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

mike

October 13th, 2010
11:11 am

It does not make a difference to these folks. I say vote those repubtards back in office. When they get through stroking the people who voted them in, maybe they will realize what is going on. When you cannot think for yourself and you listen to folks who basically have done nothing for this country other than sell their books to people, this is what we get.

Shawny

October 13th, 2010
11:12 am

For each success story regarding the stimulus, and this is ONE, there are many others that are simply a waste of our money.
A waste. No value, only expense.

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
11:15 am

The following is very hard to refute; and even though BHO’s policies did arguably prevent another Great Depression, the most fiscally irresponsible group around – as irrefutably proven by their 30 year GOP track record of horrific results – blames everybody but themselves.

Last week’s employment report served to reinforce the utter bankruptcy of Republican economic policy — and the absolute necessity of remembering the lessons of the last century of economic history.

The private sector job market is slowly stumbling out of the economic ditch into which it was steered by the policies of the Bush Administration.

The Republicans have traditionally offered four major elixirs as their prescriptions for economic growth:

1) Cut taxes — especially for the wealthy.

2). Cut government spending.

3). Cut back on the regulation of corporate behavior.

4). Use monetary, instead of fiscal, policy to increase the money supply and lower interest rates.

In other words, every one of the four major Republican prescriptions for economic growth has demonstrated itself to be ineffective — or downright poisonous — in the real world of today’s real economy.

Tech Man

October 13th, 2010
11:17 am

From “The Morning Bell at Heritage.org”

The Oil Drilling Moratorium Doesn’t End Till the Permits Begin
The White House got the headlines they wanted today. The Washington Post: U.S Lifts Ban on Deep-Water Drilling. The Los Angeles Times: U.S. Lifts Moratorium on Deep-Water Drilling in Gulf of Mexico. The New York Times: White House Lifts Ban on Deepwater Drilling. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters on a conference call yesterday: “We are open for business.” Don’t believe the White House or Salazar for a second. While yesterday’s announcement does remove one legal barrier to the resumption of energy investment in the Gulf, the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION STILL RETAINS FULL DISCRETION OVER WHETHER OR NOT ANY NEW PERMITS WILL BE ISSUED. AND ALL INDICATIONS ARE THAT THOSE NEW PERMITS WILL NOT BE COMING ANY TIME SOON.

James Hoffa

October 13th, 2010
11:17 am

That’s my point Shawny. If I have two neighbors, one on each side, and one neighbor has everything, and doesn’t need anything, then there is little incentive to augment his position. He has everything, so giving him more doesn’t help with growth, stability, balnce etc.. All it will do is add to what he already has. However, if my other neighbor still needs things, then it would make much more sense to give him more, will in turn allow him to purchase, create demand and help improve conditions. By writing checks to large corporations and banks and ignoring the consumers of the services and products they provider solves no problems, and in fact helps to excacerbate the situation.

Tech Man

October 13th, 2010
11:18 am

From the same article:

Since President Barack Obama first banned drilling for gas and oil in the Gulf in May, about 36 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have been put out of work, five rigs have left for Egypt and other parts of Africa, and 12,000 jobs have been lost. If the ban stays in place, the long-term and indirect economic losses will cost more than 175,000 jobs. The problem with President Obama’s new drilling policy, as with all of his economic policies, is the uncertainty it inflicts on our nation’s job creators. Louisiana State University professor Joseph Mason tells The Christian Science Monitor that “uncertain policy decisions” are making it difficult for rig operators to plan for the future. Referring to the rig operators, Mason continued, “and when they can’t plan around it, they move.” And by “move” Mason means taking jobs and energy overseas. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) echoed this verdict:

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
11:21 am

From “The Morning Bell at Heritage.org”

There’s your sign.

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
11:26 am

Kamchak, this one’s just for you…

CT’s near constant referral to Think Progress

There’s your sign.

granny godzilla

October 13th, 2010
11:27 am

Good Grief

Nope we are all different, but you better find out who reliable source will be tomorrow…..

Booger

Suitable name, to be sure!

Nope I’m voting at lunch today.

Free Thinker

October 13th, 2010
11:27 am

I visited the Georgia School for the Deaf back in the 80’s and it was in bad shape way back then. I’m glad these kids are getting some improvements to their facility. I have to tell you, however, that I am continually amazed by the low brow comments made in political discussions in Georgia. Instead of examining an issue for its merit, the poorly informed voters in this state attach some stupid label to it, usually either Liberal or Conservative, and then make up their minds accordingly. The way I see it, if a politician or government program has improved my life or the lives of others, I approve. If it doesn’t, then I disapprove. The simple fact is that the stimulous program has not worked in many cases (ie. the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts), and I’m opposed to them for that. I believe we should have let those corporate giants fail. Building a school for deaf kids seems like a good idea to me and will help someone. Let’s keep this one.

