Did the Porkulus bill create any private-sector jobs? Most of us have said no, and according to the CBS/NYT poll, 94% of Americans agree. You can count retiring Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) among them. When asked what he plans to do with his time after his term expires, Bayh says that he will worry about that when the time comes. If he chooses to start a business in the private sector, though, he’s sure he will outperform Congress in job creation:
“[I]f I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months.”
That serves as a rather stinging accusation, coming from a man who voted for Porkulus a year ago. Bear in mind, though, that Bayh is careful to say “in the last six months” as a qualifier. Bayh could just mean that Congress ignored the crisis in unemployment for the last six months in order to ride their health-care hobby horse, and that certainly would be true — and closer to the frustration Bayh vented in his retirement announcement yesterday.
He may be offering that dodge as a way to rationalize his support for a failed stimulus policy, but it doesn’t wash. The Obama administration said that its $865 billion plan would start creating jobs in larger numbers in the third and fourth quarters of 2009. That hasn’t materialized; net employment has dropped in an almost-uninterrupted decline from the end of 2007 to now.
Either way, though, Bayh’s parting shot underscores what Republicans have said all along about the Democratic agenda — that it’s based in ideology, not in reality, and that it has little to do with the real concerns of Americans. Including, apparently, Evan Bayh, but not including CNN, as Greg Hengler notes at Townhall:
CNN just can’t believe that Bayh could conclude that working in the private sector could have more impact than being in Congress in terms of job creation. It’s actually kind of cute to see religious believers in big government bitterly clinging to their ideology.
Update: Apoliticus has some fun musing on a John Edwards-like twist to this rift between Bayh and Congress.