More than a year after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus) came to end, it’s still having a positive impact on the national economy, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office.
Estimates of ARRA’s Impact in the Third Quarter of 2011
CBO develops estimates of ARRA’s effects on output and employment by looking at recorded spending to date along with estimates of the other effects of ARRA on spending and revenues, by using evidence about the effects of previous similar policies, and by drawing on various mathematical models that represent the workings of the economy. Using such analysis, CBO estimates that ARRA’s policies had the following effects in the third quarter of calendar year 2011 compared with what would have occurred otherwise:
They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 0.3 percent and 1.9 percent
They lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.2 percentage points and 1.3 percentage points,
They increased the number of people employed by between 0.4 million and 2.4 million, and
They increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 0.5 million to 3.3 million. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers.)
ARRA spending began winding down in early 2010, so if the stimulus was a “failure” as the right wing would have you believe, even though it’s still boosting the economy more than a year later, I’d sure like to see what success looks like.
Maybe the criteria they’re using is that it failed to prove their theory that government can’t do anything right.