ARRA Cost/Job = $1.7 million!


As of yesterday, according to Federal government ARRA reporting at, that is the current cost per job “created/saved” by ARRA – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

To get that figure you must add an additional $80 billion in state Medicaid reimbursements that were also funded through ARRA, but not included by the federal government in their total.

An Obama-unfriendly friend of mine had cynically pure guessed the ARRA cost/job at $1.5 million.

I used a computer’s calculator to accurately determine the number. He was almost right on!

If any Obama Administration official or political pundit has trouble verifying that figure, I will happily provide a remedial 2-minute short course on addition and division.

“Created/Saved” Jobs

The term “created/saved” was invented specifically to report job creation under ARRA. The term never existed before that.

By far, the vast majority of jobs “created/saved” in ARRA were K-12 teacher salaries paid through state block grants. According to a National Education Association estimate, more than 300,000 teacher jobs were saved under ARRA. Few or no teacher jobs were actually created.

The 2nd largest job group were first responder-type saved jobs, also through state block grants.

Jobs Created

Of course, new jobs were created under ARRA, too. (Lets leave out talking about Solyndra)

An example of new jobs created by ARRA are 40 temporary jobs by a French owned company, Sanofi Pasteur, contracted using ARRA funds to produce the H1N5 flu vaccine in a Pennsylvania plant back in 2009.

Remember the avian flu scare?

They got $1.5 BILLION in ARRA funds for a vaccine that wasn’t finished until AFTER the pandemic… uh, I mean epidemic… uh, I mean the normal number of yearly flu deaths, had already subsided.

That came at a cost of $37.5 MILLION/job! Btw… did I mentioned the jobs were temporary?

That is an extreme example of job creation, of course, but demonstrates why ARRA did not work!

Why No ARRA Medicaid Reporting??

If you scour you will find little or no reporting of the $80 billion in ARRA funded Medicaid reimbursements made to states.

I discovered that 2 years ago when looking at the State of Oregon’s ARRA spending web site. Under federal law each state is also required to report all their ARRA spending “to the penny”.

Oregon reports a lot more ARRA spending than does the federal government report for Oregon at! The difference? Oregon includes its Medicaid reimbursement, but the federal government does not.

ARRA Medicaid spending just might have been omitted from federal reporting in order to prevent it’s discovery during the great healthcare debate raging at that time.

Its pure speculation, of course, but suspiciously reasonable. You see, under Obamacare, 30+ million more Americans are added to the Medicaid rolls to provide coverage for everyone.

If it came out in 2009 that Medicaid required $80 billion more in subsidies and they got it from ARRA it would have hurt passage of the law.

No H1N5 ARRA Reporting Either!

In October of 2009 came the very first “to the penny” public reporting of ARRA spending. It was a modest reporting of the first $16 billion in ARRA contracts awarded.

Proudly perched atop the top-10 list of biggest contracts awarded at was none other than Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of the N1H5 vaccine!

A few weeks later in November, during the hysteria over an avian flu pandemic, trouble creating the vaccine surfaced and reported on TV. They had to start over from scratch! Fear gripped the nation.

During that very week, Sanofi mysteriously disappear off the top-10 list at Puff! It was gone. Disappeared. Deleted. Erased from existence! (Dr. Emmett Brown, Back to the Future, 1985)

One wonders… how would it have looked if the news media had reported that ARRA paid $1.5 billion to a French-owned company for a failed vaccine that created only 40 temporary jobs costing $37.5 million each?

Answer: Not Good!


Fortunately for the Administration, the news media is pretty incompetent at researching important stuff and reporting it. They are much better at sex scandals!


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Apr 3, 2012, in ARRA, economics, healthcare, Job Creation, Medicaid, news, Obamacare, Opinion, Politics, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Well done again, AZ. And i was accused by a troll today at my site of being a racist because I don’t like Mr. Obama. Where do they find all that kool-aid.

