WASHINGTON — District of Columbia Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry told The Daily Caller that Congress should do “whatever the president wants,” adding that the American people “need more stimulus” spending.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Anacostia Health Center, which was paid for in part by the $825 billion Recovery Act of 2009, TheDC asked Barry if he thinks Congress should pass another stimulus package.
“Whatever the president wants, I think we ought to do,” Barry told TheDC on Monday. “I mean, I haven’t been following it closely, but we need more stimulus so if the president wants more, he ought to get more. This is an example of how it works.”
President Obama’s former chief economic adviser Christina Romer originally predicted that the stimulus package would prevent the unemployment rate from rising over 8 percent.
“What the Act hasn’t done is prevent unemployment from going above 8 percent, something else that Jared [Bernstein] and I projected it would do,” Romer said in September 2010 after announcing that she was leaving the White House.
“The reason that prediction was so far off is implicit in much of what I have been saying this afternoon. An estimate of what the economy will look like if a policy is adopted contains two components: a forecast of what would happen in the absence of the policy, and an estimate of the effect of the policy.”
TheDC asked Barry if he thinks the stimulus package worked.
“The whole idea is try something new, try something inventive. It’s like when Roosevelt was president, Franklin Roosevelt. He started a CCC camp [Civilian Conservation Corps]. He started a work program,” said Barry.
“Nobody has a perfect answer to this – this economy rising and falling. Nobody has a perfect answer, but do I think it’s a good idea? Sure. We see it here in D.C.”
According to Unity Health Care, the center was built with $5 million appropriated through the Recovery Act.
A recent Gallup poll shows Romney with a 46% to 45% lead over Obama, but Barry said he is not “worried” about Obama’s chances of re-election.
“The election is not being held today. I’ve done a lot of polls and polls are time, one moment in time that somebody thinks this and I’m not worried about that. Obama’s going to be our president.”