(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said yesterday the federal stimulus program is not working because it is creating short-term public jobs, not sustainable private sector employment.
In an appearance on the Nevada NewsMakers program, Heller said only six percent of the stimulus funds went to roads and bridges where private sector jobs are actually created.
“If that would have been in the 50 to 60 percent range that would have gone to roads and bridges I’d have been more apt to have supported it,” he said of the stimulus bill. “But to know it just went to a bunch of pork projects out there and earmarks, to me I knew it was not going to be a program that was going to actually stimulate this economy.”
The state and national unemployment rates have continued to rise during the stimulus funding effort, even though the Obama Administration said the rate would level off at eight percent with the program, Heller said.
That is why Heller said he did not support the stimulus funding even though it has brought money to northern Nevada, including $2 million for the V&T Railroad reconstruction project from Virginia City to Carson City.
Heller said his choice to stimulate the economy would have been to cut the payroll tax in half across the country.
“Let’s be competitive in this country,” he said. “Our corporate taxes in this country are so uncompetitive. That’s where I would start, is try to make our country as competitive as other countries around the world.”