One Year Later, Results Of Stimulus

A year later, the economy is working again. But millions of Americans are not.

Private economists largely agree the stimulus has helped to cushion the recession’s blow.  But the general public is not convinced.  A poll by the Pew Research Center found more people think Obama’s policies have worsened the economy than made it better.   And Republican lawmakers, who almost unanimously opposed the stimulus, happily encourage those doubts.  In fact, those Republican lawmakers are fine with encouraging the lie that the stimulus bailed out banks and insurance companies.

Here’s what the stimulus bill included:

  • Largest item —  $116 billion — tax cuts for workers
  • Aid to states — $87.1 billion — Medicaid and Education
  • Cover alternative-minimum taxes — $69.8 billion — benefited middle-income Americans
  • Extend unemployment benefits — $35.8 billion
  • Bridge and road construction — $27.5 billion
  • Extend COBRA to unemployed and their families –$25.1 billion
  • Food assistance to low-income Americans — $20.9 billion
  • Expanded child tax credit — $14.4 billion
  • Aid to seniors and disabled veterans — $14.4 billion

The above items account for 60% of the stimulus spending!  Most of the remaining stimulus spending was for business tax cuts, Pell grants for college students, public transportation systems, upgrades to the electric grid.

States are having difficulties balancing their budgets, but imagine the difficulties they would have faced without the stimulus spending.  Teachers kept their jobs.  America didn’t sink into a depression.  Seldom is credit given for what didn’t happen, but think long and hard about how much has been prevented and how much has been improved in the space of just one year!  When President Obama took office the recession was already more than a year old!  Before he took office the only bailouts that had been given were to insurance companies and banks.

16 Comments

Filed under Economics, Jobs, President Barack Obama

16 responses to “One Year Later, Results Of Stimulus

  1. fnord

    The GOP forced the stimulus to be smaller than needed. Then they complained that it wasn’t working. Now they’re even lying to the public about how much it IS working.

    Don’t buy into their negativity! They’ll frequently tell you their wonder pres Bush2 inherited a recession from Clinton and got the economy growing and back on track in a few short months. They’ll avoid talking about the one he ignored for well over a year at the end of his presidency!

    They want Obama to fail at any cost!

    Seeing results in only one year is quite an accomplishment! Much work is left to do and it needs to start with the jobs bill, reforming health-care insurance, and banking regulations — all at once because one is not less important than the other.

    • “The GOP forced the stimulus to be smaller than needed. Then they complained that it wasn’t working. Now they’re even lying to the public about how much it IS working.”

      Isn’t that standard operating procedure for the republican party? However, we should also be mindful that there were democrats going along with these nitwits.

      Since most people in this country have no clue as to how things actually work in the world, it is easy to fool them into believing that the current mess is somehow Obama’s fault. All they would have to do is skip watching The Bachelor once in a while and check out Frontline instead. But you know they can’t be bothered.

      And not knowing allows them to arbitrarily pick someone to blame and throw up their hands and play the victim. That is what this country is all about now. And I think we have the conservative movement to thank for that.

      • indypendent

        Unfortunately, most people cannot see that if their federal taxes are reduced and your state taxes increase, in reality you did not get a tax cut as evidenced by total money going out for taxes.

        Very few people see the big picture – they only know what the latest 30-second soundbite is telling them.

        That, and Rush and Fox News talking heads rambling on and on about the same regurgitation daily.

  2. indypendent

    What irritates me on other blogs are those Republicans who will tell everyone they are laid off aircraft workers, getting their unemployment checks and extended benefits (thanks to Obama) but yet these idiots still blame Obama for the mess.

    After all, according to them, Obama did tell everyone to stop buying planes. NO – what Obama did say was that if you’re a CEO of a failed Wall Street bank that just got bailed out by taxpayers, then you should really not be buying that new private jet. That’s what the man said – but, of course, these people will blame Obama for everything anyway.

    I asked one of these bellyaching unemployed Republicans why they didn’t just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a job at McDonalds. Their response was very telling – ‘because I make more off unemployment’.

    BINGO – I think we have a winner!

    But, of course, when I pointed out the fact to them that low-wage jobs might be everywhere to be had – no one used to making aircraft wages can afford to live off the wages of a fast food restaurant.

    That still didn’t get through to their thick skull.

    There might be jobs around but try living on that wage – that’s the tricky part.

    • indypendent

      I need to add here – I don’t blame anyone taking their unemployment benefits over working at a job paying a lower wage. That was not my point with this person on the other blog. My point was that the Republicans expect everyone else to pull themselves up by their bootstraps but when it is is their own bootstraps needing pulled up – they are mighty glad that ‘evil government’ is there with a check that has their name on it!

