Every piece of evidence that comes out bolsters the same point: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has created or saved a lot of jobs and helped the economy—but much more of the same is needed.
WASHINGTON — States have reported using stimulus money to create or save more than 388,000 jobs so far this year, buttressing the Obama administration’s claim that the $787 billion plan has had a significant impact on the economy.
That total, based on a USA TODAY review of reports from 33 states and Puerto Rico, includes teachers, construction workers, and others whose jobs were funded by stimulus money awarded to states. The administration plans Friday to release reports from all 50 states, providing the broadest accounting yet of the stimulus plan’s impact.
Ethan Pollack of the Economic Policy Institute is quoted urging that the numbers be taken with a grain of salt, but
Still, Frank Lichtenberg of the Columbia Business School says the figures show a significant economic impact. Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors estimated that the stimulus had saved or created 600,000 to 1.1 million jobs. Lichtenberg said the states’ reports “make that sound like a reasonable estimate.”
That’s more than a few jobs. It’s also more than a few less than there are unemployed people. That’s why the stimulus should have been bigger to begin with, and why further government action should be taken.