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

ohboyohboy

October 13th, 2010
10:24 am

When your baseline for measuring success is as low as a liberal entitlement, wealth redistribution junkie like Ms. Tucker, what do you expect?

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
10:24 am

itpdude. Maybe they just hate you.

jwr

October 13th, 2010
10:24 am

Corey, Democrats *do* get elected in Georgia. It’s only the Democrats running for statewide office who screwed over education and screwed with the flag that are unelectable. The GOP could’ve run a 3-legged dog with the clap against Barnes in 2002 and beaten him, and they could beat him with that same dog in 2010. Democrats were fools to elect him in the primary, and we’re going to pay for it with 4 to 8 years of a greasy, corrupt businessman in the governor’s mansion.

James

October 13th, 2010
10:24 am

someone has to make the signage? You are kidding, correct? Should we also “stimulate the need to study exotic overseas ants” oh yeah we did that. Are we really that bad in economics to not know the difference between stimulating long term business and therefore supply and demand versus dropping $ bills out of a helicoptor? What a mess and what a joke.

college is a five year party with uncle stupid paying the bills

October 13th, 2010
10:24 am

Roy Barnes = Barrak Obama

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
10:25 am

Yep, the state of Georgia, eagerly sucking on the socialist teat.

Of the 24 states won by McCain in the last election, 22 of them receive more federal money than they pay in.

Typical neo-con parasites. (Hat tip Lil’ BB)

They are opposed to socialsim, unless it benefits them…

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
10:25 am

Ok Whine take out the AFTER 2007 and change it to “after 2007 when they still had a chance to help Americans but chose not to.” Thanks!

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
10:26 am

GG: 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 …..blah,blah,blah…..

GG you speak w/forked tongue. AKA – LYING through your teeth. It’s easy to find what was spent on in the stimulus, all you have to do is go on the government’s website, (which most of your blogging mates have a problem doing, so they just take your word for it), and find that crap you were spouting was just, well, crap. But I guess Hitler was right, if you keep saying it over and over, show them some bright and shiny objects, and you’ll find someone with A.D.D. (you and your mates), who’ll believe it. Mainly ’cause they’re too lazy to look it up for themselves. Sad. But true.

Randy Randolph

October 13th, 2010
10:27 am

Borrowing money on the backs of every American to spend on rehab projects which could have been managed better in the private sector is hardly a miracle but likely unconstitutional and socialistic. Honestly isn’t there an old empty Walmart or Piggley Wiggley that could have been leased and performed the same function.

Mr Right

October 13th, 2010
10:28 am

I live in the third poorest county in Ga and the last time I checked we didn’t receive one dime of stimul

Liberal changing to conservative

October 13th, 2010
10:28 am

Ms. Tucker

Seems you are careless in your facts or just do a poor job of checking your writing. You state
“The new rehab center, which is expected to open in November 2001, will include a dormitory, cafeteria and classrooms,” I know you liberals think you can work miracles but how can you open this new center by NOVEMBER 2001? I know you would like to push back time in live in the past but even the powerless person we call the President,can accomplish this task. Check your facts an be more careful. This is just typical of your garbage and spin

ctucker

October 13th, 2010
10:32 am

Liberal changing@10:28, That’s a typo. Thanks for calling my attention to it. I’ll correct it

Kevin

October 13th, 2010
10:33 am

Cynthia, of course your going to say the stimulas works, anything Obama does, your going to say it works. When Obama put two Muslems in the defense department to help run our national secruity, you more then likely said, “I feel so much safer now”. Keep printing your garbage as Nov. elections get closer.

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
10:34 am

ME:The Obama campaign received a substantial amount of money from countries that have an interest in seeing a weak American President: $366,708.22 from China, $25,259.00 from the United Arab Emirates, $7,062.60 from Russia, and $6,716.28 from Saudi Arabia. Obama also took in $6,350.00 from Indonesia, $5,000.00 from Kenya, and $1,750.00 from Egypt

Please provide me a link so i may read your credible information myself. Thanks!

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
10:35 am

CT – “Good Grief@8:19, If jobs are created by the signage, what difference does it make?Somebody has to manufacture the signs.”

Have you ever worked in the sign industry, because I actually have. To make one sign the size of a road sign, costs roughly $400 for materials and another $100 for labor. It takes about four total hours to perform the labor, and then maybe an hour to go out and set up the sign and posts. Does liberal math actually state that $500 = $100,000? Of course, under lib-math since Obama took office, hiring someone, firing them, re-hiring them, firing them again, and then re-hiring them counts as three jobs created. Nice spin.

Mr Right

October 13th, 2010
10:35 am

itpdude

October 13th, 2010
10:20 am

I think it’s very likely you that’s doing the hating! ( Republicans )While we may not like a persons policies we don’t need to stoop so low as to accuse them of hating Americans.

