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Friday, October 30, 2009

Secretary LaHood Visits NH

As you may know, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was in New Hampshire today attempting to defend the stimulus to a state growing more and more skeptical of its impact.

STEWARD put out the following release, lampooning the visit and laying out the real facts:

In the spirit of Halloween, Secretary Ray LaHood and local Democrats gathered today to “dress up” the stimulus package as a New Hampshire success story. It’s not. And for the 53,330 out-of-work Granite Staters, the disguise is more “trick” than “treat.”

With the Democrats talking about the stimulus today, it’s important to recap some key numbers:

· The White House promised 16,000 New Hampshire jobs when it announced the stimulus package back in February. The Administration also said that more than 90% of “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” (ARRA) positions would be in the private-sector. (The White House, “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: State-by-state jobs impact,” 2/13/09)

· Last week, the state’s Office of Economic Stimulus disclosed that at least 2,786 of the 3,007 Granite State jobs – or almost 93% – created or “retained” by ARRA were firmly public-sector. (State of New Hampshire, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Progress Report – Data through September 30, 2009, Office of Economic Stimulus, 10/20/09)

· Although the Obama Administration and local Democrats may point to the Manchester Airport Access Road as a stimulus success, the state’s overall numbers tell a different story. According to the state’s stimulus progress report, a mere 116 ARRA-driven jobs have been in Highway Infrastructure Investment – and winter is nearly upon us. It’s a figure so under-whelming that even Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter recently acknowledged that the program hasn’t delivered on what Democrats promised.

· In September 2008, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate stood at 3.9%. When the stimulus passed in February, it was 5.7%. Unemployment in the state hit 7.2% in September. (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

· 53,330 Granite State residents were unemployed last month. That’s 24,540 more than last year at the same time. (New Hampshire Employment Security, Unemployment Rates, 10/12/09)

· The state has approved more than $407 million in ARRA-backed projects. That figure divided by the 3,007 jobs created or “retained” works out to roughly $135,350 per position.

These numbers are delivering this year’s real Halloween fright. Unfortunately, it seems as though our grandchildren will be taking their children “trick or treating” before the $787 billion stimulus tab is paid.

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