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ETpro's avatar

Do you believe the Stimulus has created or saved any jobs?

Asked by ETpro (34472points) February 17th, 2010

Republicans are claiming that the stimulus has created no jobs whatsoever—not even a single one. So far, the stimulus has included $92.8 billion in tax cuts, $74.4 billion in contracts, grants and loans, and $105 billion in benefits (mainly extended unemployment benefits). How do you manage to spend $272.2 billion without creating a single job.

It would seem reasonable that even buying $272.2 billion worth of hamburgers, or commissioning a vast fleet of trucks to move water from the Atlantic to the Pacific in order to equalize the ocean levels would create a large number of jobs—either for hamburger chain workers, bun and condiment makers, meat packers and farmers in the first case; or for truckers, filling station attendants, oil company workers and truck builders in the other.

Why can’t we focus on real issues, such as whether this form of stimulus is the best approach to an economic downturn, instead of insisting on debating things that aren’t even remotely connected to the truth?

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26 Answers

marinelife's avatar

“On Friday, the Obama administration released the most detailed information yet on the jobs created by the stimulus. Of the 640,239 jobs recipients claimed to have created or saved so far, officials said, more than half — 325,000 — were in education.”

The New York Times

dpworkin's avatar

This is not a matter of belief, it is a matter of fact, and in their own districts the Republicans are posing with the big fake checks and acting as if they are responsible for the largess, whereas they have trashed the bills in Congress, and voted them down. A band of disciplined hypocrites.

DrBill's avatar

As long as you are going to talk political parties, instead of the issues, there will not be any truthful answers. When you mention Republican or Democrat in your question, it slants the issues.

Factotum's avatar

The stimulus – all of the stimuli – are not doing what they promised to do but are putting us deep in debt. Worse that money isn’t going to be available for what is important.

Ron_C's avatar

I believe that the stimulus did save and create some jobs but I believe that it was incorrectly applied. The government would have gotten more bang for the buck if they gave it to small businesses instead of banks. The should also have required the break up of banks and insurance companies “too big to fail”. It isn’t to late to do that but I have given up expecting the corporate shills in congress to do the right thing.

More than have of the country thinks “their congressman” is o.k. People are really ignorant of how things work in Washington. My congressman is a bum who I wouldn’t hire to clean my bathroom. My senators are totally ineffective. I want them both out of there.

ragingloli's avatar

@Ron_C
Stimulus =/= Bailout. They are two different things.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Take note the first and biggest part of the stimulus, the bailout of the banks and financial institutions which has yet to produce the promised benefits was the last acts of the lame-duck Republican (Bush) Administration.

Ron_C's avatar

@ragingloli stimulus and bailout look like they came out of the same pocket to me.

ragingloli's avatar

@Ron_C
The Bailout was done by the Bush regime and only served to keep the banks afloat.
The Stimulus is a separate package devised by the Obama administration. You can see an overview of its contents here

davidbetterman's avatar

Saved many ceo jobs

Ron_C's avatar

@ragingloli I get your point but the whole affair seems, to me, to be a seamless contiunation of Bush’s bail-out for the banks. The real stimulus may come if the democrats can get their “jobs bill” act together. One of the biggest stimulus acts would be to cancell the NAFTA and other “free trade acts”. The only real trade seems to be trading American jobs for corporate profits. I am tired of paying for that.

DrBill's avatar

As a business owner, I have had to cut jobs, and the banks are not loosening their grip on all that TAXPAYER money.

SeventhSense's avatar

I am completely miffed except to say that everyone in this country is suffering (some of us more than others) and feel very profoundly the anxiety and unsettled nature of the current climate. And I think the Republicans response is to retreat behind their party line which is of course is to parrot “all they do is tax and spend”. Solutions that involve compromise are not in their vocabulary. Failing of course to remember that this snowball of debt and the subsequent massive bailouts of banks, and Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac etc were on their watch in the first place. It’s like passing the wheel after the car has driven over the cliff and then assuming the role of backseat driver. It’s actually quite staggering in its audacious ignorance.

And when is real news going to truly trump the spin doctors? How is it that the American Public is so duped by editorial style broadcasting? Whatever happened to Walter Cronkite? I think the news should be federally regulated and removed from commercial hands completely. So many opinions pass for substance. Maybe the fluff can be renamed the Opinion Channel with scrolling banners continually-
OPINION/These views are the opinions of the speakers/OPINION…

wundayatta's avatar

I was listening to the news this morning, and someone was saying that, while there were not more jobs now than when the stimulus was first offered, there would have been a lot fewer jobs if there were no stimulus. It’s a hard argument to make. It may be true, but people expect more from spending a lot of money. They don’t expect to be running hard just to stay in the same place.

