ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports:
One year ago, the White House announced its “Recovery Summer,” a six week effort to heavily promote the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was intended to create new jobs and boost the economy. Today, with economic growth stagnating and the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, the only ones eager to celebrate the anniversary are Congressional Republicans.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, pounced on the opportunity to attack the administration’s economic policies and promote the GOP’s plan to increase job creation.
"The anniversary of President Obama’s 'Recovery Summer' publicity stunt is a good reminder that families and small businesses in Ohio and across the country can’t afford more spending and more debt — they need more jobs. And Republicans are listening," Boehner wrote in an op-ed today.
“‘Recovery Summer’ fizzled, much like the ‘stimulus’ itself. Republicans have a real blueprint for job creation — the ‘Plan for America’s Job Creators.’ What makes our plan different is that it focuses on one thing: removing government barriers to private-sector job growth,” the Speaker wrote. “The ‘stimulus’ was all about big spending and big government — not jobs.”
Asked about the anniversary today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the administration’s record: one million private sector jobs created in the last six month, more than two million in the last 17 month.
“The fact is that recovery is taking place. Growth is happening,” Carney said. “It is not enough. I remind you that when we took office, the economy was in freefall. There was fear of a global depression. There was a contraction in the economy of greater than 6 percent quarterly. There was a loss of jobs at a pace of 700,000 a month.”
“While we are not where we want to be, we are in a better position now than we were in January of 2009 by far. And we continue to work every day to increase job creation and promote economic growth, because the hole that was dug by the recession, by the financial crisis, by the — some of the misguided policy decisions of the previous decade is a deep one. And we’re climbing out of it, and we continue to work hard to climb out of it,” he said.
However, even the president recently joked about the job-creating potential of the stimulus. Speaking at a meeting with his Jobs Council on Monday in North Carolina, Obama quipped that those “shovel ready” projects “weren’t as shovel ready as we expected.”