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

Lil' Barry Bailout

October 13th, 2010
1:15 pm

Did the stimulus plan help Georgia? You bet
7:44 am October 13, 2010, by ctucker
———-

Three words: Ten percent unemployment.

DawgDad

October 13th, 2010
1:18 pm

HDB wrote: “If you had been one of the 25,000 people who LOST their jobs nine MONTHS into the Bush Administration over a 2-week period….and have YET to recover, would you be so enthusiastic for the GOP…who did nothing to mitigate such an occurrance??”

I’m one of those people, although arguably I have recovered. The Bush administration focused on tax cuts and rekindling the economy post-9/11, and even hired thousands of new government workers (ever hear of “Homeland Security”?). I guess maybe you wanted what, a government edict to businesses NOT to lay off people? Gee, wonder what would have happened to our economy and country if THAT would have been issued! Businesses with significantly reduced or eliminated revenue streams not allowed to lay off workers. Brilliant! Only a Marxist could have dreamed as much.

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
1:22 pm

AmVet,
As a conservative I had issues with GWB as well. BUT, Obama has been pres for 2 years and has only taken things, if I may borrow, ‘deeper in the ditch’. At some point you will have to admit his economic policies are not helping, just like I admitted problems with what Bush did…or not?

Lil' Barry Bailout

October 13th, 2010
1:23 pm

The unemployment rate has been higher every month of the Idiot Messiah’s regime than at any point during our President Bush’s eight years. And it only cost us a trillion dollars!

Gm

October 13th, 2010
1:23 pm

Beavis you must be butt head ” President Obama had to spend money because of the hole we were in” Auto industrial destroyed, banks failed, wall street had went under, people lost homes, unemployement all this had to be paid for thanks to George Oil Bush and his 2 wars he created.

Tommy Maddox

October 13th, 2010
1:25 pm

A couple of my kids are hearing impaired and I always appreciate places like the one in Cave Springs. What I don’t appreciate is the fact that all of my kids will be paying for it when they grow up.

Stimulus built a new building in Georgia and there’s a whole bunch of folks unemployed.

Tidy Bowl

October 13th, 2010
1:27 pm

Sorry Dems…your ship is sinking beneath the EVER SO STINKY waters of THE ALMIGHTY TOILET and there is not one thing that can stop it.

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:28 pm

AmVet

- -In fact I think we should elect a whole bunch of these new mini-GWBs and see how that works out for middle class Americans!- -

After seeing what electing a whole bunch of liberals who couldn’t lead a boy scout troop or perform basic math has done to our economy, our image abroad and our credit rating, and considering how well the middle class did under Bush, compared to how they have done under Obamunisum, I would say that new mini-GWBs would be exactly what the doctor ordered.

The public is the doctor and the prescription will be written on Nov. 4.

democrats, hurting millions to help dozens.

Gm

October 13th, 2010
1:29 pm

Lil Berry bailout: it helped Wy, Ks, Co, Okl, Mn, there unemployement is less then 8%, because their officals took the money and used it like it suppose to.

You dumb hicks in Georiga let Sonny and the crooks take the money and used it for favors, but yet you same hicks are willing to put them back in office

You Asked

October 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

How many jobs were created by Republican politicians since 2007?

The same amount as Democrat politicians since 2007.

None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Businesses not bureaucrats create jobs.

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

But Gm…what about NV, the Home of Hairy Reed? NV unemployment is at 14.4%…care to expound?

JB

October 13th, 2010
1:33 pm

Having trouble picking a good wine for Tuesday night, Nov. 2nd…….Gonna be a great night.
What will the new Congress do…………..Simply slam the checkbook on his nappy little fingers and listen to him bitch about it……He will spend the last two years just telling America the reason we don’t have jobs is we won’t let him spend money. Geez…….He’ll fry in Hell before he’ll let those pasty white rich people crank up the economy again with tax cuts and incentives. He’d rather spread jam than make it….. He is a fool.

