Rep. Phil Hare, Democrat from Illinois’ 17th, has an oped in today’s Politico where he bemoans the continuing jobs situation and offers some really creative solutions: more government spending. Heck…we haven’t heard that before. Hare starts off with the predictable liberal call for the country to return to the quaint days of Roosevelt’s New Deal and the development of major public works projects, saying (emphasis added):
First, we should pass Chairman Jim Oberstar’s Surface Transportation Authorization Act. This legislation represents an important investment in our crumbling infrastructure and will create or sustain 6 million jobs. The original economic recovery package contained too little infrastructure spending, a tried and tested job creator. Here is our chance to rectify that error.
Well…Rep. Hare, that wasn’t what you were saying a year ago when you voted for the original stimulus package. Let’s take a look at your press release praising the bill (emphasis added):
Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today voted for a comprehensive economic stimulus package that extends unemployment benefits, bolsters job training programs, invests in infrastructure projects, accelerates the development of renewable energy, and repairs our crumbling schools.
“This package is a win-win for the American people,” Hare said. “It will address many of the great challenges facing our nation while creating thousands of good-paying jobs in the process.”
The bill provides $12.8 billion for our nation’s aging highways and bridges, $5 billion to invest in water resource infrastructure and improve flood protection, $3 billion to repair crumbling schools, and $500 million to invest in renewable energy. “This economic stimulus package is tailor made for the people of my district,” Hare said. “In one fell swoop, we can create jobs, help modernize the levy system along the Mississippi, rebuild local schools, repair our highways and bridges, and lower skyrocketing gas prices.”
Huh…that’s interesting, Rep. Hare. You seem to be praising the bill’s rigorous infrastructure funding. Perhaps the problem today isn’t a lack of government funding but rather that only a fraction of the stimulus money has been spent! How’s this for some economic fundamentals: Spend what been appropriated before you call for more spending.
Hare also manages to insult his constituency by suggesting they don’t understand the connection between GDP and jobs by stating: “people don’t care about the Gross Domestic Product…they care about jobs.” As if these things aren’t related.
Take a look at the industry in Phil Hare’s district….major manufacturing such as John Deere, a large 3M plant, the Quad Cities Nuclear Plant, and the Rock Island Arsenal. These companies’ output and success-and their ability to continue employing people and maintaining salary levels–depends on a growing economy that needs their products. The only way that these companies can employ people is if the economy (and GDP) continues to grow. The people of the 17th understand this.
In addition to his suggestion that the government simply spend more to create jobs, Hare continues to champion Obama’s current health care proposal-an industry and small business crippling piece of legislation that will only cost more jobs.
Phil Hare needs to take a deep breath, go back and read some of his old press releases, and take a basic course in Economics. His constituents deserve better.