Nancy Pelosi refuses to use the word “stimulus” to describe the president’s “American Jobs Act.” But when asked today to name significant differences between the Jobs Act and the 2009 stimulus package, Pelosi didn’t identify any, except the amount of money each bill costs. “This is a much smaller package,” she said of the $497 billion American Jobs Act. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act cost $862 billion.
Pelosi praised the 2009 Recovery Act as “a success in terms of job creation,” though it wasn’t “fully appreciated.”
“Without the Recovery Act and accompanying federal interventions, whether from the Fed, or Cash for Clunkers, or other initiatives, the unemployment rate last year at the time of the election would have been fourteen and a half percent, not nine and a half percent,” said Minority Leader Pelosi. “But if you’re a voter and you don’t have a job that doesn’t mean anything to you and that’s right, because nine and a half percent is too high.”
The White House infamously predicted that the Recovery Act would keep the unemployment rate from rising above 8 percent. Democrats have since argued that things would have been even worse had the stimulus not passed. Pelosi’s claim that the unemployment rate would have reached 14.5 percent without government intervention seems to be a new high.