We all remember the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as “The Stimulus.” It was a $831 billion dollar government goodie bag that had lofty projections of unemployment dropping below 8% and robust economic growth at 4% if it were passed by congress. Republicans in Congress had took a shellacking in the two previous election cycles and seemed ill-equipped to fight what was, as George Will states, unabashed political opportunism driving the funding of unpalatable pet projects that were then seen as “stimulative.” Well, unemployment has been over 8% for well over 26 months and economic growth this year is at a paltry 2-2.3%. This serves as another episode in the annals of Obama’s failed policies.
However, with a bill so enormous, corruption and waste were inevitable factors. It appears Frederich Hayek’s quote that “the curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design” rings true with this administration. Americans for Prosperity has developed an ad campaign based around Hayek’s statement, which they hope will influence voters this election year.
They have followed up on their Solyndra ad and released a shocking and disturbing trailer detailing how billions of our taxpayer dollars were sent overseas, while millions of Americans struggled in this miserable economic climate. It states that $2.3 billion dollars in tax credits for green energy went to foreign countries. $1.2 billion was sent to a solar company to build a plant in Mexico. Another half a billion to an electric car company in Finland. In all, $34 billion dollars were wasted on clean energy initiatives and Americans were left paying for it by exporting possible employment opportunities overseas.
American for Prosperity is focusing to bring this message of deceit and failure to eight states that are critical in the 2012 election. It involves a mutli-tiered campaign utilizing new media, cable, and network outlets in Virginia, Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Michigan and Iowa. Tim Phillips, President of AFP, hopes that this ad will influence swing voters come November and has also planned an extensive grassroots campaign which will be kicked off in Grand Rapids, Michigan starting in late April.
When I asked about why Pennsylvania was not on the list of states targeted in AFP’s campaign , New Media Director Stephanie Fontenot stated that it was simply a matter of resources and that while energy is a highly salient issue in PA due to the Marcellus Shale, they are going to focus on the initial eight states at the moment. However, she did mention that it does not mean that PA is off the table for future events.
However, in states where AFP is concentrating on, State Directors have already begun strategizing in Virginia and Florida. Audrey Jackson, the Virginia AFP State Director has already planned rallies in McLean, Charlottesville, and Glen Allen detailing how this president’s green energy initiatives are “tanking” America. In Florida, AFP State Director Slade ‘O Brien stated how energy was critical to Floridians who run their air conditioners nine months out of the year. He wants to convey a message of hypocrisy that surrounds the Obama Administration on energy concerning the president’s 2008 promise to have an “all of the above” energy policy that is less dependent of foreign oil. He aptly gave the example of how Obama bashed more traditional forms of energy, such as coal, with his refusal to issue more permits that has hurt the industry. Or Obama’s failure to fully approve the Keystone Pipeline and offering $2 billion dollars to Brazil to jumpstart their offshore oil exploration program. As a result, AFP Florida will hold a Town Hall in Naples on May 1st and a rally in Tampa on May 3rd to address these issues.
In all, AFP is gearing up for war with the meanest, toughest, most vicious political team the conservative movement has ever faced.