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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Debate on Referral to Conference Committee of HR 1 Stimulus Bill

February 10, 2009
Press Release

February 10, 2009

 Mme. Speaker:

  Before we continue with a stimulus policy that has consistently failed to stimulate anything but government, I think the supporters of this program need to answer some very simple questions.

 For example, the President himself told us yesterday that this $800 billion of new spending will produce up to four million new jobs.  That comes to $200,000 per job.
Question: Why don’t we just send those four million lucky families a check for $100,000, and save half of what the President wants to spend – by his own numbers.

The President himself told audiences this weekend that the spending bill would produce a renaissance of highway, road and bridge construction. 

Question: If that is the objective of this bill, why are only three percent of the funds going to that purpose? 

The Congressional budget office last week noted that the current spending bill, though producing temporary relief, will incur so much long term debt as to reduce overall GDP growth over the next decade.

Question: How do we strengthen our economic future by leaving the next generation with an unprecedented debt that will take decades to pay off?

We know of many cases where massive government spending and borrowing has destroyed economies and brought down great nations – one need look no further than the old Soviet Union.

Question:  When in the recorded history of civilization has massive public spending ever “stimulated” an economy?  It didn’t work in Japan in the 1990’s.  The Japanese call that their “lost decade.”  It didn’t work in America in the 1930’s. The unemployment rate in 1939 – after nearly a decade of New Deal spending -- was the same as it was in 1931.

Mme. Speaker, history warns us that bankrupt nations don’t last very long.  I suggest that before we continue with yet another round of massive spending and borrowing, we get some answers to these inconvenient questions.