American Commitment: “Best”

In an ad suggesting that Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) does not know what is “best for Ohio,” the conservative group American Commitment cites three of the senator’s votes and misrepresents each one. The “failed stimulus” created jobs and cut taxes during the worst of the recession; the environmental rule the ad refers to will save thousands of lives at a minimal cost to consumers; and Brown was not the “deciding vote” for the Affordable Care Act.

“Failed Stimulus” Created Jobs, Boosted GDP, And Cut Taxes

Recovery Act “Succeeded In…Protecting The Economy During The Worst Of The Recession.” From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the number of people employed by between 200,000 and 1.5 million jobs in March. In other words, between 200,000 and 1.5 million people employed in March owed their jobs to the Recovery Act. […] ARRA succeeded in its primary goal of protecting the economy during the worst of the recession. The CBO report finds that ARRA’s impact on jobs peaked in the third quarter of 2010, when up to 3.6 million people owed their jobs to the Recovery Act. Since then, the Act’s job impact has gradually declined as the economy recovers and certain provisions expire.” [, 5/29/12]

At Its Peak, Recovery Act Was Responsible For Up To 3.6 Million Jobs. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office:

CBO estimates that ARRAs [sic] policies had the following effects in the third quarter of calendar year 2010:

  • They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product by between 1.4 percent and 4.1 percent,
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.8 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points,
  • Increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.6 million, and
  • Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 2.0 million to 5.2 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers). [, 11/24/10]

Recovery Act Included $288 Billion In Tax Cuts. From PolitiFact: “Nearly a third of the cost of the stimulus, $288 billion, comes via tax breaks to individuals and businesses. The tax cuts include a refundable credit of up to $400 per individual and $800 for married couples; a temporary increase of the earned income tax credit for disadvantaged families; and an extension of a program that allows businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures faster than usual. The tax cuts aren’t so much spending as money the government won’t get — so it can stay in the economy.” [, 2/17/10]

Sen. Brown Voted For Environmental Standards Projected To Save Thousands Of Lives

EPA Estimates Mercury Rule Will Prevent “Up To 11,000 Premature Deaths” Per Year. According to “The EPA’s Mercury Air Toxics Standards for the first time will regulate heavy metal emissions at coal-fired power plants, which produce the largest amount of mercury in the air. The EPA finalized the rule in December under the Clean Air Act, giving the industry until 2015 to comply. The agency says the rule will prevent each year up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and more than 500,000 sick days. The EPA says the associated health benefits will be worth $37 billion to $90 billion a year.” [, 7/18/12]

EPA Estimates The Rule Will Temporarily Raise Average Customer’s Monthly Electricity Costs By $3-4. From a Congressional Research Service report on the “Utility MACT” rule: “The average consumer will see an increase of 3.1% ($3-$4 per month) in the cost of electricity in 2015 due to the rule, according to EPA, falling to less than 1% by 2030.” [“EPA’s Utility MACT: Will the Lights Go Out?”, CRS via, 1/9/12]

Sen. Brown Supported Health Care Reform, But He Was Not “The Deciding Vote”

Senator Brown “Certainly Did Not Cast The 60th Vote” For The Affordable Care Act. Responding to a similar claim by Republican candidate Josh Mandel, PolitiFact concluded: “Brown’s vote for the health care reform legislation was crucial, but was it the deciding vote? A listener hearing the Mandel ad could be lead to believe Brown’s vote had more weight than other votes. Yet, he certainly did not cast the 60th vote, and he did not have to be wooed for support.” [, 5/23/12]

[NARRATOR:] In Washington, Sherrod Brown is doing what he thinks is best for Ohio. Brown voted for the $831 billion failed stimulus. He voted to increase our electricity costs. And he was the deciding vote for the president’s health care law. So do you support the stimulus, high electricity costs, and the health care law? Tell Sherrod Brown to oppose wasteful spending. [American Commitment via YouTube, 6/28/12]