Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
The ’200 Days, 200 Claims’ report
The Republican National Committee has released a massive, 200-point “I told you so” on President Obama’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the “stimulus package.”
The RNC calls the report “200 Days, 200 Claims,” and moves point-by-point through Democrats’ pledges and promises in promoting the stimulus package. Quoting Obama, Vice President Biden and Democrats from each region of the country separately, the report cites what advocates of the stimulus package said would happen upon its passage, then lists stats and quotes the GOP claims present the “reality” of what actually happened.
“It is appropriate on the 200th day of the stimulus to look back at exactly what the stimulus has accomplished,” writes RNC Chairman Michael Steele in a letter introducing the report. “The answer is very little. What it has done, however, is give the American people a $787 billion bill.”
Steele continues, “In the end, the stimulus is another failed experiment by the president that Americans cannot afford. Instead of creating jobs, millions are unemployed and billions have been added to our deficit. 200 days of this stimulus are 200 days too long.”
According to the report itself, “The RNC’s research focuses on promises made to the American people on job creation, waste, prevention, targeted spending, transparency and how the stimulus would bring about an economic recovery. The resulting report, – ’200 Days, 200 Claims’ – holds Democrats accountable for their claims that the stimulus was an absolute necessity to jolt the economy.
“[Democrats] used this and other claims to quickly force through one of the largest spending bills in American history,” the report charges. “Now Americans will see how valid those claims are 200 days later.”
The RNC report, for example, picks apart Obama’s remarks at the signing of the bill in Denver, Colo.:
“What makes this recovery plan so important,” the president said, “is [that] it will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.”
To counter the claim, the GOP report cites statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and states, “Reality: Since the stimulus bill was signed in February, America has lost more than 2.2 million jobs.”
The report also targets Biden’s comment quoted in the New York Times:
“The bottom line is that two-thirds of the Recovery Act doesn’t finance ‘programs,’” the vice president said, “but goes directly to tax cuts, state governments and families in need, without red tape or delays.”
In response, the RNC report quotes an article from last month’s Los Angeles Times:
“As of July 10, more than 3,600 of the 5,600 road projects approved by Washington – including six of the 10 largest approved projects – had not been given the green light to start construction,” Don Lee reported in the Times. “In Florida, not a single highway project had been given the go-ahead to start construction by July 10 – even though the state, with an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent, had 272 projects valued at more than $1 billion approved by the federal government.”
The report dissects dozens of statements from other Democrats and administration officials as well.
“At a time when the budget deficit was already large, we could not afford to create jobs by digging ditches and filling them in,” Christina D. Romer, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, said in a statement before The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. “Government spending had to satisfy genuine needs and leave us with useful public investments.”
Abrams writes, “The National Endowment for the Arts may be spending some of the money it received from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund nude simulated-sex dances, Saturday night ‘pervert’ revues and the airing of pornographic horror films at art houses in San Francisco.”
Abrams reported on a handful of odd choices for recipients of the NEA’s $80 million in stimulus funds, including $50,000 granted to Frameline film house, which, according to Abrams, “recently screened ‘Thundercrack,’ ‘the world’s only underground kinky art porno horror film, complete with four men, three women and a gorilla.’”
WND contacted the White House for response to the RNC report, but has yet to receive a response.
The RNC, however, drew its own conclusions about the “200 Days, 200 Claims” report:
“Not surprisingly, the American people are not buying these and other Democrat claims. No wonder a recent USA Today/Gallup poll found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe the stimulus is having no impact on the economy and won’t help in the years to come,” the report concludes. “As the reality behind these 200 claims demonstrate, Americans are too smart to be misled.”