By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
The Republicans are going to the dogs.
With unemployment now at a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio released a new video today (embedded below) poking fun at the Obama administration's claim that the stimulus package the president and congressional Democrats rushed into law earlier this year is creating jobs.
In the video, a job-sniffing bloodhound named "Ellie Mae" is shown on the trail of the stimulus, searching the country for the millions of jobs the Obama administration said its trillion-dollar spending bill would create.
"This is a lighthearted web video, but the underlying point is no laughing matter," Boehner said. "At a time when Americans are looking to Washington for leadership, the trillion-dollar 'stimulus' isn't working.
Americans were promised the 'stimulus' would keep the unemployment rate from going above eight percent. It's now at 9.5 percent, and rising. Where are the jobs?" Boehner asked.
One place Ellie Mae isn't shown looking—but where Boehner may want to send her—is the travel and tourism industry, including bellhops and airport baggage handlers. It seems that congressional spending on overseas travel has nearly tripled since 2001, according to a report appearing in Thursday's Wall Street Journal. The paper's analysis of 60,000 travel records found that hundreds of lawmakers spent nearly $13 million on overseas trips in 2008, "a 50 percent jump since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago."
The cost of congressional delegation tours and fact-finding missions, also called "codels," has risen nearly 70 percent since 2005, the paper reported. That's a lot of tips—but probably not a lot of jobs.