Washington Post Justifies Obama Wasteful Spending
Obama for America recently released an ad, “Swiss Bank Account,” in response to the new Americans for Prosperity ad, “Wasteful Spending,” which highlights the billions of taxpayer dollars that were sent to foreign companies as part of the president’s green energy government spending boondoggle. This is the second time in 2012 that President Obama has been forced to respond to an AFP ad detailing his disastrous economic policies. In this case, just like last time, instead of defending a failed, big government record, President Obama has launched a personal attack vilifying AFP – even using a version of “liar, liar pants on fire” to divert from the real issue of his failed record.
“Swiss Bank Account” cites a Washington Post piece that criticizes the ad, calling it “over-the-top.” However, the Washington Post’s “fact check” is in reality a subjective attack with zero substantive refutation of the facts used in AFP’s “Wasteful Spending” ad.
The Washington Post seems bizarrely eager to rush in and defend President Obama’s wasteful use of billions of taxpayer dollars. Since the facts cannot be disputed, the piece offers up excuses for why Obama’s wasteful spending was really nothing we worry-warts should be concerned about.
Washington Post “fact checker”: “Thus, in the Americans for Prosperity ad, questions about relatively small amounts of more than $800 billion in stimulus money turn into “American taxpayers are paying to send their own jobs to foreign countries.”
AFP: More than $2 billion of stimulus dollars went to foreign companies. That is a fact. What is in dispute here is whether or not that matters. Americans for Prosperity believes that it does, that even though billions may be a pittance to Washington politicians and reporters, to many hardworking taxpayers, billions is a lot of money. All of those “pittances” have added up, which is why we are now almost $16 trillion in debt.
Washington Post “fact checker”: Both ads cite the same source — a Washington Times article from Sept. 9, 2010 — for the claim that “jobs were sent overseas” or that “$2.3 billion of taxpayer credits went overseas while millions of Americans can’t find a job”. The article actually said that the tax credits “went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States.” That’s different from saying the money went overseas; it is talking about companies based overseas.
AFP: Here, the “fact checker” seems to lose his train of thought. “The article actually said that the tax credits ‘went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea, and Spain rather than in the United States.’ That’s different from saying “the money went overseas…” How? If money went to companies that are based overseas and employ the majority of their workers overseas, then the money, plain and simple, goes overseas.
Washington Post “fact checker”: When a flurry of political ads started citing the AU work two years ago, the author Russ Choma wrote in a blog post that it was impossible to say whether any stimulus money went to create jobs in China.
AFP: Taxpayer dollars were spent on building traffic lights in China. This fact is not disputed.
Washington Post “fact checker”: “A report by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (which is part of the Energy Department) estimated that about 51,000 U.S. jobs were created in the wind-turbine industry by the stimulus funding. The report estimated the number of jobs theoretically could have been more than 80,000 if the money had been restricted to U.S. manufacturers, but there is no way the U.S. industry could have handled the demand.”
AFP: That’s more than 30,000 jobs, according to the Department of Energy, that did NOT go to American workers and instead went to foreign workers overseas. The amazing thing is that American industry and the free market have proven time and again is that if there is demand, supply will increase to meet it. Econ101.
Washington Post “fact checker”: “Americans for Prosperity says that “$1.2 billion [went] to a solar company building a plant in Mexico.” So what? The stimulus money went to a solar plant in California; the Mexican plant is simply another investment.”
AFP: So what? So, $1.2 billion went to a solar company investing in Mexico rather than the U.S. That is an undisputed fact that matters to American taxpayers, even if it doesn’t matter to the Washington Post.
Washington Post “fact checker”: “The vehicles are being assembled at a plant in Finland because the United States did not have right facilities. But ABC noted that Fisker will “ultimately produce 2,500 more jobs when Fisker builds a lower-priced version of the car in Delaware.”
AFP: To quote the wise fact checker Glenn Kessler, So what? Fisker may employ people in Delaware someday in the future (though given green energy performance so far, that is highly doubtful), but the fact remains that Fisker was given American tax dollars to subsidize a plant in Finland, building a $97,000 super luxury sports car.
The bottom line: every claim in the AFP ad, “Wasteful Spending” is backed up by cold, hard facts. The Obama Administration, and sadly the Washington Post, may not like the facts or they may think the facts are not important. However, our “Wasteful Spending” ad is completely accurate.