Now I’ve made all kinds of economic analyses in my life, and while I believed in every single one of them, I also know that your assumptions make a big difference in the outcome. Supposedly the Congressional Budget Office is unbiased, but while that is the official line, I don’t see how it can be true given the atmosphere they work in. Still, everyone pretends this is the case.

Anyway, I like to believe the stimulus has had a positive effect. I have no idea how much of an impact it has had and I don’t think anyone can know. So, in the end, I think the answer to this question depends on how you feel about Democrats and Republicans. If you lean to the left, the stimulus is doing something. If you lean right, it isn’t.

SeventhSense's avatar

What does any bailout or stimulus mean at all though in the face of the inevitable collapse once again. Nothing has been done to truly change the model so why pretend that the financial industry will be responsible at all. If history has shown us anything it’s that the banking and financial industry will act with indifference to anything but greed without strict oversight.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, there’s this graph to consider.

plethora's avatar

@DrBill You are sooooo right

plethora's avatar

Another great way to create jobs for Americans is to dramatically reduce immigration.

SeventhSense's avatar

@plethora
Actually there’s no shortage of shitty service jobs that you’re average spoiled American won’t do. It’s the significant jobs that are in scant supply.

Berserker's avatar

If we’re looking at all the jobs and wondering where they all went, then I’m guessing not.

All I hear on the radio these days are about companies, corporations and businesses closing doors and creating massive job loss.

Might be a good idea to get a job at the welfare office.

plethora's avatar

The stimulus, by any other name, is a convenient and hallowed means of buying votes. Every single one of those companies that were “just too big to fail” should have been allowed to fail. I am a business owner. If they can’t cut the mustard, let em fail. The stimulus program just taught all those guys in the fancy suits that if they risk enough, the good old taxpayer, or the politiicians using the taxpayer money, will bail them out. How can you lose?

SeventhSense's avatar

@plethora
The cost would have been too catastrophic. We would have had 20% unemployment if we hadn’t acted. The problem is there isn’t enough fail-safes from preventing it from happening again.

nikipedia's avatar

The stimulus saved my job.

ETpro's avatar

@Ron_C I think you are confusing the Stimulus and the TARP. The Stimulus did not go to banks, and a large part of its tax cuts did go to small businesses—mainly in the form of tax credits for creating jobs and in tax cuts on capital gains to encourage investment in equipment and facilities. And if Bush had not bailed out the banks, we would undoubtedly be in a second Great Depression right now. It was that bad.

@SeventhSense I hear you on the partisan posturing. It’s disgusting. I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water and go for a Pravda style state-run press, but something’s got to be done.

@wundayatta It is a hard argument to make. But the fact is in the first 3 months of 2009 we were losing an average of 750,000 jobs a month. Since the stimulus began, the losses have been steadily improving till we are now about breaking even. There is no reason to think that doing nothing would have worked far better. The curve is pretty amazing to see.

@plethora You should take heart. For the first time in many years, we lost illegal aliens in 2008 and 2009. Seems a combination of stepped up border control, more crackdowns on employers, and an utterly lousy jobs picture here are working. And we tried your “just let them fail” idea once before. Herbert Hoover tested it. Didn’t work out too good. It took 15 years of blood, sweat and tears, a World War and running the national debt up to 120% of Gross Domestic Product to fix that mistake. Let’s not make it all over again. I do support reigning in Wall Street and making sure they are no longer allowed to be “Too big to fail.”

SeventhSense's avatar

@ETpro
Hahaha yes me, Stalin and Trotsky were discussing a plan over cocktails in hell. Thought we’d crash Nixon and the young Republican Ball over at the Garden of Eden Golf Club.

We already have a state/government oversight of an equitable forum of free speech called the Public Access channels. I’m just saying why not say that the strict representation of events brought down through the wires by reporters is the news and eliminate any error by interpretation. And if there is interpretation beyond the facts call that editorial which is what 99% of news is. Fox, CNN, MSNBC should be placed in the same category as the Daily Show for a majority of their programming. News should be no frills.

P.S.- Talk about a strict limit on free speech. Try to actually get a Communist or Fascist program on Public Access. You will have little luck. Not that I generally disagree except on principle. Free speech is not completely free but still very much regulated.

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