Did the stimulus plan help Georgia? You bet

CAVE SPRING, Ga. — Last week, under a brilliant blue autumn sky, a platoon of Georgia officials broke ground for a brand-new vocational training center for Georgians who are deaf, blind or suffer other disabilities. It will replace a smaller facility, which has been located in this small town near Rome since 1962.

Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, who planned the new building, noted the good fortune of a $10 million project in the midst of severe state budget cuts. He called it “miraculous.”

It isn’t. The new center will be constructed with funds from the same deeply unpopular federal government program that has cut taxes, bought groceries and paid college tuition in households around the country for more than a year — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the “stimulus.”

Among the officials grabbing a ceremonial shovel was Eddie Lumsden, the Republican chairman of the Floyd County Commission. While he believes the new Cave Spring Rehabilitation Center will be a “plus for the community,” like most GOP officials, he’s no fan of the Recovery Act.

“The argument was that it was going to do a lot to bring jobs and help business. But our economy here has not rebounded,” he said.

The Recovery Act was no cure-all, but an analysis by two economists has concluded that stimulus programs under the Bush and Obama administrations added about 2.7 million jobs. (In 2008, in response to the sluggish economy, the Bush administration sent out tax rebate checks. That was a little-noted early stimulus plan.)

In a July report, Princeton University economist Alan Blinder and Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, who advised John McCain’s campaign, concluded: “The stimulus has done what it was supposed to do: end the Great Recession and spur recovery.” Without the stimulus programs, they said, the unemployment rate would be around 1.5 percent higher.

Thurmond, whose department oversees vocational training programs, said that he set aside stimulus funds for the project because the old training center was dilapidated and “an embarrassment to the state of Georgia.”

The stimulus funds were “a Godsend, the money coming in the midst of a recession when state funds were being cut, to address this huge need we had,” he said.

Since he has mounted a quixotic challenge to popular GOP incumbent Senator Johnny Isakson, Thurmond might consider another aspect of the project useful to his campaign: It will generate some 200 construction jobs, according to John Farmer, a director of construction for the Beck Group, which won the state contract.

“That doesn’t count the jobs in manufacturing. All the materials have to be manufactured,” Farmer added.

But the Recovery Act remains little appreciated among average voters. Few seem to know, for example, that nearly one-third of the $787 billion Recovery Act came in the form of tax cuts, which benefitted 95 percent of households. The tax cuts didn’t go out as separate checks but took the form of slight increases in take-home pay, as the federal government withheld less.

That strategy was intentional; President Obama and his advisers believed that consumers would more likely spend small increases on items such as groceries and clothes, stimulating the economy. A larger check might have gone to savings accounts, with no effect on retail sales.

So the economic effect was just what the president and his advisers had hoped. The political effect, however, was less than useful for Democrats — voters who don’t believe their taxes were cut. Meanwhile, Republicans and their allies in the rightwing noise machine have done everything possible to persuade voters that the stimulus legislation was a model of government waste.

The new rehab center, which is expected to open in November 2011, will include a dormitory, cafeteria and classrooms, as well as modern greenhouses, an amphitheater and a basketball court. Its opening will no doubt draw an even larger group of politicians, many of whom insist that the Recovery Act was a disastrous mistake.

480 comments Add your comment

RELIABLE SOURCE

October 13th, 2010
8:59 am

granny godzilla
October 13th, 2010
8:53 am

Reliable Source

New name, old meme

That was an intelligent comment. Thank you for participating.

joe

October 13th, 2010
9:01 am

Two years ago, I had a lot of debt that was a weight on my shoulders that was almost impossible to deal with…I’ve payed off almost $40,000 over the past two years. Still have a little way to go, but will get there soon enough. Now, the U.S. needs to take the same approach…pay off our debt, NO spending until this debt is at the very least manageable. For two years, I didn’t have a vacation, didn’t eat out much, no concerts, movies out, dates, etc. The U.S. needs to cut all spending and BO just doesn’t see it that way, or get it. Thats why the Dems will lose big in Nov.

ttm

October 13th, 2010
9:01 am

has the publisher of this article actually done any homework at all?

or are they just blinded democrats?

there is no rebound yet, and it will only get worse by real economists standards

Gordon

October 13th, 2010
9:02 am

I doubt the stimulus funds hurt anyone, Cynthia. Who is against free money?

The problem is, it isn’t free. The question isn’t whether it helped or not, it is whether it was worth the extra debt burden which one day must be payed back. I hate to be a party pooper, but someone has to pay the bill.

