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Press Release

Key Vote "No" H.R. 1: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to vote NO on H.R. 1: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The compromises behind closed doors this week have made the bill no less acceptable to anyone who values fiscal responsibility and loves freedom. It is highly irresponsible of Congress to rush through a spending bill of this tremendous magnitude without taking the time to fully consider all its parts and give the public time for input.  In fact, the bill, which weighs in at over 1,000 pages, was only made available to Congress at 11 p.m. last night.  This is hardly the new era of transparency and openness promised by the new administration and provides plenty of cover for legislators to slip in their favorite pork projects.

While a slim couple of billion have been shaved from the House version of the stimulus bill, this is now mostly a hodge-podge of government programs that do not create additional the jobs for our economy, or provide the tax relief Americans desperately need.  Instead, there is $190 billion in new government programs; programs that are almost never temporary and will form the baseline of budgets for decades to come, marking an era of all-new high spending levels for the foreseeable future.  Among these new programs is a plan to create government oversight of healthcare decisions. This would give a government body the power to step between doctors and their patients to determine the cost effectiveness of treatment, leading to less choice, rationing of healthcare, and setting the stage for more government-run medicine.

Even as details about the plan continue to emerge, for instance no refundable tax relief and no extension of the AMT patch, the bottom line remains: it will not work.  Removing private capital from the economy doesn’t create jobs, only waste.  And this is a bill that has to be paid one of three ways: through higher taxes that will burden Americans and prolong recovery, by printing money that would lead to rampant inflation, or perhaps more cruelly by making an enormously risky decision for a little short term gain and pass it on to future generations.

Borrowing trillions of dollars from future generations would do little for long run economic growth. The best way out of the recession is to get private capital back into the market and restore consumer confidence.  Long term tax policies that cut the marginal rates on individual, business, and investment taxes would.  We cannot borrow and spend our way to prosperity. This recession was caused by market distorting government policies, and it cannot be solved by government living beyond its means. 

We will count your vote on H.R. 1 as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2009. The Economic Freedom Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom.

[click hear to download a pdf version]