Bob

October 13th, 2010
11:28 am

As for the deficits, the 2010 total was $1.29 trillion, down slightly from $1.42 trillion. That’s a two-year total of $2.7 trillion, or more than the entire amount during the Reagan Administration, when deficits were supposed to be ruinous. Now liberal economists tell us that deficits are the key to restoring prosperity.

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
11:29 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

Since you’re coming in late to the table and to save myself from carpal tunnel, please read the posts from 9:30 a.m. to present – thank you.

kayaker 71

October 13th, 2010
11:29 am

Some additional pearls of stimulus wisdom for CT and her lemmings to peruse….

497K to Smokers DC who want to use their cellphones to stop smoking
3.4M to Florida to build a tunnel under Hwy 27 to prevent turtles from becoming roadkill
712M to NW Univ to create a “joke machine”
50.9M to Roanoke, VA to repl windows in a 7M dollar building whose major tenants will not return following construction
25M to Stowe, VT to replace chairlifts
300K to Wake Forest Univ to study whether or not yoga can help reduce hot flashes
90K to Boynton, OK to replace a 5yr old sidewalk
1M to Cal Academy of Sciences to send researchers to East Africa to capture and photograph exotic ants
And the winner of the plaid rabbit, the most money spent for nothing goes to BP, that Bozo donor of over 15M dollars in the 2008 campaign for a 308M grant to Hydrogen Energy Co, a subsidiary of BP, to build a Ca power plant that won’t break ground for three more years and won’t become operational until 2017. Talk about shovel ready.

So let’s hear it for some obscure GA project that the town didn’t really need as a single example of Bozo spending to benefit our country. If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would be funny.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
11:30 am

Tech Man
October 13th, 2010
11:18 am

Question: In light of the Deepwater Horizon episode, wouldn’t you say it was prudent of the Administration to put a moratorium on deep water drilling in place so that safety measures could be immproved….or proceed with a dangerous situation that could not only have endangered more lives….but created another gigantic spill?? Once the moratorium is lifted and updated safety procedures in place, then drilling would re-commence…..

Poor Boy from Alabama

October 13th, 2010
11:32 am

CT @ 10:19 You wrote: So Poor Boy @8:50, you are arguing that the stimulus bill should have been larger? A trillion?

Yes. The stimulus should have been bigger. It also should have been better. It was chock full of stuff that was more about a social agenda than good economics. It should also have been combined with a clear plan for getting the country back to a balanced budget.

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
11:32 am

Jimmy H. However, if my other neighbor still needs things, then it would make much more sense to give him more, will in turn allow him to purchase, create demand and help improve conditions.

But, But…….isn’t that the dreaded, hateful SOCIALISM rearing its head……..

By writing checks to large corporations and banks and ignoring the consumers of the services and products they provider solves no problems, and in fact helps to excacerbate the situation.

I thought repubs liked big business…….

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
11:35 am

HDB – that’s like saying the next time there is a big car wreck on an interstate, that all interstate travel should be stopped until we figure out why it happened and how we can make it safer. I’m all for safety in the workplace, but don’t put a moratorium on American drilling in mile-deep water when you’re funneling money to Brazil to drill in water that is twice as deep.

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
11:35 am

CT’s near constant referral to Think Progress

I’m almost sure that there is a point to that somewhere.

Phantom 309

October 13th, 2010
11:37 am

Seems the euphoria surrounding the upcoming democratic defeats is being reflected in todays Dow Jones activity!!

Phantom 309

October 13th, 2010
11:37 am

PS…I ROCK!!

Phantom 309

October 13th, 2010
11:40 am

Seems democratic funds contributor George Soros has put his wallet away due to the impending, as he calls it, “avalanche” that is coming Nov 4!!

EJ

October 13th, 2010
11:41 am

Must be hard for Cynthia to imagine that $10 million left in the hands of those that earned it in Georgia would have been better spent on their own personal needs.

Such is the challenge for a socialist.

Gm

October 13th, 2010
11:44 am

Take back the USA” When you say take back your country you sound like a dumb hick, Are you going to take it back and give it to the indians?

Dem are going to vote in large no. before we let you bigots run and destroyed it under Bush again, President Obama did not destroy Georgia, your idiots Rep party did, Sonny and the Bubbas.

Phantom 309

October 13th, 2010
11:44 am

And the GOOD NEWS just keeps flowing…

“Illegal immigrants can no longer attend the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and other academically competitively public colleges, starting next fall.

The State Board of Regents voted Wednesday to prohibit illegal immigrants from attending any college that has rejected academically qualified applicants for the past two academic years because of a lack of space or other issues.”

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
11:46 am

Gm

October 13th, 2010
11:44 am

Sorry friend but you are wrong or either vey naive. Johnny has some parting gift for you and thanks for playing!!

willie lynch

October 13th, 2010
11:48 am

When Reagan increased the national debt having spent more money than all presidents combined before him we were told that the grandchildren would pick up the tab. Are we?

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
11:50 am

NV unemployment at 14.4% and Uncle Harry calls in Slick Willy. tee hee.