RELIABLE SOURCE

October 13th, 2010
9:02 am

Keep up the good fight!
October 13th, 2010
8:57 am

Where are the racists? I don’t hear them, I don’t smell them. Please tell us all how you do that fight. Do you mind if I call you that? It’s very “macho”.

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
9:03 am

Trusslady

October 13th, 2010
8:59 am

Thanks for clearing up that matter, however, we did cover it several blogs ago. You have a nice day.

kayaker 71

October 13th, 2010
9:03 am

More Stimulus pearls for your viewing pleasure…..

The lack of oversight in stimulus spending has been all but unbelievable. Take for instance the following…

726K for developing interactive dance software in NC
1.2M for converting an abandoned train station in NJ to a museum
554K to install new windows in a visitor’s center in Washington that closed in 2007
233K to the Univ of Cal to study why Africans vote
2M for a fire station in Nev. When finished they couldn’t use it because they could not afford to hire firefighters.
1.5M to study fossils in Argentina
389K to study how drinking malt liquor affects Buffalo, NY residents
1M for 3 Univ of Ariz students to study how ants work…. that’s 300K/job
4.4M to NC schools to hire math and literacy coaches to teach math and literacy teachers how to teach math and literacy. That’s 64 people paid at the rate of 70K each.
Above formentioned study on how to teach African men to wash genitals following sex.

There are many more. I got tired of reading them. And now CT wants to toot Bozo’s horn about how great a stimulus provider that he is by pointing out one Georgia project that the town could have done without. These “shovel ready” projects could have done better shoveling something else and I am sure that I do not have to amplify on that.

Van Jones

October 13th, 2010
9:04 am

Granny, yes… sort of. I don’t partucularly like the idea of attacking a country that didn’t attack us but I’m not niave enough to assume a posess the same amount of info that was used to make that decision.
Regarding your other items, in general I think every issue (and its accompanying taxation) should be made at the most local level possible. And I think it is entirely possible for a local, county or even state school board to determine what to teach.
And, if no baiting, what was your point of linking my dissatisfaction to Obama’s inauguation date?

Bob

October 13th, 2010
9:04 am

debbiedoright, how many jobs have repubs created since ‘07 ? Pelosi and reid took over in ‘07, just about the time the spending increased dramatically.

ttm

October 13th, 2010
9:06 am

to Trusslady October 13th, 2010 8:59 am

Republicans spent 8 years running up the debt”

you really need to do some of your own research and find where that debt was run up at, but you won’t your too lazy and depend on some left wing media source to do your work for you. I really get a kick out of comments like yours!

we spend more on welfare than we did the wars dummy!

HDB

October 13th, 2010
9:06 am

StJ

October 13th, 2010
8:58 am
“Wait until the temporary tax cuts disappear.”

Hope you know where to lay blame for this — REPUBLICANS!! If they were so interested in making tax cuts permanent….why dod the GOP use reconciliation to pass them…knowing that there’s a 10-YEAR TIME LIMIT??

barking frog

October 13th, 2010
9:06 am

Unfortunately the stimulus was like ‘trickling’ on a house fire.

are there no prisons; are there no workhouses?

October 13th, 2010
9:07 am

get to work you time stealing weasles.

RELIABLE SOURCE

October 13th, 2010
9:07 am

233K to the Univ of Cal to study why Africans vote

Because their Johnson’s are clean.

granny godzilla

October 13th, 2010
9:08 am

Van Jones

Curiousity.

A desire to understand where you are coming from.

A hope that we can find common ground.

And sadly, a wealth of experience with folks, unlike you, who didn’t give a rats patootie about the deficit prior to that date but spout
hypocriticly about it ever since. Again, unlike you.

RELIABLE SOURCE

“That was an intelligent comment. Thank you for participating”

Yes it was, thank you.

ken R

October 13th, 2010
9:09 am

If you really want to see who benefited from the STIMULUS go see the movie ” inside job ” Tucker just may change her mind.

It shows all the crooks in all their glory, this is why the average person was against it.

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
9:10 am

So Bob let me get this straight, when a dem points out that the deficit started WAY before Obama took office, repubs say “That was yesterday — it’s Obama’s problem now”. Basically saying, Obama has to own it. No excuses. However, when you guys then come back with this gem:

“Pelosi and reid took over in ‘07, just about the time the spending increased dramatically.

What happened to the “That was yesterday…..” speech? Does it only apply to repubs when they want to skirt responsibility? Just asking……..

