Record Debt Marks Six-Month Anniversary Of Stimulus

Press Release

Date: Aug. 17, 2009
Location: Washington, D.C.

Record Debt Marks Six-Month Anniversary Of Stimulus

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) today said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Congress approved six months ago has done little to help the U.S. economy. In Southern Missouri, the effects have been far less than promised, according to the representative who cast her vote against the legislation in February.

“For the first time in history, federal spending tops $3 trillion. It's a mind-boggling figure, but it reflects how out-of-control spending in Washington is today and the seriousness of the commitments we are making looking one, five and ten years down the road,” Emerson said. “A $12 trillion national debt is excessive, it's irresponsible, it's a long-term detriment to our national economy, and it negatively affects our ability to keep and grow jobs in America.”

Emerson is also frustrated that the stimulus isn't being spent as intended. She has criticized not only the size of the spending bill, but also Department of Justice grants which went overwhelmingly to urban areas in Missouri, $40 million in spending on low-priority FAA airport projects and the fact that less then three percent of transportation infrastructure funding in the stimulus is out the door nationwide.

“This bill, as bad as it was, constituted a promise to the American people and the economy, and even this bad promise isn't being kept,” Emerson said. “It's worse than we thought it would be. The spending is slow to reach our economy, in many cases it is being disproportionately spent on urban areas, and in other cases it is being wasted on low-priority projects. In short, even if this bill had been a good one, the red tape of the bureaucracy has robbed it of its impact.”

Emerson noted that the federal government is currently issuing or rolling over more than $700 billion in debt each month.

“The course we are on is unsustainable, and it could leave future generations of Americans in a very, very bad financial situation. It should never be too much to ask for government to act responsibly with the people's money,” Emerson added.