The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Stimulus: The Success Of The Democrats!

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Great Seal of the United States.
Long titleAn act making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and  creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, State, and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes.
Colloquial acronym(s)ARRA
Nickname(s)The Recovery Act, Stimulus, The Stimulus Package
Enacted by the 111th United States Congress
EffectiveFebruary 17, 2009
Public Law111-5
Stat.123 Stat. 115
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 1 by Dave Obey(D-WIon January 26, 2009
  • Committee consideration by: Appropriations andBudget
  • Passed the House on January 28, 2009 (244—188)
  • Passed the Senate on February 10, 2009 (61–37)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee onFebruary 12, 2009; agreed to by the House onFebruary 13, 2009 (246—183and by the Senate onFebruary 13, 2009 (60—38)
  • Signed into law by President Barack Obama onFebruary 17, 2009

On the five year anniversary of the most important economic measure in modern US History, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  [ARRP] (AKA, Stimulus), it important to understand opposition party rhetoric in relation to actual progress from the Stimulus.

The link above navigates to a White House article from Jason Furman, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers that links a full impact report of the Stimulus, five years out.  
“The ‘stimulus’ has turned out to be a classic case of big promises and big spending with little results,” he said. “Five years and hundreds of billions of dollars later, millions of families are still asking ‘where are the jobs?’” John Boehner, (R) OH., Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“The real tragedy here is that none of this was necessary. Republicans have always been willing to work with the president on reforms.” Micth McConnell (R) KY. Minority Leader US Senate. McConnell was quoted in this piece from Reuters.
Steven Benen of the Maddow Blog responded to GOP (elected) leadership with data and facts. Responses to GOP unelected leadership (e.g. Limbaugh, Rove, and Norquist, Fox News) would constitute an exercise futility. Benen references a piece from June 2012.

And here’s private-sector job growth before and after the stimulus. Note, once Obama’s Recovery Act kicked in, job growth immediately improved.

The evident details are hard to miss – the economy crashed, then Democrats approved the stimulus, and then the economy started growing, job creation picked up, and the stock market soared. I’ve long been curious: for Republicans, how is this possible? Was it magic? Was it a coincidence? How do they explain why every relevant economic metric showed sharp improvements immediately after the Recovery Act kicked in?


MediaMatters and a quick look at GDP with reflection on the Fox News "noise" Machine's Stuart Varney. Linked

In February 2012, Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, looked back at the US economy prior to the Recovery Act (Stimulus). Linked here or graphically depicted below.  A couple of 2011 charts show the affects of the Recover Act and the prospects of continuing of a path the GOP now states did not work. 

Here's the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities with graphs showing that the Recovery Act -- aka: the stimulus -- increased real GDP by up to 1.9 percent (first graph) and added as many as 2.4 million jobs (second graph).

Thompson offered three additional charts specifically related to GDP performance pre and post - stimulus.

In 2013, The Stimulus Worked Dot Com (via the "Fair Use" Doctrine)  published an investor focused pdf report slides that clearly show the Stimulus was the catalyst to stopping a slide into a second Great Depression.
Click Image for pdf report

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We do not expect anyone in the GOP, especially members of the US Congress, to comment favorable about a legislative action that will do down in US history as historic in countering the possibility of an economic depression. We can safely assert the Recovery Act worked to reverse the Bush Great Recession.

Thompson and others accurately state, the difficulty in arguing Stimulus failure because the intervention did not fail; or for that matter did not disappoint for 'high information' people. Although speculation based on long-standing GOP economic theory and practice should shed light on alternative measures (If any) from the GOP: "cut taxes." One should wonder, on the other hand, about reasons for less than stellar job participation rates. Another area of concern is the "what ifs' had the GOP not embarked on concerted strategy to obstruction all thongs "Obama."

As we move into the 2014 mid-terms, I will admit to amazement about the extent to which the GOP continues to deploy strategy detrimental to the nation. They fire-off rhetorical barrages while putting forth no viable economic measure beyond "cutting taxes." 

Boehner and McConnell are expected to find fault in the Stimulus and other measures from the Obama Administration. Sadly, their obstruction is based solely in lies that if not checked and countered leads to misinformed voters. Misinformed voters do this:  Elect presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W Bush (twice)! 

Happy Anniversary to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Obama Stimulus)!

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