HDB

October 13th, 2010
9:10 am

ttm

October 13th, 2010
9:06 am
to Trusslady October 13th, 2010 8:59 am

Republicans spent 8 years running up the debt”

you really need to do some of your own research and find where that debt was run up at, but you won’t your too lazy and depend on some left wing media source to do your work for you.

Did the research….note that the debt began its high speed run in the REAGAN YEARS! The deficit QUADRUPLED in Reagan’s first year…and we’ve been in waarp drive ever since! During the Clinton years, there was motivation to pay down the debt…but GWB got the nation into two wars that was kept OFF THE BOOKS!!

Do you remember??

Bob

October 13th, 2010
9:11 am

A quote from Obo in the New York Times “In the magazine article, Mr. Obama reflects on his presidency, admitting that he let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend Democrat,” realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects”
No such thing as shovel ready projects ? That term was used over and over by the lefties because they heard Obo and his admin say it, I bet Cynthia used “shovel ready” many times. Now the great one says that their is no such thing.

RELIABLE SOURCE

October 13th, 2010
9:11 am

Granny, one last thing, mememememememememememememememememememememememe

HDB

October 13th, 2010
9:12 am

barking frog

October 13th, 2010
9:06 am
Unfortunately the stimulus was like ‘trickling’ on a house fire.

“Trickle-down” — really meaning pi$$ed-on…..right??

Bob

October 13th, 2010
9:14 am

Debbie, you asked how many jobs were created and I responded, now you are asking about the deficit. Yes, we have had a deficit for many years going back to a dem congress that first gave us one, that has nothing to do with how many jobs were created by repubs in ‘07. How many jobs have dems created since ‘07 ?

RELIABLE SOURCE

October 13th, 2010
9:14 am

As Nov 2 draws closer I see the dems on this blog becoming more hostile, accusatory and making little or no sense. Gee just like on the TeeVee.

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
9:15 am

So, Debbie, what would have people do, ignore the “foreign” investments made under the “stimulus?” Under this “stimulus,” and under the much lover pork of politicians, we paid for a study of Chinese prostitutes, African post-coital cleansing, a study of why Africans vote, a scultpure of a bus, signs proclaiming work being done under the “stimulus’ (nearly $10 million alone on this one), a civility conference, expansion of beer brewing in Michigan, acupuncture for horses, sidewalks that are not ADA compliant, a parachute museum, a study of how ants work, and payment to teach teachers how to teach.

barking frog

October 13th, 2010
9:16 am

When the tax credit for home purchases was terminated,
new home sales dropped more than 20%. Why stop
the only successful program under the stimulus?

ken R

October 13th, 2010
9:16 am

I totally agree with Nancy Pelosi, pass everything first so we can see what’s in it.

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
9:17 am

ttm: you really need to do some of your own research and find where that debt was run up at

I’ll play…..a) cutting taxes b) cutting taxes in the time of war with no way to pay for said war c) having two wars with no way to pay for them d) borrowing from China–extensively e) adding to government

HDB: Do you remember??

Nope. I think they all have A.D.D. They try really hard, but everytime a shiny object crosses their paths, they quickly forget what the heck just happened 10 seconds ago. When they have to come back to the subject at hand, they automatically start drooling then blame Obama.

conservative dawg

October 13th, 2010
9:17 am

never understood why some people will not admit when their political party is not doing the right thing. I for one had no problem speaking against Bush when the first stimulus came out. Thought it was a bad idea then and still do. Did I turn my check back in? No, I stuck it in the bank where it still is today.

barking frog

October 13th, 2010
9:18 am

HDB 9:12 You are certainly more colorfully expressive.

Bob

October 13th, 2010
9:19 am

HDB, does the exec introduce spending bills or does the house ? The house and senate were run by O’Neal and Mitchell, both dems, during Reagans term. They also ran things under Carter and had a deficit then also. Why don’t lefties understand that Reagan could could sign off or veto spending bills introduced by dems. The spending during reagan was done under the democrat party that had the power to cut spending in half. What happened under Reagan was that congress and Reagan agreed to the spending, dems bragged about Reagans budget being dead on arrival every year, and wrote their own.

granny godzilla

October 13th, 2010
9:20 am

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

October 13th, 2010
9:20 am

I think Obama used general elections as the model for his stimulus plan. Think about it, Reid and Angle will collectively spend over $30 million in Nevada to secure a job that pays, what, $200K per year? Um, yeah, sounds like a good return on investment to me. :roll:

Bob

October 13th, 2010
9:21 am

Debbie, how many jobs did dems create since ‘07 ? you say we have a 10 second memory but it seems you can’t respond.