Gm

October 13th, 2010
11:50 am

President Obama made a big mistake by giving the money to hicks states like Georgia with their corrupt officals, that money should have went directly to the business owners.

Look at Wyoming, Idaho, Mn, they took the money and their unemployment rate is below 9% but you conservaties are to stupid to research your self and believe everything 3 time college drop out Sean Hannity say.

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

October 13th, 2010
11:52 am

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
11:21 am

I just checked on Heritage.org and they referred to Barack Obama as “President”. Do you dismiss this as well?

willie lynch

October 13th, 2010
11:54 am

Why aren’t the woe’s of Georgia being blamed on Sonny?

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
11:54 am

Lemme tell ya something. Sean Hannity can toss around a football on his show. I like football therefore I like Sean Hannity and I also like what Sean Hannity likes. He does all my thinking for me so I dont have too.

I hope one day to go on his show and discuss turnip greens, cornbread and down home politickin.

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
11:55 am

Do you dismiss this as well?

I wouldn’t believe the Heritage Foundation if they asserted that water was wet.

Peadawg

October 13th, 2010
11:56 am

Off topic but great news nonetheless:
ttp://www.ajc.com/news/regents-ban-illegal-immigrants-680750.html
“Illegal immigrants can no longer attend the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and other academically competitively public colleges, starting next fall.”

AMEN!!!

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
11:59 am

Braking news!

The AJC reports that the GBI is now vigorously investigating the thousands of Georgia companies that employed illegal immigrants for years on end.

Widespread prosecutions are expected…

Senor Lopez

October 13th, 2010
11:59 am

Thees will not stand. Mexican brother and sister will go to college whether citizen or not. We all are citizen of world an are entitlement to our entitles. You give me and family what deserve.

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

Kamchak, I was merely pointing out your penchant for listing someone’s referral to a conservative news source as being a sign of ignorance/misunderstanding. Since Ms. Tucker uses Think Progress as one of her many valuable sources, I was turning your remark around on you. Apparently my clever ruse soared over your head.

Phantom 309

October 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

Sounds like the “Night of the Long Burritos” could be at hand.

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

Braking news? Make that Breaking News.

Keep up the good fight!

October 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

And the march toward right wing stupidity continues. More nazi candidates and witches please.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
11:35 am
If you didn’t place a moratorium on deep water drilling in the US, the possibility of another LARGER spill could occur!! Using your analogy….remember: by the time an interstate highway project is designed and built, it’s already OBSOLETE!! If deeper water drilling is in place in Brazil and Europe (that dreaded word!) and BP is using those North Sea standards all over the world, then why were shortcuts taken in the US?? A moratorium was sorely needed!!

Lest you also forget: BP’s $20B fund…negotiated by President OBAMA..has considered how the moratorium has affected jobs….and compensation in that fund is available……

Justin

October 13th, 2010
12:01 pm

GE received stimulus and then laid off 18,000 workers !!!!!!!!!!

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

October 13th, 2010
12:02 pm

Booger Presley
October 13th, 2010
11:54 am

Nah, you need to go on Huckabee to discuss that.

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

October 13th, 2010
12:03 pm

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
11:55 am

I see. Your liberal “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” is showing. :roll:

Keep up the good fight!

October 13th, 2010
12:04 pm

How are those terror trials going in NY? Closed down the city, created all sorts of terror threats and people killed, right. Fear! I tell you….oh thats right. No problems.

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

October 13th, 2010
12:04 pm

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
11:55 am

“I wouldn’t believe the Heritage Foundation if they asserted that water was wet”

Oh yeah, to follow your cue, there’s your sign!

Keep up the good fight!

October 13th, 2010
12:05 pm

More corporate efficiency: Woman gets a $1 billion dollar utility bill. Aren’t corporations so great? They do everything better.

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
12:06 pm

Apparently my clever ruse soared over your head.

What’s not to understand?

Talk-radio has been marginalizing the “liberal media” for over thirty years.

Now it’s your ox being gored.

That’s the point whooshing over your head.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:08 pm

Many have missed that undocumenteds CAN still attend Georgia universities…just not the FLAGSHIP schools….

…from the AJC…

The list of barred campuses can change over time but the regents said the following are impacted immediately: UGA, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia and Georgia College & State University.

The regents also ordered all 35 campuses in the University System of Georgia to verify the legal presence in the U.S. for any admitted student seeking in-state tuition rates. Illegal immigrants are required to pay the higher out-of-state tuition rates.

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
12:08 pm

I see. Your liberal “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” is showing.

Please show me where I specifically asked for more “tolerance” and “inclusiveness.”

Thanks in advance.

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
12:10 pm

“negotiated by Pres. Obama” Oh, you mean where he was figuring out whose @$$ to kick and upon whose neck a boot must go. That negotiation? I can’t explain the shortcuts. But I know when a judge declared the first ban overturned, Obama basically stomped his feet, pouted a bit, and said “No! There will be a ban!” This is the same president who openly admitted that his policies would bankrupt the coal industry and cause energy prices to skyrocket. That’s hope and change for ya’.