Published letters, September 19, 2012

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Earlier this month, the Sentinel’s editors aptly observed that there were “Positive signs of recovery” – both locally and nationally – but without answering the question:  “why?”.

Today, familiar local Republican apologist Dave Kearsley offered a convenient “nothing President Obama did mattered” explanation, claiming that the economy would have recovered on its own accord without any auto bailout or “stimulus” package.

This revisionist history ranks in the same category with Romney’s claims that the auto industry would have recovered via a formal bankruptcy process, that he too would have found and eliminated Bin Laden, and that (according to his surrogates) unrest in the Muslim world would have never happened had he been the President – with “resolve”.

Such arguments are analogous to the refrain that – had we just been more fervent and/or invoked the right combination of supplications – our prayers would have been answered.

Fortunately, Michael Grunwald’s book, “The New New Deal,” provides authoritative data – which should come as a shock to those (like Kearsley) who argue that President Obama’s stimulus efforts “failed” (the typical Republican assessment).

Rather, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was responsible for saving and creating 2.5 million jobs, helped the economy grow by as much as 3.8 percent, and kept the unemployment rate from reaching 12 percent – all despite Republican obstructionism.

True, we are currently “running in place when it comes to jobs”—because of House Republicans’  refusal to even vote on the American Jobs Act of 2011.  Meanwhile, the “stimulus”—by providing housing and food stamp subsidies—also prevented mass homelessness and untold thousands from going hungry (as in the Great Depression).

Thus, the tactics of Republicans are identical to those of anti-American Islamists – propagate multiple falsehoods to feed rumors and conspiracy theories, then cynically blame the results of their own failed policies on President Obama.

                Bill Hugenberg

One point Bill left out was, that unlike the Bush stimulus that went out before Obama took office, the later stimulus packages called for repayment. They were “loans” vs the Bush “giveaway”. But as the “revisionists of history” would like to overlook, and even the Bush administration realized, the economy had been damaged too much.

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