Happy Birthday to the “Stimulus”

The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial this morning, points out that today is the 5th anniversary of 2009’s famous “stimulus” package, otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Remember that?

According to the latest figures from Recovery.gov, there was $816.3 billion in ARRA deficit spending that was supposed to recover the U.S. economy.

Five years later the economy is still struggling. The money is gone.

It was originally supposed to keep unemployment from going above eight percent. It didn’t work.

After passage ARRA was followed by four long years of unemployment above eight percent. It would still be above eight percent today if not that millions of Americans have dropped out of the workforce. The labor participation rate is back to 1970s levels.

The WSJ editorial points out that “stimulus” spending was wasted on things like a $783,000 study to find out why young people consume malt liquor and marijuana, and another $219,000 study on why college students “hookup”.

However, the editorial does not single out ARRA’s most fundamental flaw. It was never designed to create jobs to recover the economy. It was designed to pay federal and state government bills until a recovery occurred. So far, that hasn’t really happened yet.

According to the latest CBO numbers, ARRA created or saved 6.75 million 1-year duration jobs. The total number of jobs comes from splitting the difference between the CBO’s low and high estimates for ARRA job creation.

For $816.3 billion spent, that figures out to $120,933 per job. ARRA doesn’t report actual worker salaries.

ARRA’s best year was 2010 when it created between 900,000 and 4.7 million jobs. That was about two percent of the total 139 million Americans employed that year.

The United States remains in a jobs depression. There are still fewer Americans employed today than before the recession started, even though there are over 12 million more working age Americans now.

Thanks for nothing, “Stimulus”. Happy Birthday.


About azleader

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

Posted on Feb 17, 2014, in ARRA, Business, Debt, economics, Economy, Government, Jobs, macroeconomics, news, Opinion, Politics, Recovery Act, Stimulus, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. The “Stimulus” was another in a long line of scams. Despite the warning George Orwell started writing in 1946 about a new tyrannical government that would rule by deception, “Nineteen Eighty-Four,”

    Scientists were recruited and paid well to deceive the public after world leaders saw their own mortality in the force released from the cores of heavy atoms on 6 & 9 August 1945 over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Serious charges against the post-1945 scientific establishment are provided with figures of precise experimental data to back up the charges in my autobiography.

    Click to access Chapter_2.pdf

    The common thread is deceit about the source of energy in cores of:

    1. Heavy atoms like Uranium
    2. Some planets like Jupiter
    3. Ordinary stars like the Sun
    4. Galaxies like the Milky Way

    To verify this for yourself, ask any member of the UN’s IPCC, the UK’s Royal Society, the US or any other National Academy of Sciences, or the Swedish or Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee to publicly address three figures of precise experimental data (Figures 1-3, pages 19-27, my autobiography).

    Click to access Chapter_2.pdf

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    • You never cease to amaze me how you link everything back to 1945. 🙂

      I don’t think ARRA was purposefully a scam. I believe the President and the then Democrat-dominated Congress actually believed it would work.

      The Keynesian mindset is that government spending is the counter-cyclic solution to recessions. It is a fundamental belief in that economic philosophy.

      Apparently, they think it doesn’t matter how the money is spent nor on what… just that it is spent trying to infuse demand into an economy.

      Paul Krugman, the unofficial spokesman for Keynesian macroeconomics, once suggested that we fake an alien invasion to recover the economy. Though an invasion would never happen, the massive spending to prepare for one would stimulate demand and drive economic recovery.

      • Yes, the President and those supporting him may have believed the scam themselves.

        They probably also believed the false, but standard “settled science” models of

        1. CO2-induced global warming
        2. Hydrogen-filled stars
        3. Attraction between neutrons

        I.e., our leaders are not really leaders. They are puppets. You can help correct that by asking scientists to publicly address the precise data they have ignored.

      • Here is my take:
        1-Human-caused CO2 global warming is iffy, but possible
        2-I’m in the hydrogen filled stars camp. Also in the hydrogen-helium filled universe camp (Hydrogen 70%, Helium 29%, heavy elements 1%)
        3-I’m no expert but accept that the strong nuclear force is real and binds all hadrons, including neutrons

        If 2&3 were not largely true then humans pretty much have zero understanding of the universe and we are left only with magic to explain how it works and what we see.

      • The universe seems remarkably simple, consisting (~98%) of

        1. Two forms of one fundamental particle:

        The neutron and it’s expanded form, the hydrogen atom.

        2. About 2% is two forms of energy:

        Mostly rest mass at the compressed end of a cosmic cycle, and mostly gravitational potential energy at the expanded end of a cosmic cycle.

      • Correction :

        2. About 2% is two forms of potential energy:

  2. If you seriously want to help the public, then publicly all on leaders of the scientific community to publicly discuss the precise experimental data on pages 19-27 of my autobiography. -OKM

  3. Well, at least some of Obama’s friends had their bank accounts stimulated. 😦

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