Paddy O

October 13th, 2010
10:35 am

So, you highlight a $10 million center out of 787 BILLION dollar plan – and that you consider a success? No wonder Africa such a crap hole. Please tell us the amount of the 787 billion which was a tax reduction, please? The 10 million is .0000013 of the whole stimulus – and as liberal experts say, it lowered unemployment by 1.5%, that is not worth the investment. PLus, you need to factor in the cost of that borrowed money to know the total cost. Finally, Obama did the same false promises as Bush, when he invaded Iraq for WMD, Obama promised with the stimulus that unemployment would not go above 8% – this was the goal, and it horribly failed.

jwr

October 13th, 2010
10:36 am

Cynthia, the problem with the ARRA isn’t the 200 construction jobs it created, but the other jobs from here to Spokane it saved that would’ve been justifiably lost, because the economy itself can’t support them. The dollars that saved those jobs didn’t miracle themselves out of thin air, and those temporary jobs aren’t going to provide a lasting benefit…they are 1-year versions of the census jobs.

A better stimulous would’ve been creating an environment which would return confidence to the private sector. Note I did not say “profits”, I said “confidence”. A confident private sector would put people back to work in long term careers, not short term government-finded band-aids.

The question you should be asking is why isn’t Obama inspiring confidence in the private sector…not why Georgians aren’t drinking the Obama kool-aid.

barking frog

October 13th, 2010
10:36 am

Typo transitions to talking points amaze me.

Paddy O

October 13th, 2010
10:36 am

NOt a dime came to Haralson County, GA either.

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 13th, 2010
10:37 am

I KNOW THOSE REDNECK RURAL WHITES THAT DONT HAVE JOBS,I BETCHA THEY ACCEPT OBAMA WELFARE AND FOODSTAMPS!

P.S. 41 MILLION AMERICANS ARE ON WELFARE(WHOLE BUNCH OF RURAL POOR WHITES IN THAT 41 MILLION)!

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
10:38 am

OK I get it now, you can’t post any links to this blog. Well, I guess ya’ll are just gonna have to take my word that whatever I say is the truth, the whole truth, and the honest to god truth. You know, like how ya’ll do to Limbaugh, Cheney, and Beck.

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 13th, 2010
10:39 am

41 MILLION ON WELFARE,HOW DID THOSE BUSH 8 YEARS OF TAXCUTS WORKOUT?

GOP MEANS GOLD OIL PIMPS

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
10:41 am

Kevin: When Obama put two Muslems in the defense department to help run our national secruity, you more then likely said, “I feel so much safer now”.

Did you feel the same way when the Bush Admin gave port security contracts to a Muslim ran security firm? Just asking…..

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
10:41 am

I’ve seen some pretty damning evidence that the majority of Obama’s stimulus spending is going to heavily-democratic leaning areas, counties, and states. On the other hand, that evidence can be spun six ways from Sunday.

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 13th, 2010
10:44 am

OBAMA IS PUTTING FOOD ON THE TABLE FOR THE RURAL POOR FOLKS,SINCE THE MALES VOTED FOR 8 YEARS OF BUSH TAXCUTS,THE FEMALES ARE HAVING TO APPLY FOR WELFARE AND FOODSTAMPS,BECAUSE BUSH AND CREW SENT AMERICAN JOBS TO MEXICO AND INDIA!

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
10:44 am

“Cynthia, of course your going to say the stimulas (sic) works, anything Obama does, your going to say it works.”

Redact to read:

Notwithstanding that you offered clear, compelling, specific evidence that this Georgia community benefited economically, and in this instance the stimulus clearly work for Georgians, I’m going to say it did not. Though I’ll offer zero examples, data, evidence or facts to support the claim.

Bill from Cobb

October 13th, 2010
10:44 am

I don’t know if it worked because I haven’t been to the projects to see.

left wing

October 13th, 2010
10:44 am

Your title should have said ‘Did the stimulus plan help Georgia? You bet cha

Kevin

October 13th, 2010
10:47 am

Cynthia, government programs, no matter how they are disguised to fool the voters, will not help the economy long term, when small business owners know that they are the ones that are going to have to foot the bill. People with money are scared of Obama, “Wealh Redistrubution”, until that changes alot of people will remain out of work. Alot of people work for “wealthy”, that Obama is out to punish.

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 13th, 2010
10:47 am

KEVIN OBAMA HAS KEPT US SAFE EVERY SINCE HE’S BEEN IN OFFICE,BUT WE CANT SAY THAT ABOUT BUSH!

NOTICE THAT EVERY SINCE OBAMA BEEN IN OFFICE,WE HAVE’NT HAD NOT ONE HIGH TERROR THREAT!

YOU REDNECKS NEED TO THANK POTUS OBAMA FOR KEEPING AMERICA SAFE AND TERRORIST FREE,GOD BLESS AMERICA!

