Congressional Leadership Fund: “Hall Of Fame”

Congressional Leadership Fund accuses Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) of voting for an expensive stimulus bill that “created jobs in China,” but the article the ad cites points to a project that never actually received any stimulus money. The ad also criticizes Sutton for her support of a cap-and-trade bill and the bank bailout, even though the former would have stimulated the economy with little cost to consumers and the latter, which passed in a bipartisan fashion after urging from President Bush, helped avert another Great Depression.

Recovery Act Created American 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]

China Got “Zero” Of The Dollars The Ad References

Congressional Leadership Fund cites an ABC News article from 2010 to back up the claim that the stimulus “created jobs in China.”

ABC/Investigative Reporting Workshop Claimed 79 Percent Of Stimulus Wind Energy Program Money Went To Foreign Companies. According to ABC News: “The program has already spent $2 billion, funding enough projects to power 2.4 million homes. Any wind farm created in the U.S. is eligible for stimulus money to put up wind turbines, regardless of where those massive structures are made. Each turbine costs about $3 million, and reaches 40 stories into the sky. An investigation by ABC News and the Investigative Reporting Workshop found that 79 percent of the program’s money has gone to foreign companies, money that Schumer said was ‘federal tax dollars, the stimulus, which was sold as jobs in America.’” [, 3/4/10]

  • Private Wind Project Financier: Jobs Created By Turbine Project Intended For Americans. According to ABC News: “The company that is helping to finance the wind project, US-REG, issued a statement Wednesday saying that the majority of jobs created by the project will be for Americans. ‘A minimum of 70 percent of each wind turbine […] will be wholly manufactured in the United States and made entirely of American steel. It is incorrect to assume that the hundreds of additional jobs created aside from the direct construction and operation of the Texas plant would be outside the U.S.,’ said Cappy McGarr, managing partner for the U.S. Renewable Energy Group.” [, 3/4/10]

PolitiFact: Because Project Was Never Completed, China Got No Stimulus Money For It. From PolitiFact: “ABC News and American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop reported in early 2010 that of $2 billion in stimulus money for building renewable energy projects such as a giant wind-energy farm, 80 percent went to foreign companies, including Chinese. […] The story would have been accurate but for one thing: The wind project with the Chinese connection never got completed. Since companies could only collect money after completion and the program expired last year, it is safe to say that the amount that went to China was ‘zero,’ Russ Choma, the reporter who performed the digging at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, told us.” [, 3/1/12]

American Wind Energy Jobs Created By Stimulus Funds. From PolitiFact: “Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the American Wind Energy Association also weighed in on Choma’s story. Their point: Wind energy projects supported with stimulus dollars create and save American jobs. On Facebook, Chu wrote that, ‘Every dollar awarded through this program helps put Americans to work. … All of the wind turbine installation jobs are created here in America.’ Christine Real de Azua, a spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association, credits the stimulus bill with saving and creating 40,000 jobs; at the start of 2009, her organization expected that wind power development might drop as much as 50 percent from 2008 levels. Midyear, the trend turned around, she said. Most of those 40,000 jobs are in the construction sector; jobs in the manufacturing sector fell last year. That said, the American Wind Energy Association estimates that more than 50 percent of turbine parts, such as towers, blades, nacelle assembly, and some internal components are made in the United States, a number that is growing. Clearly, jobs are being created and saved in the United States as a result of these projects.” [, 2/23/10]

Clean Energy Legislation Would Have Boosted The Economy At Minimal Cost To Consumers

The ad cites Vote #477 on June 26, 2009, in which the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, when talking about cap-and-trade.

Reuters: Experts Say House-Passed Clean Energy Bill Would Have “Only A Modest Impact On Consumers.” According to Reuters: “A new U.S. government study on Tuesday adds to a growing list of experts concluding that climate legislation moving through Congress would have only a modest impact on consumers, adding around $100 to household costs in 2020. Under the climate legislation passed by the House of Representatives in June, electricity, heating oil and other bills for average families will rise $134 in 2020 and $339 in 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration, the country’s top energy forecaster. The EIA estimate was in line with earlier projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office which said average families would pay about $175 extra annually by 2020, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which said families would pay at most an extra $1 per day.” [Reuters, 8/5/09]

  • CBO: Energy Costs Would Actually Decrease For Low-Income Households. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, if the bill were implemented, “households in the lowest income quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020, while households in the highest income quintile would see a net cost of $245.” [,6/19/09]

Study: Clean Energy Legislation Would Create Jobs, Boost GDP. According to an analysis by the University of California, Berkley: “Comprehensive clean energy and climate protection legislation, like the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) that was passed by the House of Representatives in June, would strengthen the U.S. economy by establishing pollution limits and incentives that together will drive large-scale investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. These investments will result in stronger job growth, higher real household income, and increased economic output than the U.S. would experience without the bill. New analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs, increase annual household income by $487-$1,175 per year, and boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion. These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill.” [University of California, Berkeley, accessed 5/14/12

Bipartisan Bank Bailout Helped Avert Possible Depression

Rescue Efforts Helped Avert “Great Depression 2.0.” From Bloomberg: “The U.S. response to the financial crisis probably prevented a depression, slowed a decline in gross domestic product and saved about 8.5 million jobs, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi said. Policies including the government fiscal stimulus, bailouts of financial companies, bank stress tests and the Federal Reserve’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities to lower interest rates ‘probably averted what could have been called Great Depression 2.0,’ Blinder and Zandi said in a report dated yesterday. Without those measures, the U.S. would have deflation, they said.” [Bloomberg, 7/28/10]

On National Television, “President Bush Strongly Urged Lawmakers To Pass His Administration’s $700 Billion Bailout For The Financial Markets” In 2008. As reported by MarketWatch:President Bush strongly urged lawmakers to pass his administration’s $700 billion bailout for the financial markets on Wednesday, spelling out dire risks to the U.S. economy if Congress doesn’t act quickly. ‘We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis,’ Bush said in a nationally televised address. ‘Our entire economy is in danger,’ as a result of the credit crunch, he said, and inaction on the plan could result in a ‘long and painful recession.’” [, 9/24/08]

Congress Passed The Bailout With Significant Bipartisan Support. According to the New York Times: “The Senate approved the bailout measure on Oct. 1, 2008, on a bipartisan vote of 74 to 25. The House initially rejected the proposal, but under prodding from the White House and leading members of both parties, House members ultimately voted 263 to 171 for the bill, with 91 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in backing it; 108 Republicans and 63 Democrats voted no.” [New York Times, 7/11/10]

[NARRATOR:] Betty Sutton. If there was a tax-and-spend hall of fame, she’d be in it. Obama would give her induction speech, and Pelosi would tell her what to do. Just like Pelosi, Sutton voted for the stimulus that spent hundreds of billions and created jobs in China. Cap-and-trade, one of the biggest taxes in American history. And the bailout, that spent billions on companies that sent jobs overseas. Hall of fame tax-and-spender Betty Sutton. On November 6th, retire Sutton. Congressional Leadership Fund is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Congressional Leadership Fund via, 10/26/12]