The Stimulus: An $814 Billion Flop
The jobs “created or saved” have cost taxpayers dearly.


Deroy Murdock

In an October 3 ABC News/Washington Post survey, 68 percent of Americans polled believe that “the money the federal government has spent on the economic stimulus has been mostly wasted.” Only 29 percent consider it “well spent.”

Seven out of ten Americans are correct: The Democratic stimulus is a massive, bank-busting flop. Those who foisted this twelve-figure folly on the American people should suffer at the polls.

Still basking in inaugural afterglow, President Obama signed the Recovery Act in February 2009. Budgeted at $787 billion, it rose to $814 billion — a 3.4 percent cost overrun. Absent the stimulus, the White House assured taxpayers, the then-7.6 percent unemployment rate affecting 11.6 million Americans would climb to 8 percent.

Joblessness surpassed 8 percent anyway, shooting to 10.1 percent in October 2009 before settling at 9.6 percent, where it seems stuck today, frustrating 14.8 million job seekers. Unemployment has equaled or exceeded 9.5 percent for 14 months, the longest such stretch since the Great Depression.

The stimulus has done less than nothing. In a new study, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee’s GOP staff discovered that total non-farm payroll employment fell in 17 of America’s 20 largest metropolitan areas between March 2009 and August 2010. Such jobs only grew in Baltimore, Boston, and — naturally — Washington, D.C. Even worse, in these 20 urban areas, “For every federal government payroll job created (+42,700), 13 private-sector payroll jobs (-556,900) have been lost.” Corresponding state and local governments also shed 522,800 jobs during this time.

“With a million fewer workers in our major cities today than when the stimulus began, I can’t imagine how the White House can proclaim it as anything but a terrible disappointment,” said U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the JEC’s top House Republican.“President Obama promised that 90 percent of the stimulus jobs would be created in the private sector. The reality is just the opposite.”

 Fox News Channel’s Brenda Buttner reports on the October 23
Bulls & Bears that New Hampshire and North Dakota were
the only states (plus Washington, D.C.) to enjoy job growth since
President Obama signed the Democrat stimulus in February 2009.

These positions, “created or saved” by the stimulus, have cost taxpayers dearly.

In late September, the White House released 100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America. This 28-page paper details infrastructure, clean-energy, social-service, and other initiatives that “invest in a strong foundation for a 21st century economy.” As this document states:

“This report shines a spotlight on some of the most innovative and effective projects nationwide that are not only putting people back to work now, but helping transform the American economy for years to come.” It adds: “From wind turbine production in Muncie, Indiana, to expansion of a tunnel in Oakland, California, millions of Americans are on the job nationwide working on Recovery Act projects like the ones in this report.” These initiatives, the White House explains, mirror others across the country. “The projects in this report represent just a small fraction of the tens of thousands of projects the Recovery Act is supporting.”