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Eye Opener: Stimulus tit-for-tat continues

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Updated 8:47 a.m. ET

Happy Wednesday! The White House hosts a jobs summit on Thursday and continues to defend the economic stimulus program against charges that it's fudging the number of jobs created by the federal spending program.

The latest tit-for-tat started earlier this week when the Congressional Budget Office backed previous statements that the program has created between 600,000 and 1.6 million jobs. Still, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf blogged that job reports submitted by stimulus recipients "do not provide a comprehensive estimate of the law’s impact on employment in the United States."

Not surprisingly, Vice President Joseph Biden jumped in quick to priase the CBO report, stating that "This early progress less than halfway through the program is encouraging, but we’re just getting started.

Responding to sustained Republican criticism of the jobs numbers, White House stimulus adviser Ed DeSeve said Tuesday that "There is nothing mysterious, ephemeral or uncertain about the important role the Recovery Act has played in saving the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Americans." DeSeve spoke out in a letter to Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) -- who have led GOP criticisms of the stimulus job counts.

Boehner and Issa fired back almost immediately.

“The Obama Administration is trying to scam the American people by continuing to repeat their phony ‘stimulus’ claims, including the number of jobs ‘saved or created’ – a metric it seems to have made up out of thin air,” Boehner said.

“The American people’s confidence in this Administration continues to erode as misleading statistics are touted in an attempt to distract attention away from the failure to stop double-digit unemployment," Issa said. "Economic well-being will only return when sound economic policies allow for real job creation in the private sector.”

Stimulus recipients must turn in their second quarterly report next month -- an event likely to fuel the partisan rhetoric yet again.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | December 2, 2009; 7:15 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Tracking the Stimulus  
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The cricitisms by Boehner and Issa is telling. Boehner has used outright lies about the claims of constructions by claiming something else only to have the Ohio DOT contradict him. This is another example why the Republican don't have a plan nor offer to advance one that is dimetrically different what they advocated for many years except to criticize. Furthermore, it was the Republican policies for the last 30 years that created this mess and it will take some time to get back normal. I'll be blunt on this: both parties in the WH and Congress are the problem and they need to start being honest instead of obfuscating.

Posted by: beeker25 | December 2, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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