Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fact and Fiction in the Stimulus Bill

Much has been claimed about what the stimulus will or will not do. has a very good article for helping get past all the political bluster and looking at the facts of the matter:

Among the main points are the following:
"Obama repeatedly said the plan "will save or create up to 4 million jobs." Obama downgraded that estimate to 3.5 million once the House and Senate agreed on a less-expensive compromise bill. The projections come from at least three economists, but all say there is great uncertainty in their estimates.

Republican House members claimed their substitute legislation tops that, creating "6.2 million jobs." But their calculation is even more fraught with uncertainty and is not backed up by independent economists.

Obama said the bill doesn't contain "a single earmark." But whether one calls them "earmarks" or not, the Senate certainly added items that will benefit particular states. For example: $50 million for programs under the California-Bay Delta Act and $500 million for National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Md.

Obama claims that f
unds in the bill will result in "every American" having health records computerized "within five years." But experts doubt it can be done that quickly.

The president also says electronic health records will save billions of dollars. But the Congressional Budget Office says that even a decade of expected savings are unlikely to pay back the government what the government will spend on health IT

The president said the bill will modernize the nation's electricity grid, reducing consumption by 2 percent to 4 percent. That's optimistic. Industry reports say that a new grid could reduce energy consumption by up to 4 percent, but not until 2030 and at a cost much greater than the stimulus bill would cover." (


  1. Here is a good article that reminds us that without help, the least among us will still face the brunt of the recession.

  2. Thanks for the info! Politico is always a good source. And we need to remember how greatly stimulus is needed right now.


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