    • According to social science researchers, the kool-aid comes from Occupy Movement supplies originally left over from 1960s war protest rallies.

  2. I have one comment and one question.

    Comment: the ARRA was crucial to education even though it did not add teaching jobs. Most school funding comes from property taxes. When the real estate bubble popped and prices declined dramatically, so did school funding. Without the ARRA there would have been serious budget short falls. Not that there hasn’t been, but it would have. Been a disaster if the ARRA did not help districts out.

    Question: what is a ‘Medicaid reimbursement’?

    • Comment commented on:
      What you say is absolutely true… school districts would have taken a huge hit without ARRA, no doubt… but not because of lost property taxes caused by the bubble.

      Property tax revenues drop only if tax assessed values are lowered and/or there are fewer properties. Even foreclosed properties are still owned by banks who must pay the property taxes. Property taxes are not lost through foreclosure.

      Property taxes are based on assessed property value, not market value.

      Even though resale property values have dropped, assessed values have not. That is because states are reluctant to reassess property values knowing it would decrease their own tax revenues. So they have been slow to reassess.

      ARRA money was long gone before there was any significant drop in property tax revenues.

      A point I often make is that ARRA is a job-creating, economy-building “stimulus” package that did NOT create jobs! BLS data proves that.

      Using ARRA to pay teacher salaries for a couple years, though noble and the right thing to do, did NOT create any economic stimulus. That is one reason the economy is slow to recover.

      Question answered:
      Medicaid is paid for by a combination of federal and individual state funding.

      The federal government has a table, called FMAP, that defines the amount of money allocated by it to each individual state for its portion of that state’s Medicaid funding.

      That federal government’s portion is it’s “Medicaid reimbursement”.

      Because of the 2008 recession $80 billion more was allocated for Medicaid from ARRA funds to help offset state revenue losses. That was also allocated through FMAP to states. That is what is NOT reported at but must be included in the calculation of ARRA’s cost per job.

  3. I have to admit that I supported the TARP under Bush W and the ARRA under Obama because I felt a depression was about to begin. Saving those teachers jobs was a good thing; same thing happened in the health subsidy programs where nurses doctors jobs were likewise “saved.”

    But, the results in job creation are totally unimpressive. We still have not reached prior peak, and are in a jobs depression.

    And then I see how TARP and ARRA were actually implemented in a crony kind of way, that I feel like one of the Stooges. When you can borrow or print money at ZIRP, you ought to be able to find some programs with an IRR greater than 5%, but our elites seem to have missed the boat completely. Some states were going to spend billions on bullet trains, a technology made obsolete by the car and jet airplane, when was that?, oh yeah, back in the 1950s.

    • Public perception is that TARP, the so-called “bailout of the big banks”, was bad. Its vilified from the Tea Party to the Occupy Movement and everywhere between.

      BEA facts prove it saved us from depression. The effects of TARP spending were immediate and dramatic. It infused liquidity into the banking system and unfroze credit that was at literal shutdown. The recession, by official definition, was over in June 2009 before hardly a penny of ARRA money was spent.

      Check today’s TARP summary report and you clearly see taxpayers made profits off the big banks that the Occupiers still protest today:

      It was right to save teacher and other public sector jobs. What is 100% WRONG is calling it economic “stimulus”. Look at BLS stats and you see public sector jobs are the only ones being lost now since the ARRA money ran out.

      Just review ARRA – – and you clearly see that it was primarily designed to pay government’s bills until the economy recovered on its own, and to a lesser degree invest in green energy/global warming initiatives and was peppered some with a little bit of citizen eye candy, like “cash for clunkers”, to give them some perks that Congressmen and the President could brag about.

      What it wasn’t designed to do was create jobs… and that is why it did not work.

      Paying teachers’ and other public employee’s salaries was right and good… calling it economic recover was WRONG!

      If we do not correctly and fully understand what did right and what we did wrong in this recovery, and why, then we are bound to make the same mistakes again in the future.

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