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
1:34 pm

You know, Gm, calling us Georgians “you dumb hicks” really engenders support for your point of view.

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:36 pm

You Asked

democrats took over control of congress in January of 2007.

So they are supposed to create jobs when they are not in power?

You Asked

October 13th, 2010
1:36 pm

Gm is taking his lead from the Democratic party and smearing anyone who doesn’t agree with him. Liberals wouldn’t be half as exasperating if they weren’t so smug and superior. Civility for me but not for thee.

THE ALMIGHTY TOILET

October 13th, 2010
1:37 pm

Nov 4 approacheth. BBBUUUWWWWWAAAAHHHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAAA!

*Ker-FLUSH*

You Asked

October 13th, 2010
1:38 pm

Nothing is free. One of the posters on the first page asked that question. My response is that congress doesn’t create jobs. Neither party in or out of power creates lasting profitable work.

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

October 13th, 2010
1:38 pm

BAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

“They might not get along, but President Obama reportedly has distant relatives in Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.”

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:38 pm

Gm

Love the dumb hicks remark.

I would ask you to look up the top public schools in the country and see where most are located, but if you were smart enough to do that, you would have already done it.

Just another ignorant twit, trying to make himself feel good about living in the rust belt.

Poor baby.

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:39 pm

You Asked

- -My response is that congress doesn’t create jobs. Neither party in or out of power creates lasting profitable work.- -

We agree.

Caveman

October 13th, 2010
1:40 pm

Republicans would set their own house on fire, then whine and cry about how much water the firemen had to use to put it out

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 13th, 2010
1:40 pm

NOW YOU NUT CASES NEED TO BACK OFF RUSH LIMBAUGH AND SARAH PALIN RELATIVE POTUS OBAMA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
1:42 pm

“NOW YOU NUT CASES NEED TO BACK OFF RUSH LIMBAUGH AND SARAH PALIN RELATIVE POTUS OBAMA!”

Ya…kinda makes Palin and Rush seem all dumb, cheap and taudry.

JB

October 13th, 2010
1:42 pm

What little economy we have is in spite of him, not because of him…………I will never understand why the RNC does not educate the American public ( The ones making the place work, not the Ipod, dope smoking entitlement bunch) How Bill Clinton, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank played such a big part of a loan and house for everyone policy which has taken this economy down. I understand Wall St. part of bundling these worthless loans and selling them off……….I throw up everytime I hear Obama talk about all this being Bush’s fault.
That’s crap.

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:42 pm

Good Grief

Don’t scold Gm. It’s good when others show their true colors.

But wouldn’t it be nice if all those non-Southerners would stop moving down here. People here used to be nice, but rudeness (in Atlanta, at least) is the order of the day.

How many Southerners do you know that live their entire life so they can move to Detroit and retire?

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 13th, 2010
1:43 pm

41 MILLION PEOPLE ON WELFARE,BECAUSE OF BUSH’S TAXCUTS FOR THE RICH,HOW DID THOSE 8YEARS WORKOUT?

P.S. LIMBAUGH AND PALIN RELATIVE OBAMA HAS KEPT US SAFE!

Mongo

October 13th, 2010
1:45 pm

For all the con crying, you’d think that the economy was still hemorrhaging 200,000 jobs a month like it was when Bush was in office.

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

October 13th, 2010
1:45 pm

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 13th, 2010
1:40 pm

POTUS Obama or Imam Obama?

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:46 pm

Booger Presley

Love the comments about Palin.

Have you seen Nancy Pelosi on Camera? Palin is Einstein compared to that bat eyed dingbat.

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
1:46 pm

“At some point you will have to admit his economic policies are not helping…”

And when I can factually determine after some reasonable time that they are not, I will excoriate him as I have on his idiotic Afghan surge and his failure to reign in the white-collar criminals who brought this nation to the brink of another Great Depression.

He supported TARP and the bailout of capitalism by the greatest socialist of all time King George IV, and to that extent he is part and parcel of the problem.

