American Sauce: Obama's stimulus bill
February 24th, 2011
04:25 PM ET
4 years ago

American Sauce: Obama's stimulus bill

Capitol Hill (CNN) – Did President Obama's stimulus bill help at all? And how much did that package of spending cost in the end?

The Congressional Budget Office just provided some new answers. (We at American Sauce confess to checking the CBO webpage for fun.)

The summary? Government analysts now believe the 2009 stimulus bill, or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or ARRA, will cost $821 billion over ten years. That's an increase of $7 billion over their last estimate.

How many jobs did it provide? CBO says the stimulus bill funded the equivalent of at least 2 million full-time jobs, and up to 5 million full-time jobs, at its peak in mid-2010.

But don't just settle for those headlines, read more.


Stimulus Costs – CBO Conclusions

- Cost of the stimulus bill will be $7 billion higher than expected.

- The increase comes mostly from unexpected increases in Medicaid.

- CBO now believes the stimulus bill will cost $821 billion over ten years (2009-2019).

Jobs & The Economy – CBO Conclusions

- The stimulus bill funded between 2 million and 5.2 million full-time equivalents at its peak in mid-2010.

- CBO does not conclude how many total jobs were funded over the past two years.

- The unemployment rate dropped between 0.7 and 2 percentage points in 2010.

- The stimulus bill boosted GDP between 1.1 and 4.6 percent during each quarter of 2010.

Reward For Reading This Far

- Interest Rates: CBO concluded the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at the end of 2011, not in 2012 as last predicted.

- ARRA is fading: CBO says 70 percent of its impact was felt in 2009 and 2010.

- Stimulus Peak: Was in the first half of 2010. CBO expects jobs coming from the bill will "drop sharply" this year.

For more nerdy, fast and good information, follow Lisa on Twitter: @LisaDCNN


Filed under: American Sauce
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    vet in texas
    Almost a trillion dollars to save the country from an economic collapse or almost a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the top 2%......which is more wasteful?
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    I'm going with the $821 billion as being more wasteful. Remember, the tax cut never was actually government money to begin with. Besides, the tax cut will create more jobs. Ongoing jobs.

    February 24, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. vet in texas

    @four & the door:

    I respect your opinion but almost half of the $821 billion you mentioned were in fact tax cuts so I pose my question again:

    which is more wasteful? Who benefits from either? and what do we get for these amounts? A 3.9% tax does not allow you to hire anyone, hiring is based on demand and profit, not proposed taxes. Any business person who couldn't in turn write off the additional 3.9% really doesn't need to be in business. The real reason, in my opinion is that the framers of the tax cuts aren't telling the supporters that your eventually going to be taxed at 6.2% when they raise the FICA limit in order to keep SS solvent. A 10.1% increase will make the debate about this in 2012 when it expires, very interesting and alot of yelling will be in the near future.

    February 24, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    So following all the wacky liberal logic here, if the government just took ALL our money (or borrowed another $5 trillion from China) and then paid it all back to us or "invest it" as the Donkeys like to say, we'd have a great economy?! I mean if $1 trillion was good, quadruple would be better right?! Yup... just ask the people of the former Soviet Union how a government controlled and run economy works out for you! Oh yeah...they don't exist anymore. Exactly where we are headed if we continue to belief in this insane leftist logic.

    February 24, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. Gaylon Barrow

    Where did the jobs go. Most of all the jobs created by the stimulus was gone within six months after they started. Census takers, IRS helpers. All temporary jobs nothing pernament. This man is a farce and the worst President ever for the United States. He will not salute the flag. Smells like a skunk. BY GOLLEY IT'S A SKUNK.

    February 24, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Inmyopinion

    to Sniffit: I think you're just angry because we are all seeing the game that is being played. Take the Unions that represent government employees, they want the middle class private sector, businesses, the rich to pay more taxes so that government employees can continue to be paid high wages and benefits ( more than the private sector) and pay them their Union fees. So, our tax dollars end up paying these Unions their fees and they in turn give that money to the Democrat Party. Yes, government employees pay taxes but those very taxes they recuperate as a paycheck, salary from the government so in reality government employees never pay taxes.

    February 24, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. Dean

    $410,000 per job. Give me that much money and I'll retire.

    February 24, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Tim, Seattle

    For those saying tax cuts will create jobs...well.....you got your corporate tax cut.....its been 2 months. WHERE ARE THE JOBS GOP?

    February 24, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    CTinDC
    I love it when I see these comments make simplistic number crunching. 250,000 per job? are we that lost and unintelligent that we dont even care to learn all of what the stimulus entailed. It was not as elementary as giving a company a couple of million to hire people.
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    Entailed?!?! I'm sorry CTinDC but it was sold as a, " jobs jobs jobs jobs " bill. My point is that it didn't do much in the way of jobs. Obama will be the first to admit that. Notice how his entire team of Economic Advisors was canned prior to the November elections? He believed what they sold him until the data came in. Time for a new team. The old one lost.

    February 24, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. CAW in MD

    It's a sad state of affairs when people can't accept facts if they don't support their position. Folks, the CBO is as close to a non-partisan organization as you're going to get. They gave you facts. You can ignore them or wish they weren't so, but facts are facts. Did the stimulus help? Unquestionably. Did it help as much as the Obama administration hoped? Not even close.

    And Sue - it's 821 billion across 10 years. In that span of time, we will be paying over 5 trillion dollars to the DoD, and over $3 trillion in interest payments on the debt. The budget over those 10 years will be close to $40 trillion. So let's not pretend that $821 billion is that big a number - it's not. It's less than 3% of the budget outlays in those 10 years. Pretty reasonable for keeping us from descending into a full-blown depression. But since facts don't seem to be your friends, I guess this is a pearls before swine situation...

    February 24, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    When Pres. Obama took office , we were LOOSING over 750,000 jobs a month. We have had many months of positive job growth. Even an idiot conservative can see the gain in that.

    Also, GDP went from below MINUS 5% to over PLUS 3%, even as repugs did all they could to slow the growth. Even an idiot conservative can see the gain in that.

    We need more of what works, not more tax cuts for the rich and Boner's spending cuts. Fix the debt after we finish fixing the job growth.

    February 24, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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