New York (CNNMoney.com) –They're not calling it Stimulus 2, but the Obama administration wants to extend the life of several Recovery Act provisions by building them into the federal budget.
The president's $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2011, unveiled Monday, calls for giving states more money for Medicaid and infrastructure projects, as well as renewing tax breaks for workers, small businesses and municipalities issuing bonds. It also requests additional funding for Obama's educational reform initiative, Race to the Top.
All these were key provisions in the $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a massive two-year stimulus program enacted last February. Many of its measures are set to run out this year.
But none of Obama's budget measures will take effect unless Congress incorporates them into legislation. And, at the moment, "stimulus" is not the most popular word on Capitol Hill.
On Saturday, the administration reported that stimulus money funded nearly 600,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2009. The figure is based on responses from about 160,000 recipients of stimulus funds. Previously, the White House reported 640,329 jobs were created or saved through September 30. This number was criticized because some recipients might have reported "saving" people who would not have been laid off. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, called the number "misleading and unreliable."
Fact Check: Are White House-reported figures on the number of jobs created under the stimulus plan unreliable?
The CNN Fact Check Desk found that:
Washington (CNN) - Government researchers and officials are hoping to use a relatively small amount of stimulus dollars to help find new ways for the nation to produce, consume and store energy.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, part of the Energy Department, was conceived during the George W. Bush administration but only got its first funding in the stimulus bill - to the tune of $400 million.
Agency director Arun Majumdar says that the nation lags in energy security and that his agency is key to helping the country address the problem aggressively. He aims to invest early in ventures that he says could deliver huge gains if they pan out.
He calls it investing in "American pioneers."
Union address that, because of his administration's stimulus plan, 2 million Americans are "working right now who would otherwise be unemployed."
That figure was calculated by his Council of Economic Advisers. It includes the administration's estimate of 640,000 positions that were directly funded by the stimulus through Sept. 30, as well as any job that was touched or indirectly affected by stimulus money. On Saturday, the administration will release a new estimate of positions directly funded by the stimulus till the end of 2009.
The CNN Fact Check team dug into this and found that not every worker who has ever held a stimulus-funded position is necessarily still employed in that position. A number of stimulus-funded jobs were for temporary projects that have concluded. The administration says it has accounted for this by aggregating and combining temporary or part-time jobs into the equivalent of "job years," meaning the equivalent of a full-time job held for one year.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Kentucky construction magnate Leonard Lawson is on trial this week in Lexington federal court for allegedly bribing the state's Transportation secretary during the past decade to win big highway and road projects. But that didn't stop Lawson family companies from winning $24-million dollars in federal Recovery Act contracts!
Though Leonard Lawson pled not guilty, companies with ties to Lawson should have been suspended from bidding for stimulus work within 45 days of his indictment on bribery, theft and obstruction of justice charges, according to a Department of Transportation rule. But, it took the Transportation Department 10-months to act - after the Lawson firms had won the contracts.
"I really think that's a shame and a disgrace," said Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee. "When people see folks getting away and getting contracts even after they've been indicted, that to me does not help in terms of us to get rid of waste fraud and abuse."
Washington (CNN) – Only a quarter of Americans think the federal stimulus plan has helped the middle class, while a majority say it has helped bankers and investors, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning indicates that 25 percent of the public believes the stimulus has benefited the middle class. A third of the people questioned feel the stimulus has helped low-income Americans, with just over four in ten saying the plan has benefited business executives. A majority, 54 percent, feel the stimulus has helped bankers and investors.
"Opinions on the economic stimulus bill are colored by the perception that it has helped fat cats but not ordinary Americans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It's possible that the belief that the stimulus bill helped bankers and CEOs is due to the public confusing the stimulus bill with the various bailout bills that were passed at roughly the same time last year."
The survey also indicates that only a quarter feel the stimulus has helped people in their own community, with three in 10 saying it has hurt people in their community and 45 percent feeling the plan has had no effect.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The Obama administration said Friday that stimulus has created or saved 640,000 jobs so far.
But what does that mean exactly? Have that many people been hired? Here's a quick guide to understanding just what those numbers mean:
1) How are the jobs calculated? It isn't as simple as "one person hired equals one job created," or even "one person retained equating to one job saved."
The government instructed stimulus recipients to report jobs created or saved as "full-time equivalents." If that sounds complicated ... it is.
Full-time equivalents are calculated by adding up the total number of man hours being funded by stimulus for the duration of the contract. That number is then divided by the total number of hours a regular full-time employee would work during the same time period.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Creating and saving jobs while boosting investment in the future are among the top goals of the Obama administration's $787 billion economic stimulus plan.
And according to a preliminary report on stimulus funding for schools by the Department of Education and the Domestic Policy Council, the stimulus plan has created jobs.
State governments have created and saved at least 250,000 education jobs - and restored nearly all their projected education budget shortfalls for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 - according to preliminary findings released Monday by the White House.
But some states that used the funds to fill existing budget gaps could face a crisis when the money runs out after 2010. And the Department of Education has chastised certain states for their stimulus funding programs and warned them that they risk their chances at getting other DOE grants down the road.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama defended his administration's $787 billion stimulus plan Wednesday, arguing that it has helped stem the nation's economic slide and spur new job creation.
"As difficult as these times are ... we are moving in the right direction," he said while touring a construction site in Springfield, Virginia.
"Our economy is in better shape today than when I took office."
The effectiveness of the stimulus bill has been hotly debated in recent weeks. The White House has said it is responsible for saving or creating more than 1 million jobs.
Top Republicans, however, claim the stimulus has been a failure. Among other things, they have highlighted the fact that the national unemployment rate has climbed to nearly 10 percent.
–CNN's Tami Luhby contributed to this report
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The nation's economy started to turn around after the passage of President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package in February, his chief economic adviser said Thursday.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created or saved slightly more than 1 million jobs through August, according to the president's Council of Economic Advisers.
The stimulus plan also boosted the nation's gross domestic product by 2.3 percentage points in the second quarter, the council said in its first quarterly stimulus report to Congress.
"Following implementation of ARRA, the trajectory of the economy changed materially toward moderating output decline and job loss," the council said.