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Boehner Assembles Expert Economic Team to Counter Obama

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has assembled a group of economic experts to help Republicans lob attacks at Democratic assertions that the economy has begun to rebound as a result of the Obama administration’s policies.

The “kitchen cabinet— of advisers is part of a latest offensive in the GOP’s “Where Are the Jobs?— campaign, launched this summer by House Republicans and being pushed by Boehner.

“One of the tools in that fight, [as] the White House gears up to make more outlandish claims about the ‘success’ of the ‘stimulus,’ is a kitchen cabinet of economic advisers that Boehner put together, including [Doug] Holtz-Eakin, Keith Hennessey, Alex Brill, Jim Capretta, Tom Miller [and] Donald Marron,— Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “This team helps us assemble the facts to push back and keep the pressure on the Democrats.—

Holtz-Eakin, a former top economic adviser to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign, fired the opening salvo on Wednesday in a memo to House Republicans that slammed the Obama administration’s economic policies and characterized its claim to fiscal responsibility as “hypocritical and laughable.—

In his memo, Holtz-Eakin took aim at a letter sent Monday from White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers to Boehner in response to Republican assertions last week that the $787 billion economic stimulus package failed to create jobs or jump-start the ailing economy.

“Although the economic crisis required swift and aggressive action to avoid a depression, it is important to note that only about 10 percent of our projected deficits over the next decade are associated with the Recovery Act,— Summers wrote in his letter. “In fact, the president’s budget, including the recovery act, would cut projected deficits over the next decade.—

Holtz-Eakin said Summers’ response was “disappointing and often irrelevant.—

“Jobs keep disappearing, unemployment is expected to keep rising, and the

Obama Administration’s only apparent plan is to double down on a failed strategy for economic stimulus,— Holtz-Eakin wrote.

Summers’ letter came after House Republicans said last week the $787 billion stimulus enacted earlier this year failed to create jobs or reinvigorate the economy and called instead for a host of new tax breaks, expanded health savings accounts and other GOP-favored moves.

Holtz-Eakin said the economic stimulus was poorly designed and placed too little emphasis on infusing state governments with capital and cutting tax rates to be truly stimulative.

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