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Guest column | Justin T. Cass

Don't let Republicans grab credit for benefits of stimulus

President Obama's economic recovery package will create over 200,000 jobs in the state of Florida and 9,600 jobs will be created in the sprawling 5th Congressional District, which covers all or portions of Hernando, Pasco, Levy, Citrus and Sumter counties.

In Hernando, the countywide unemployment rate has loomed consistently near the top among Florida counties for joblessness, a chronic condition from before 2008 no doubt made worse by the recession. It is clear that Obama's recovery bill will bring much needed jobs, tax cuts, and infrastructure improvements to west central Florida.

The stimulus package passed with unanimous Democratic support and unanimous Republican disapproval in the U.S. House of Representatives. This includes the disapproval of U.S. Rep Ginny Brown-Waite. A troublesome trend has developed wherein Republican lawmakers — the very same ones who vocally derided Obama's recovery bill as "pork" and refused to fund it — are now taking credit for the bill's infrastructure projects and jobs created within their individual districts.

U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-7th District, praised the bill's high-speed rail proposal, and infamous tax-and-spend U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, took credit for Alaskan job programs created in the bill he voted against.

Since U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite was against the recovery package, using the same logic as Rush Limbaugh and others who desire to see Obama and America fail economically to prove a political point, will she be so craven as to take credit for the nearly 10,000 jobs the stimulus bill will create in her district?

It appears that at no time in the congresswoman's career has she taken the initiative on job creation in her home district, preferring instead to rename post offices and obstruct important work on the economy. The least the congresswoman could do is give credit where credit is due when the Obama administration brings much-needed jobs to Hernando and Pasco counties and elsewhere in the district. And let Rep. Brown-Waite deceive no voter into believing in 2010 that improving economic conditions in her district have been the result of her actions.

Unless she changes course and begins working in a genuine bipartisan manner, there will be no work she has done on our behalf for which she may take credit.

Justin T. Cass, a writer from Spring Hill, is a member of Hernando County Democratic Executive Committee.

Don't let Republicans grab credit for benefits of stimulus 02/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 19, 2009 6:58pm]
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