 2012, are skeptical it will work.”

Also, Bloomberg writes, “The downbeat assessment of the American Jobs Act reflects a growing and broad sense of dissatisfaction with the president. Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy by 62 percent to 33 percent, a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 9-12 shows. The disapproval number represents a nine point increase from six months ago.”

It’s little wonder that there is so little confidence in the proposals in President Obama’s new stimulus plan, given the well-known failures of the original nearly $1 trillion stimulus, some of which are becoming ever more apparent as more news comes out about the half-a-billion dollar loan the Obama administration provided to failed solar company Solyndra. ABC’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross summed it up in a report for World News Tonight, saying, “The text of White House emails obtained by ABC News, and the Center for Public Integrity, reveal for the first time the role of senior Obama administration officials in the Solyndra loan. It was a loan shelved by the Bush administration, but put on a fast-track just six days after President Obama took office.” And The Washington Post reports, “The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show.”

The USA Today editors write, “Despite initial misgivings about the company’s viability, an Energy Department program aimed at boosting ‘clean energy’ projects had guaranteed a $535 million loan to Solyndra, which produced an innovative but expensive solar panel. Taxpayers are now on the hook for some or most of that money, depending on whether someone buys the assets. . . . Even if Solyndra’s collapse is nothing more than good intentions gone awry — a big if — it is a cautionary tale about why government should be extremely wary about betting tax dollars on specific companies. If there’s one thing the marketplace virtually always does better than government, it’s picking individual successes in an uncertain and highly competitive business. In fact, government involvement can unfairly tilt the playing field toward one company and away from competitors.” They conclude, “This is a stain on Obama’s stimulus program.”

It’s easy to see, then, why so many lawmakers on Capitol Hill share the deep skepticism of Americans on the president’s plans for more stimulus spending.


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