Senate Democrats

Reid Spokesman Responds To Positive Economic News, Record Justice Department Recovery Of Taxpayer Funds

Washington, D.C.Jon Summers, spokesman for Nevada Senator Harry Reid, released the following statement on the news that 42 percent of businesses plan to hire in the next six months, nine out of 10 economists are more optimistic for 2011 than they were three months ago and the Justice Department recovered a record $4 billion in waste, fraud and abuse from Medicare:

“Today’s economic news shows that while we are not out of the woods yet, our work to turn the economy around in Nevada and the nation and strengthen the middle class is working. Employers are hiring, economists are raising their predictions for growth this year and the Justice Department recovered a record $4 billion by rooting out waste, fraud and abuse of Medicare. But at this crucial moment in our recovery, Republicans want to take us in the opposite direction. In their losing war against health care, they have lost focus on what’s important to the American people: jobs.  Rather than working with us on strengthening the economy and making government more efficient, they are hell-bent on raising taxes on small businesses, charging seniors more for prescription drugs and adding to the nation’s debt.”

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USA Today:   Experts: Economy Looking Brighter

·        “When asked to predict, nine of 10 economists said they’re more optimistic than three months ago, according to a USA TODAY survey of 46 economists conducted Jan. 13-19.”

·        “They expect the economy to grow at an annual rate of 3.2% to 3.4% each quarter this year. That’s up from quarterly median forecasts of 2.5% to 3.3% in an October survey.”

·        Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics “expects the economy to grow 4.4% this year.”

·        “They [economists] expect employers to add 200,000 jobs a month by the second half of the year, more than double last year’s rate.”

Wall Street Journal:   More Hiring Expected as Gloom Starts to Lift

·        “The fourth-quarter poll of 84 companies by the National Association for Business Economics found 42% expected to increase jobs in the next six months. That is up from 29% in the first quarter of 2010. Only 7% of companies in the latest survey predict they will shed jobs in the coming sixmonths, down from 23% at the start of last year.”

·        “‘The economy is potentially at a turning point in job creation,’ said Randall Kroszner, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a former Fed governor.” 

·        “The recent drop in weekly jobless claims points to a stronger labor market.”

Bloomberg: U.S. Jobs Outlook Rises to Decade High, Survey Says

·        “U.S. companies’ employment outlook improved to a 12-year high this quarter after sales strengthened and economic growth picked up, a survey showed.”

·        “The percentage of businesses expecting to increase payrolls in the next six months exceeded the share projecting more firings by 35 points, the most since the question was first asked in 1998.

USA Today:  $2.5B recovered in health care fraud

·         “Federal agents recovered $2.5 billion from health care fraud judgments in the budget year that ended in September, a record-breaking amount they credit to whistle-blowers and a renewed effort from the Obama administration.”

·         “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius plans to announce today the money won in cases under the False Claims Act, as well as ways the health care law will prevent fraud in 2011. Overall the government recovered $4 billion, including $1.5 billion in administrative findings, rather than court action.”

·         “The health care law created one agency and expanded another to help recover stolen money. The actuary for Medicare expects the provisions of the law to save an additional $4.9 billion in fraud and abuse during the next 10 years. That money will be folded back into Medicare to help it remain solvent until at least 2027.”

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