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A Smackdown Over the CBO’s Stim Report

Today's roundup of stimulus coverage:

Buckle up folks, things are getting nasty. In the wake of the Congressional Budget Office's release of its stimulus report (PDF) on Monday, and in the lead-up to President Barack Obama's jobs summit, the congressional claws are out. The Wall Street Journal details the sparring between the White House, which has embraced the nonpartisan CBO's relatively sunny reading of the effects of the stimulus package, and congressional Republicans, who are pointing to the wide range in the report's estimate of jobs created (between 600,000 and 1.6 million) as a sign of uncertainty about the plan's impact.

Speaking of The Wall Street Journal, Vice President Joseph Biden's chief economist, Jared Bernstein, slammed contradictions between the paper's reporting and its editorials in a blog on the White House Web site. Bernstein cites six editorials since late October that flatly reject reports about jobs created or economic benefits of the stimulus. But elsewhere in the paper, he writes, including Tuesday's piece on construction jobs, there are facts like those from the CBO's report. He writes: "The editorial board is more interested in scoring political points by discrediting the Recovery Act's jobs impact than they are in reading their own paper's reporting."

Lest you think all Dems are happy with the stimulus, here's this from The Hill, which reports on a handful of Democrats who are pushing for a new jobs bill and criticizing the stimulus for not creating enough jobs. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., the chairman of the new, bipartisan Jobs Now! Caucus in Congress, has invoked the now familiar "Wall Street -- Main Street" mantra, saying that record bonuses to bank execs are proof that the stimulus and bailout have helped those at the top, doing little for average Americans. "The big business has prospered, and the little guy, the small-businessman, the factory worker, the government workers have all been hurt and harmed in this economy," Rush said.

From the other side of the fence, Republican House Leader John Boehner has come out with his "Top 10 Outrageous Claims About the Democrats' Trillion-Dollar 'Stimulus,'" which counters the administration's claims about unemployment, private sector job creation and more.

One GOP suggestion for what to do with remaining stimulus funds: Use it for war, reports the Huffington Post. In making this proposal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said: "Well, I think ideally it would be better to pay for the war than not. As you know, in previous years both sides agreed not to."

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