August 30, 2011 by David K. Sutton
Not Cheering – Not Zero
A new report released by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the stimulus bill that went into effect in February 2009 has created between 1 million and 2.9 million jobs. While this falls short (even at 2.9 million) of where job creation needs to be it also invalidates the right-wing narrative that the stimulus didn’t work. Just this past week Sean Hannity falsely stated we are losing 400,000 jobs a month.
The reality is that the stimulus did work, it simply wasn’t big enough to get the economy moving at a pace necessary to fuel massive job growth. Not only was the stimulus bill – known officially as ARRA or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – not large enough, it also had a disproportionate concentration towards tax cuts instead of targeted spending in areas that actually create jobs like repairing and building roads, bridges, etc. Don’t let the right-wing talking points fool you, tax cuts are not the best way to create jobs or stimulate the economy. Consumer demand is what fuels job creation. At a time when consumers are cutting back on spending, hence reducing demand, government is the only entity that has the power to reverse the trend by initiating projects for the good of the country that get people working now.