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 13th, 2010
10:48 am

AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE WAY OBAMA IS RUNNING THE COUNTRY,THEN GET OUT!

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

October 13th, 2010
10:49 am

Hillary
October 13th, 2010
10:22 am

Your question should ususaly be phrased like thiss – “Do you honestly believe what your cut and paste?”

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
10:49 am

“NOTICE THAT EVERY SINCE OBAMA BEEN IN OFFICE,WE HAVE’NT HAD NOT ONE HIGH TERROR THREAT!”

Well we havent heard of any…lets put it that way.

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

October 13th, 2010
10:49 am

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB
October 13th, 2010
10:47 am

“Kevin Obama”?

BAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Saint Simons

October 13th, 2010
10:50 am

Wow you found one project in a trillion dollars, and it took you 18 months to point it out. Bad plan, bad president, suck it up Dems and Cynthia:)

Independent J

October 13th, 2010
10:51 am

Debbie, since 2007 dems have been in control….we can quit blaming 1 man for this debacle, we all know its on both sides….admission is the first step

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
10:51 am

Umm… CYNT U, do you think that might be because Obama has toured the globe apologizing for America and bowing to foreign leaders? We had terror attacks under Clinton, and Bush 43, it happens. You’ll note, though, that after 9-11-01, (to use your logic) Bush kept us safe, and we didn’t have a terror attack for seven years.

If you really want to thank someone for keeping you safe, thank the intelligence community and the soldiers who put their lvies on the line so you can make your inane statements.

Grumpy

October 13th, 2010
10:51 am

Ms. Tucker said “Somebody has to make the signs”

This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. The signs were not necessary. It was a waste of money that you have no problem with because it “created jobs”.

Using this line of logic let’s just pay one group of people to dig holes and another group to fill them in. That is about as necessary as those signs were.

Rickster

October 13th, 2010
10:55 am

Never mind the fact that all 800+ billion was borrowed, and will eventually have to be repaid by our children, grandchildren & great grandchildren.

That’s no “miracle.” And it’s going to hurt us far more than it will ever help.

asdf

October 13th, 2010
10:56 am

You forgot to add about many “stimulus” programs, to improve roadways and bridges. These multi million dollar projects are like lottery winnings to the owners of the companies, yet only trickle down to the $8/hour rank and file employees. Why do they always enrich paving companies and their employees? Why not give big contracts to photographers, or drapery companies? They hire people, too. Yet it’s always the bridge and road companies.

Joe

October 13th, 2010
10:56 am

Cindy obviously can’t debate this issue so I guess i’m blocked… LOL….

Independent J

October 13th, 2010
10:59 am

CYNT!! ANGER ISSUES? i think most americans dont wanna be in the handouts line, and when left with nothing, survival is #1…and not all white people are rednecks…
Bush kept us safe as well….unless your counting 911…he was in office 8 months..you can thank the lackadaisical Dems for cutting our Intelligence budget… it wasnt like 911 plot was a weekend thought process the terrorist just through together . They knew how weak our security was throughout the clinton years.

Again, disagreeing with you is ok , right? i mean if we all thought like you…well! ya know the rest ….

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
11:00 am

Leg Lamp, most people are unaware of Barack Obama’s slightly less well known brother, Kevin Obama. Kevin has tried to lead a quiet life in central Iowa, but rumor is, now that CYNT U has revealed him, Kevin is planning to move.

RELIABLE SOURCE

October 13th, 2010
11:02 am

Granny, Kam, Fight, hiding?

markie mark

October 13th, 2010
11:03 am

Can anyone provide the date of the Times Square terrorist attack? It might have been failed, but it was still an attack, CYNT…..

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
11:05 am

RELIABLE – is it possible the Granny, Kam, and Fight are the same person? We’ll need the Scooby gang to figure this one out.

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
11:06 am

I think granny is taking her lunch break…Peanut Butter and Spam on toasted White bread.

David S

October 13th, 2010
11:06 am

Did te stimulus create even more inflation that further stole from all americans by further reducing the value of their savings and the dollars they spend on survival – YOU BET. Did the stimulus simply create make-work projects for folks that were undeserving of the money stolen from the rest of america – YOU BET. I could go on and on.

Cynthia, you continue to be one of the most economically ignorant people in journalism. It would only take a quick visit to www(dot)Mises(dot)org for you and every other economically ignorant one of your readers to find out how the system actually works.

James Hoffa

October 13th, 2010
11:06 am

Some one explain to me why Washington constantly touts the theory that in order for the Recession to end, consumer confidence and spending must increase. Yet, when it comes time to hand out the BIG checks, the consumer is amazingly never a recipient. From my calculations, there is a signifigant amount of money left in the stimulus package. How bout this. Give it to the consumers this time and see what happens. Seriously, it couldn’t be any worse.