    • It is and was clear to me that during the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first few months of 2009, there were going to be aircraft orders being canceled; there was no alternative to that. The President’s remarks were seized upon by the soon-to-be defaulting buyer as a tool to soften the outrage from the plane makers; and, the plane makers were able to spin it as the reason for layoffs (that were going to occur regardless).

      • As far as pulling up by the bootstraps; this is preached daily by those who, if there was truly a confiscatory transfer tax system proposed, would be leading the mob to the barricades.

        Translated: if one’s parents (or earlier ancestors) had money, then it’s OK to rely on that; it’s up to others without the ability to fortuitously pick their parents to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps”, not ‘our kids’, who likely will dissipate the family fortune in one or two generations, and will not be expected to earn their way in life, say as a counter-person at a fast food restaurant. More likely, Dad or Mom will buy the kid a franchise so he/she won’t have to dirty their hands.

  3. indypendent

    My grandparents went through the Depression and they knew the value of money. They also knew they would never be rich but they had something much more valuable – their integrity.

    They were also content with what they had.

    In today’s materialistic society that Republicans seem to think is so great – exactly how much stuff is too much?

    At what point does materialistic lifestyle compensate for one’s integrity?

    Our priorities are wrong in this country. We have one party whose only goal is to make money at all cost – even if it means the destruction of their own country. And then we wonder why this party is called the Party of No and filled with a bunch of angry, old white men?

    • Zippy

      In today’s materialistic society that Republicans seem to think is so great – exactly how much stuff is too much?

      According to Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman-Sachs, saying that some amount of money is “too much” is equivalent to stifling ambition.

      The vapid pronouncement of a stupid man who excels at precisely one thing: creating scams to get money. I doubt he’s even particularly good at math.

      And, if someone points out some prestigious school in his background, I would respond thusly: “J. Danforth Quayle.”

  4. Zippy

    Let’s leave aside the fact that taxation is the method by which government functions at all.

    Those who are obsessed with protesting taxation must believe that money–particularly, their own money–is a magical substance that can remedy any bad situation. They’ve learned nothing from the 3 trillion dollars in paper wealth that largely just “disappeared,” or their plummeting home values.

    But the fact is that money is just a symbolic stand-in for power, and those who have inherited wealth only see that. They don’t see the degree to which it is all illusory, and only by rewarding actual work (as opposed the illusion that bean-counter call “productivity”–keeping the slaves moving) does real, tangible value, accrue to currency.

    It is ultimately better for middle class and wealthy if everyone benefits from the economy, but instead many of them have gotten lazy (intellectually and otherwise), and are too easily bought off by that same power (those who are far beyond rich), and allows those same people to use accumulated wealth–often other people’s money–to distort the political system for their own power games.

    And thus Taxed Enough Already becomes the slogan of a childish movement utterly bereft of ideas.

  5. indypendent

    I just wonder, do these greedy wealthy people really think they are going to take it with them when they die?

    There is so much more to life than just making money – or are they too foolish to know this?

    Too foolish or just stupid?

    • indypendent

      One thing to add here – when were the rules changed that no matter what one did to make money, that it was okay?

      I remember when wealthy people did have some integrity or some sense of community spirit by their donations, etc.

      But now it seems like the only thing these people know is to create wealth at all costs – even if that means to lay off thousands of hard working Americans by outsourcing jobs and then turning around and calling the government that likely gave them a tax break to do all that outsourcing, evil?

  6. fnord

    I heard one of their talking heads (too difficult to distinguish them so can’t identify by name) saying we don’t need a jobs bill. He went on to explain that if employment taxes were reduced all companies would be hiring, thus ending the high unemployment.

    So, the company match of FICA deductions is what is keeping them from hiring? Perhaps it’s the unemployment tax — ya know, one of those socialist programs that gives people something they haven’t earned! And Republicans are very concerned about everyone who gets something they don’t deserve!

    Tax cuts will save the world, solve every problem and put a chicken in every pot!

  7. indypendent

    Did you notice when Republicans had their butts handed to them in 2008 and they lost alot of seats in Congress?

    Did you also know that these wise Republicans, who were complaining about the exploding government beauracy, KEPT all their staff – even though they lost numerous seats and had no need to keep all their staff?

    Now, who is bloating the government? But they don’t tell people a little detail like that – do they?

  8. fnord

    I’ve always recognized that Republicans are slow to change and ill prepared for progress, but when they tell you, in writing, they want to take our country back to 1776, well, I believe Maya Angelou said it best: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”