Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats have dropped the word stimulus from their vocabulary.And in hopes of bamboozling their supporters. It isn't working.
Though the House minority leader and her caucus are still pushing an economic stimulus agenda to save the economy, they’ve radically changed their rhetoric with the hope of winning over voters who saw “stimulus” as close to a dirty word.
Democrats are now being careful to frame their job-creation agenda in language excluding references to any stimulus, even though their favored policies for ending the deepest recession since the Great Depression are largely the same.
Indeed, with President Obama scheduled Thursday to lay out his job-creation plans before a joint session of Congress, liberal Democrats and left-leaning policy groups are pressuring him to ignore short-term deficit spending concerns in favor of sweeping spending initiatives designed to boost hiring.
The Democrats’ signature “Make it in America” platform aims to create jobs by increasing infrastructure spending, providing financial help to struggling states and expanding tax credits for businesses – all of which were key elements of their 2009 economic stimulus bill.
Recognizing the unpopularity of the 2009 package, however, Democratic leaders have revised their message with less loaded language – “job creation” instead of “stimulus;” “Make it in America” in lieu of “Recovery Act” – in hopes of tackling the jobs crisis.
That’s a sharp shift from last year’s messaging strategy, when Pelosi issued hundreds of press releases touting the benefits of the 2009 stimulus bill in hopes of making believers of skeptical voters.Indeed, Pelosi and Obama are now national jokes. Removing words from the language won't help redeem them.
In the four months prior to last November’s elections alone, Pelosi’s office released more than 80 “fact sheets” highlighting media reports about local projects the stimulus law was supporting.
In December, that practice abruptly stopped, with good reason.
Not only had Democrats been trounced at the polls a month earlier, but public sentiment had made “stimulus” a radioactive word and “shovel-ready” a running national joke.