Home Budget, Economy Hey, Perriello! Stop Taking Credit for Averting Depression!

Hey, Perriello! Stop Taking Credit for Averting Depression!

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The Danville Register & Bee finally takes on a question we’ve all been asking ourselves: What’s with all these Democrats trying to take credit for the economic recovery package helping avert another Great Depression?

Rep. Tom Perriello, he of the shoe in the cowpie campaign commercial, really stepped in it last week. Perriello, under fire for his vote in favor of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, said the stimulus prevented another Great Depression.

“The Recovery Act helped avert a Great Depression that was looming when I was sworn in, and has put our country on a solid road to economic growth,” Perriello said.

Perriello’s comments followed the release of a report by the Congressional Budget Office that the stimulus now costs more – $814 billion instead of the original $787 billion – but that it had lowered unemployment and increased the gross domestic product.

Hoo boy! That Tom Perriello TOTALLY stepped in it … by defending a bill that lowered unemployment & increased GDP at a time of economic crisis.

Wait … what?

We can’t go back to January 2009 and replay the past 18 months with no stimulus or with any other tweaks of taxes and spending. Economists can’t agree on whether the sun is shining, much less whether the stimulus was worth the money spent or if he has helped or hurt the economy.

No … you just said it “lowered unemployment and increased the gross domestic product.” If you were going to objectively measure whether a bill “helped or hurt the economy,” two of the things on the top of your list would be raising unemployment & raising GDP. You just said the non-partisan CBO said the economic recovery package did both.

But I’m sure there’s more to this terrible embarrassment for Rep. Perriello … um, isn’t there?

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act includes a tax cut that nobody’s complaining about, plus federal money to replace the Robertson Bridge and pay for school teachers, summer jobs, economic development projects, health care, law enforcement and home weatherization in the Dan River Region.

That’s the real stimulus story, and it should be the starting point in the debate about whether the stimulus was a good idea – not that a Great Depression was avoided.

How Economic Recovery Package Has Helped VA05So … there you have it. Clearly, all the economic recovery package did was give some extra spending money to working families, hire people to build new infrastructure that will serve our communities for decades, save teachers’ jobs, create jobs for teenagers, create jobs for adults, protect health care, save police & firefighter jobs & save families money on their energy bills for years to come. THAT’S IT.

But doing all the things that would save a collapsing economy from another Great Depression isn’t enough for Tom Perriello! No! He has to go around educating voters about how something he helped pass! THE GALL.

Why does Tom Perriello have to go around taking credit for the landmark, crisis-averting legislation he stuck his neck out to help pass? Why can’t he just let the Danville Register & Bee falsely reframe that victory for the people of the 5th district he staked his career on as a minor achievement?

  • …which ARRA projects in the 5th he’d vote to defund; last week his spokesman released a statement that tried to have it both ways, criticizing the stimulus while saying “there may be projects in the 5th that are worthwhile.”