Thursday, September 01, 2011

Money Changes Everything

This was way underreported. A new CBO report confirms the Recovery Act worked:
"A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the number of people employed by between 1.0 million and 2.9 million jobs as of June. " [...]

"The CBO report indicates that ARRA succeeded in its primary goal of protecting the economy during the worst of the recession. As the economy recovers, ARRA's effects will continue to decrease. CBO estimates that ARRA's impact on employment peaked in the third quarter of 2010, when between 1.4 million and 3.6 million people owed their jobs to the Recovery Act."
That peak corresponds to the best GDP growth, a 5.9% increase, reported in the fourth quarter of 2010. Read the link to see how it protected full time work hours and whatnot, but most interesting is which spending was identified as most effective:
"Among ARRA's most effective provisions for saving and creating jobs, according to CBO's estimates, are direct purchases of goods and services by the federal government, transfer payments to states (such as extra Medicaid funding), and transfer payments to individuals (such as increased food stamp benefits and additional weeks of unemployment benefits). CBO's estimates indicate that tax cuts are less effective job producers, and tax cuts for higher-income people have very low bang for the buck."
The report makes very clear that without the Recovery Act, the economy would have truly crashed and things would be very much worse right now. Which, of course, doesn't lend itself to a catchy campaign slogan. Sadly, for the average underinformed voter, now hopelessly deluded by the GOP's deficit demagoguery, Gov. Goodhair's messaging is likely to resonate more:
Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry said Monday that no new economic stimulus package is needed to "get America working again," but he declined to give specifics about how his still-unannounced plan to jumpstart the nation's economy would create jobs. [...] "You won't have stimulus programs under a Perry presidency. You won't spend all the money."
Says the governor who spent tons of federal money to keep his state, and the myth of the Texas Miracle, afloat. It feels uncomfortably mean to think this, but seriously, this guy and his true believers can't get raptured up fast enough to save civil society for the rest of us heathens.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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