The Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute issued a pair of interesting papers Tuesday, detailing the economic impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus.”
Whether you think that ARRA is a perfect example of a spendthrift government run amok, or a rational federal response to the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s, one thing seems clear.
Like it or not, ARRA has a substantial and easily quantified impact. At least 33,000 Coloradans are still employed, thanks to the stimulus, and many more have received tangible benefits. Not sure about the estimate (see below) of 3,834,776 though – my arithmetic says 3,834, 771.
More seriously, such outlandish precision is highly suspect, and tempts one to believe that the rest of the figures may be equally bogus. But even if the numbers are off by 50 or 60 percent, ARRA has made a difference.
As an impecunious geezer/journalist, I was delighted to get a check for $250 as a reward for geezerdom. And rather than save the money, I thought it my patriotic duty to stimulate the economy, particularly that segment represented by my favorite bar/restaurant in Old Colorado City.
Here are a few stats:
At least 33,000 jobs retained or created, including:
13,173 through the Department of Transportation
3,397 at colleges and universities
1,699 in corrections
462 in K-12 education
421 in weatherization
313 at arts organizations
281 in science and research
250 for water infrastructure improvement
71 in law enforcement
Coloradans directly helped: 3,834,776:
1.8 million families, Making Work Pay tax credit
500,000 one-time $250 Social Security payments
463,000 people have had the severity of poverty reduced
371,389 people received 13.6 percent increase in food stamps
357,767 people received job search assistance
306,906 people received extra emergency food assistance
196,776 laid-off workers received increased unemployment benefits
157,666 homes benefited from upgraded wastewater systems
71,904 homes benefited from upgraded drinking-water systems
70,000 people lifted above the poverty line
52,000 people received increased Pell Grants for college tuition
7,000 low-income seniors received extra meals
1,929 people received job training
1,500 homes were weatherized.
The complete reports are available at http://www.cclponline.org/pubfiles/arra%20state%20budget%20feb16%20final.pdf
Let’s see-I think I fall into at least three separate categories. I got the $250, which I used for extra meals (including extra glasses of wine), and I had the severity of my poverty reduced. See what a difference $250 makes? And if you think that’s nothing, just send me a check for any amount up to $250. I promise to stimulate the economy, starting tonight at 6 p.m.