USMC DAWG

October 13th, 2010
9:21 am

Government can create a job, BUT Government does NOT create wealth.

The Private Sector creates wealth.

The Government creating jobs is a Ponzi scheme that cannot support itself.

Cynthia, if you want socialism or communism, go to N. Korea, etc…. Oh yeah, they don’t have Starbucks.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

October 13th, 2010
9:24 am

“Obama: ‘There’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects’… ”

Maybe so, but a shovel sure was needed to peddle his agenda.

granny godzilla

October 13th, 2010
9:25 am

The socialism train seems to be running a wee be late today.

Too funny.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
9:25 am

Perhaps between now and Nov 4 the annointed one will lay out some grand speech/scheme that will stimulate the voters to give him another chance, to not give up so easily, to fight the good fight.

Lets hope his teleprompte doesnt go on the blink.

Chin Long Chee

October 13th, 2010
9:28 am

Dee housing tsunami appwoach like godzirra stomp fru Tokyo. Run for hill, u not see nuffeen yet.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

October 13th, 2010
9:28 am

Cynthia Is Sexy!!
October 13th, 2010
9:25 am

I heard where Obama wanted to go to Chile and go down into the mine to speak with the miners. The plans were scrapped when they couldn’t figure out a way to lower the teleprompters into the mine so he could address them. :lol:

Rob

October 13th, 2010
9:28 am

Will We Be Paying for the ‘Stimulus’ for Years to Come? You Bet!!

RELIABLE SOURCE

October 13th, 2010
9:29 am

They are going to spend 50 billion on infrastructure. To catch us up with our European neighbors.Light rail, inter and intra city commuters trains, sky rides and anything else that will have little or no return on the dollar.Those systems won’t work in the US were too big as in large it would help certain areas, but let them pay for it. We are not Europe and don’t want to be like Europe.

The White Devils You Say!

October 13th, 2010
9:29 am

Ms. Tucker – you are a sychophant. You pick out a few very OVERPRICED projects which were NOT needed and then ignore the facts that Georgia’s unemployment is way above the national average!!! You are either a sychophant, or you are just stupid. Tough choice, that.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
9:31 am

Bob
October 13th, 2010
9:19 am

Lest YOU forget: Under Carter, the deficit stayed FLAT for his four year term, averaging $45B! Much of the R&D in military spending that Reagan gets credit for was actually BEGUN under Carter! Reagan QUADRUPLED the deficit in his first year….then passed a TAX INCREASE!! Granted, appropriations begin in the House, but the President sets a TEMPLATE when he submits his budget for the fiscal year!! Reagan’s budgets didn’t address the shortfalls required in domestic spending; Reagan’s budget proposals amplified military spending while ignoring domestic requirements……

I LIVED through that era…..

Jesse Jackson has a scheme for you......

October 13th, 2010
9:34 am

OMG yet another waste of taxpayer money……….no long term jobs created….Thanks a pantload Obama. You da man…….PLEASE get Nov. 2 here QUICK!!!!

Keep up the good fight!

October 13th, 2010
9:34 am

Granny, I see the socialism train is filled today with the wingnuts, limp leg silly persons, the Reliable racist and teleprompter nonsense and as we get closer to the election they keep seeing the proven weakness of their claims, so they troll with complete ignorance that their candidates are losing ground and would have already lost if it were for their foreign donors.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
9:35 am

Leg…LOL!!!

This inner city light rail BS is just that. These systems they have around some other major US cities are just another bottomless money pit, like Marta.

James

October 13th, 2010
9:36 am

One could blow torch a roach and declare success. A President could land on an aircraft carrier and declare victory. $2 million/job is an absolute joke. The Pres and VP should do what is best for the country and step aside and let Hillary finish the term. The Pres can then go to his highest and best use- run the DNC, have silly books written about himself, and be on Comedy Central and make fun of the 70% of Americans who know he is not capable of running the country (see Jimmy Carter)

Jesse Jackson has a scheme for you......

October 13th, 2010
9:36 am

Come on NOV. 2…….we will finally STOP the socialism train on the tracks….and re-route it back to Chicago where it belongs…….

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

October 13th, 2010
9:37 am

Obama policies = Obamanure

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
9:37 am

And now granny begins talking to herself. Perhaps some stimulus money might be used to afford her a rubber room.