Someone needs to ask U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., where all of his vaunted business sense went when he got elected to Congress.
Now that we know who’ll be opposing Polis in the general election (state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, who won Tuesday’s GOP primary), we thought we’d look back at the 2011 Netroots conference, where Polis and U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., joined forces to discuss the DCCC’s plans to take back the House of Representatives, and to give the faithful their tweeting points for the upcoming election cycle.
These took the form of compare-and-contrast: look at all the cool things we’ll do for you, look at all the terrible things the Republicans will take away from you.
Even by mid-2011, though, it was clear that the stimulus was a cruel and expensive joke, and yet Polis and Edwards were plugging it as though it had been the only thing standing between us and The Grapes of Wrath:
“Now when the Democrats had the majority, we passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We helped save the economy from going off the brink. We saved 3.5 millions jobs, cut taxes for small business, and invested in building American infrastructure here at home, both human capital in our schools, and roads and bridges.”
We understand that when an Administration has so little to brag about, there’s a natural tendency to exaggerate. But this is remarkable (even by Joe Miklosi standards).
By then, the staggering amounts of evidence had been collected that showed the stimulus money was largely wasted. Misdirected, with little spent on actual infrastructure by January of 2011 (only 0.04% of GDP was for federal infrfastructure spending), the borrowed stimulus money basically went to reduce state and local government borrowing, effectively transferring that debt to the federal government, but doing virtually nothing to “stimulate” the economy.
So it’s not entirely surprising that the latest CBO estimates aren’t for 3.5 million jobs, but for somewhere between 200,000 and 1.5 million, for a cost of between $560,000 and $4.2 million per job.
In fact, days before Netroots 2011, the President had admitted that “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected…”
At some point, someone ought to ask Rep. Polis if he still stands by his assessment. After all, Polis’s business acumen was one of his selling points when he was elected to Congress in 2008. It seems as though his ability to do a simple cost-benefit analysis has been corroded by his years of public service.