The Stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act)

Is it working?

Conservatives largely say no.
At least, those on my favorite political forum say no – but they could be paid propagandists, or the dreaded dittoheads.

They say that it didn’t work and we are heading for the end times and an even bigger crisis.
At the same time they’ll argue we (the economy) are out of the woods and the unspent stimulus money should be ‘returned’.

This article from the Wall Street Journal is from September 2nd.
U.S. Economy Gets Lift From Stimulus
Economists at Goldman Sachs predict GDP to increase by more than 3% and that without the stimulus, we’d be around 0 (breaking even).

Recovery.gov has had a facelift, which details where the stimulus money is going.
For instance, I can see that $14 Billion has been spent by the department of education, with roughly $70 Billion remaining.

You can search by zip or browse contracts/grants/loans on the big map.

And then there are naysayers who are certain that the stimulus did not work, despite being not even 1/3 complete.
I don’t turn off the TV, declaring a winner in the first quarter of a football game.
Or the first inning of a baseball game.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204731804574385233867030644.html?mod=rss_Today
The article concludes:

“Incoming data will reveal more in coming months, but the data available so far tell us that the government transfers and rebates have not stimulated consumption at all”

I don’t know if that article takes into account the fact that the tax rebate in the stimulus was a small weekly increase in take-home pay.
That part of the stimulus isn’t complete either, but they would not have seen a spike – it would be a very small increase, being $10 or so each week.

Is the Stimulus Working?

The author of this article from the Brookings Institute gets the impression the stimulus is in fact working due to increased consumer spending, increased spending at the local, state and federal level, all stimulating GDP directly.  The article points out that a number of forecasters are expecting a 2-3% increase in GDP as a result of the stimulus, which is in line with the numbers expected by the CBO and the administration.

That page also contains a this link:
http://www.rgemonitor.com/financemarkets-monitor/257666/the_economic_impact_of_the_american_recovery_and_reinvestment_act_of_2009
which states “We find that countries that adopted larger fiscal stimulus packages have outperformed expectations relative to those adopting smaller packages.”

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