Crossroads GPS: “Silly Spending” NY-25

Crossroads GPS hits Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) over her support for the Recovery Act, suggesting Slaughter voted for a series of wasteful projects while New York lost jobs. But the Recovery Act helped keep the recession from becoming even more severe, and the outlandish things Crossroads claims Slaughter supported are seriously misrepresented. Meanwhile, New York and the country as a whole have been gaining jobs since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

“Failed” Recovery Act Created Millions Of 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]

Slaughter Didn’t Vote For Ant Funding Or To Study Venus – She Voted To Fund The National Science Foundation

Stimulus Didn’t Directly Fund Ant Research – It Funded National Science Foundation. According to PolitiFact: “But [the Recovery Act], it turns out, didn’t release any money to ant research — not directly. The federal stimulus gave $3 billion to the National Science Foundation, which otherwise had a budget of about $6.5 billion in 2009, according to the foundation’s Website. The foundation is distributing the money using the same peer-review process with which it normally decides on which research to fund. As it turns out, one scientist’s study on ants of the Southwest Indian Ocean and East Africa made the cut. PolitiFact Oregon caught up with Brian Fisher, the project’s leader and curator of entomology at the California Academy of Sciences, to pick his brain about the recent political celebrity of ants. […] While ant research might not seem like an obvious target for government funds, Fisher provides a logical defense. Ants, Fisher says, offer insight into climate change, the spread of disease and natural disasters. ‘You can’t monitor every single living thing, (but) there are key groups that can serve as indicators for other taxa, ants being one of them,’ he said. ‘Without them, we wouldn’t have a functioning ecosystem.’ It’s also worth noting that the project has so far helped employ 16 people, at Fisher’s last count.” [, 9/17/10]

Study Of Venus’ Weather Also Funded By A NSF Grant. According to, the National Science Foundation awarded the Southwest Research Institute $298,543 under the Recovery Act to collect data on Venus’ atmospheric circulation. [, accessed 6/13/12;,6/13/12]

Ski Resort Never Got $25 Million

Vermont Economic Development Authority – Not Congress – Approved $25 Million In Loans For Ski Resort. From the Deerfield Valley News: “On June 7, the Vermont Economic Development Authority approved $92.3 million in loans for Vermont businesses. The money was provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for economic development growth. The VEDA selected 14 businesses and organizations from around the state. Mount Snow is one of two Windham County businesses that will receive VEDA funds. Mount Snow received preliminary approval for $25 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bond Financing. The Recovery Zone Facility Bond program offers tax-exempt financing for large fixed-asset projects such as manufacturing facilities, commercial establishments, and office buildings.” [Deerfield Valley News, accessed 6/13/12]

  • Ski Resort Declined The Loan. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s All Politics Blog: “In one instance, the ad says $25 million was spent on snowmaking machines and chairlifts in Vermont. However, the $25 million was not a cash outlay. Rather, the $25 million was for the issuance of Recovery Zone Facilities Bonds, according to the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). And, as it happens, an official for the Mount Snow Ski Resort in West Dover, Vt., the intended recipient of the bonds, confirmed Thursday that the ski lodge passed on the opportunity. No money was spent and no bonds were issued.” [, 10/28/10]

Massive Monthly Job Losses Have Turned To Steady Private-Sector Growth

Recession Officially Ran From December 2007 To June 2009, Making It The Longest Since World War II. From the National Bureau of Economic Research: “The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months. In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.” [, 9/20/10]

  • Recession Resulted In 8.3 Million Job Losses. According to the Associated Press, “the Great Recession killed 8.3 million jobs, compared with 1.6 million lost in the 2001 recession.” [Associated Press via Yahoo! News, 5/4/12] 

Bush Recession Was So Severe That Economy Was Still Shedding Over Three-Quarters Of A Million Jobs Per Month Through First Few Months Of President Obama’s Term. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy shed 839,000 jobs in January 2009, 725,000 in February 2009, 787,000 in March 2009, and 802,000 in April 2009, for a four-month average of 788,250 lost jobs per month. [, accessed 5/3/12]

Since The Recession Ended In June 2009, The Private Sector Has Added 3.5 Million Jobs While Public-Sector Employment Has Fallen By 569,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 107,933,000 private-sector jobs in June 2009, and 111,499,000 private-sector jobs in September 2012, an increase of 3,566,000 jobs. The BLS also reports that there were 22,570,000 Americans working in the public sector in June 2009, and 22,001,000 working in the public sector in September 2012, a decrease of 569,000 jobs. The private-sector gains and public-sector losses add up to a total increase of 2,797,000 jobs.

The following chart shows the cumulative private-sector job gains and public-sector job losses since the recession officially ended in June 2009:


[, accessed 9/7/12;, accessed 9/7/12;, 9/20/10]

  • Conservative AEI: The Public Sector Is Shrinking, But Private-Sector Growth Is Above Average. From American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark J. Perry: “In the second quarter of 2012, ‘public sector GDP’ decreased -1.44%, and that was the eighth straight quarter of negative growth for total government spending, averaging -2.88% per quarter over the last two years. In contrast, there have been 12 consecutive quarters of positive growth for private sector GDP averaging 3.07% per quarter in the three years since the recession ended, which is slightly higher than the 2.8% average growth rate in private real GDP over the last 25 years.” [, 7/31/12]
  • GOP-Favored “Government Downsizing” Has Been “A Drag” On Job Growth. From the Associated Press: “Conservative Republicans have long clamored for government downsizing. They’re starting to get it — by default. Crippled by plunging tax revenues, state and local governments have shed over a half million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. And, after adding jobs early in the downturn, the federal government is now cutting them as well. States cut 49,000 jobs over the past year and localities 210,000, according to an analysis of Labor Department statistics. There are 30,000 fewer federal workers now than a year ago — including 5,300 Postal Service jobs canceled last month. By contrast, private-sector jobs have increased by 1.6 million over the past 12 months. But the state, local and federal job losses have become a drag on efforts to nudge the nation’s unemployment rate down from its painfully high 9.1 percent.” [Associated Press, 10/25/11]

The Private Sector Has Added 4.7 Million Jobs Over 31 Consecutive Months Of Private-Sector Growth. The following chart shows the monthly change in private-sector jobs dating back to January 2008.


[, accessed 9/7/12;, 10/5/12]

Over 280,000 Jobs Have Been Created In New York Since The End Of The Recession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 8,533,900 people employed in New York in June 2009, the last official month of the recession. As of August 2012, there were 8,814,100 people employed, an increase of 280,200 jobs. [, accessed 10/12/10;, 9/20/10]

[NARRATOR:] Congresswoman Louise Slaughter strongly supported President Obama’s failed trillion-dollar stimulus. Slaughter’s vote sent nearly $2 million to California to collect ants in Africa. $25 million for snowmaking in Vermont. Almost $300,000 to Texas to study weather on Venus. While here in New York, over 276,000 have lost their jobs. Slaughter should have been helping us. For more jobs and less wasteful spending, it’s time for a change. Crossroads GPS is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Crossroads GPS via, 10/12/12]