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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Word: Georgia GOP hates, then loves stimulus

One year after Congress passed President Obama's stimulus package, critics are still bellyaching about the $787 billion initiative aimed at sparking job growth and buffering the nation from the next Great Depression. After lambasting the program, Georgia Republicans found the time to grovel for funds or pose at ribbon-cutting ceremonies for stimulus-funded projects.

“I don’t know how our children and grandchildren will ever pay for this... And the chance of it being successful are slim and none in my opinion. I am opposed to it. I think we can do better"

— U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., speaking from the floor of the House before he voted against the stimulus bill. In October 2009, Gingrey presented a $625,000 oversized check to Cedartown city officials to fund new sidewalks — paid for with stimulus dollars.

"The state-by-state unemployment numbers are in. As you will see, these numbers only reinforce the fact that the $787 billion 'stimulus' signed into law eight months ago has done nothing for job growth in this country."

— U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., in an Oct. 21 blog post. Two weeks earlier, the Washington Times reported on Feb. 10, Linder had championed a local government's stimulus application, telling the U.S. Agriculture Department "the employment opportunities created by this program would be quickly utilized."

"The majority in Congress has been in runaway mode when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. This legislation is yet another sign that Washington is more concerned with pet projects than with the welfare of taxpayers."

— U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., after the stimulus passed. In August, Chambliss visited the Atlanta Food Bank to observe food donations paid for with stimulus funds. "I'm very pleased that the government continues to play a key role here, from the standpoint of providing food," he said.

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