A year ago today, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act–also known as the economic stimulus package–went into effect.
And here’s all you need to know about it:
[Click for full-sized version]
But, what the heck, here’s some more info, just for kicks:
Just look at the outside evaluations of the stimulus. Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody’s Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative.
We know now that the right’s the-stimulus-has-failed touchdown dance was more than a little premature–while GOP was spiking the ball at the 5 yard line, President Obama and the Democrats were creating 2.5 million new jobs.
Yes, unemployment is still high. Yes, there aren’t enough jobs out there yet. But nobody can dispute now that the Recovery Act has put us back on the right track and has kept millions of Americans off of the unemployment lines–something that never would have happened if the Republicans had their way.
UPDATE: In their typical dishonest fashion, some conservatives are pointing out that the unemployment rate when Obama took office was 7.7% and that it now stands at 9.7%.
I mean, I’m glad they’re finally acknowledging that President Obama inherited much of our economic troubles from his predecessor, but they’re missing the point. The recovery act was intended to staunch the bleeding, to prevent a massive recession from turning into a massive depression, not to significantly reduce unemployment–it’s likely that no one bill could have done that.
So yes, unemployment is still high–but it would have been much higher if the GOP had their way and we did nothing. And had Congress listened to progressives and passed a larger stimulus package, I imagine that unemployment would be lower today.
UPDATE II: You know how you can tell that the recovery act worked?
Because the very Republicans who railed against it–and voted against it–are now trying to take credit for it: