Friday, July 10, 2009

Senator Rockefeller’s Stimulus Numbers Don’t Add Up

On June 9th, 2009 Senator Jay Rockefeller sent out an e@mail to many of his constituents. In the e@mail he explains why he voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the “Stimulus Act.” So far the Stimulus Act has done little to help the economy and has mostly been filled with waste, like “$18 million in additional funds are being spent to redesign the Web site” as reported by Jeff Klein of ABC News on June 8th. Peter Nichols of the LA Times reported that over 8,000 stimulus checks were mailed to dead people.

These are just a few of the things happen when our elected officials fail to read what they are voting on. You think they would be able to take the time to do their job right and actually read the bill. One of West Virginia’s representatives, Congresswoman Capito, actually did the right thing and voted “no” because enough time to go over the bill was not given. As the Stimulus Bill continues to fail the American people, those that voted for it are trying to cover their backside with the voters. Senator Rockefeller is no exception, but his numbers do not quite jive.

In the e@mail sent out the Senator states, “700,000 West Virginia families are receiving $300 million in tax cuts through the Making Work Pay Tax Credit.” There is a problem with that number. According to the US Census Bureau’s latest numbers, there are only 502,381 families in West Virginia.

Senator Rockefeller goes on to state in his e@mail, “88,000 West Virginians are benefitting from an additional $25 per week in unemployment compensation, the extension of the emergency unemployment compensation program, and the tax break on the first $2,400 in unemployment compensation benefits received in 2009.” According to the US Department of Labor’s, Bureau of Labor Statistics latest numbers there are only 68,543 unemployed in West Virginia.

This begs the question how can Rockefeller effectively represent the people of West Virginia if he can’t take the time to read the bills that affect us? Rockefeller voted for a bad bill without having the time to read it. He sends an e@mail trying to justify his voting for the bad bill, but portions of the information are just flat wrong. It took less than 5 minutes on the internet for one person to get the correct data, while the Senator with a full staff couldn’t get it right. Rockefeller’s e@mail states, “West Virginians deserve economic policies that will support them through these tough times.” I agree, but I also believe West Virginia deserves a representative takes the time to read bills before he votes on them and takes time to look up the correct information before making a decision for the people of West Virginia. You can’t make good decisions with bad information.

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