One year after famed bill's passage, McKeon says America is still suffering.
Its been a full year since the $862 billion dollar "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, and our local Representative Howard "Buck" McKeon is publicly questioning how successful it has been in creating jobs and stimulating economic recovery.
At a press conference in Newhall Wednesday, McKeon cited a high unemployment rate in his argument, which charged that the bill missed the mark by simply injecting money into new programs rather than making life easier for small business owners.
"The question is ‘Did the Stimulus Bill create new jobs?' The answer is no," said McKeon. "The Democrats claimed their stimulus plan was going ‘create new jobs' and hold unemployment at or below 8.5%. The reality is new jobs have not been created. In fact, millions of jobs have been lost, despite the $800 billion boondoggle that was rushed through Congress. While Democrats may have meant well, they were misguided and now, one year after spending $800 billion in borrowed money, private sector jobs are not being created and unemployment continues to rise."
Marking the anniversary in a more optimistic tone was President Obama, who said the program has lived up to his expectations so far.
"There has never been a program of this scale, moved at this speed, that has been enacted as effectively and as transparently as the Recovery Act," he said.
Getting a clear picture of how successful the Recovery Act has been is not an easy task. Numbers vary, and while some estimates can be made in regard to how many jobs have been created or lost, no one can do more than speculate how many jobs were saved as a result of governmental action.
Another factor adding to the difficultly in accessing the Recovery Act, is that it hasn't been fully spent yet. Over the next year, the amount of stimulus monies leaving the government's accounts and headed toward their destination will increase significantly, from $27 billion per month last year to $32 billion per month.
During his press conference, McKeon called attention to several Republican-backed proposals that aim to create jobs, fix healthcare, increase energy production, save money and more. To view an outline of their proposals, click here. 
Photo: Don Cruikshank of A-V Rental, Rep. McKeon, Councilwoman Laurie Ender at A-V Equipment Rental, Inc. Facility