However, unlike many here, I am no self-proclaimed expert on these enormously complex and complicated economic matters, and who can foretell *immediately* all of the ramifications, consequences – long and short term – and pluses and minuses of these attempts.

All I know is that the smoke and mirrors version of capitalism came crashing down in September 2008. And the horrendous aftermath of the attempted corporate destruction of capitalism is going to be with us for a LONG time.

No matter which of the corporate water carrier in either the Tweedledee or Tweedledum parties occupies the West Wing.

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

October 13th, 2010
1:46 pm

Mongo

October 13th, 2010
1:45 pm

Yeah, I guess W just didn’t have a “Recovery Summer” like Obama did. :roll:

HDB

October 13th, 2010
1:46 pm

DawgDad
October 13th, 2010
1:18 pm

“The Bush administration focused on tax cuts and rekindling the economy post-9/11, and even hired thousands of new government workers (ever hear of “Homeland Security”?). I guess maybe you wanted what, a government edict to businesses NOT to lay off people?”

The point I’m making is that it DIDN’T work!! As I too was adversely affected by 9/11 (try working for United Airlines….and having a 25,000 person layoff in a 2-week period….and a declining job market simultaneously occurring…particularly in Chicago!!)…there were many that the government couldn’t absorb…and private industry DID not absorb!! You can’t say that Corporate America was sitting on over $5T and wasn’t willing to spend it…as they are NOW!! That was indicative of what Bush’s policies would do!!

Nothing Is Free
October 13th, 2010
1:28 pm

“….and considering how well the middle class did under Bush, compared to how they have done under Obamunisum, I would say that new mini-GWBs would be exactly what the doctor ordered.”

Not in MY neighborhood!! Under Bush, job LOSSES, bankruptcies, and wealth LOSSES ouucrred!! At least, under Obama, many of us are seeing a rebound…and it’s NOT because of being on welfare!! Jobs are opening up!! Try having worked for United Airlines on 9/11…and being unemployed for over TWO YEARS under Bush…but being able to find a professional job under Obama in THREE MONTHS!!

Depends on where you live…..

Republicans: helping the wealthy…but hurting millions!!

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
1:46 pm

Ayetoolah Obama.

Independent J

October 13th, 2010
1:47 pm

debbie, ok i went back and read your blogs….you still blame one person and one party…good for you!!!

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

October 13th, 2010
1:47 pm

Nothing Is Free
October 13th, 2010
1:46 pm

Pelosi will probably be nominated for a Nobel for her economic philosophy that food stamps are a great way to stimulate the economy.

Mongo

October 13th, 2010
1:48 pm

“I throw up everytime I hear Obama talk about all this being Bush’s fault.”
1+ 1 = 2 must put you in the hospital then.

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:49 pm

Mongo

- -For all the con crying, you’d think that the economy was still hemorrhaging 200,000 jobs a month like it was when Bush was in office.- -

That should say: you’d think that the economy was still hemorrhaging 200,000 jobs a month like it was after the democrats took over Congress and started attacking small businesses.

Sorry, Pal. no body with three numbers in their IQ believes that Bush was the problem. Unemployment was 4.7 when the country sent the Republicans home and it was still 5% a full year later.

Address those numbers if you can.

JB

October 13th, 2010
1:49 pm

keep drinking it CYNT………………………..If the Christmas day bomber and the Times Square Bomber where not dumb a$$’s, There would be a lot of dead Americans and Oduma’s popularity rating would be about 20%, which is the hard left loons, who feel we got what we deserves types !!!!! The guy is clueless about Terrorism……….

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:50 pm

Leg Lamp

Actually, she will need to win the prize before we can see what she won the prize for.

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
1:50 pm

CYNT U-
I thought it was Kevin Obama?

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

October 13th, 2010
1:52 pm

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
1:50 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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

October 13th, 2010
1:52 pm

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
1:50 pm

Haha!! How soon they forget.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
1:52 pm

Nothing Is Free
October 13th, 2010
1:49 pm

“Sorry, Pal. no body with three numbers in their IQ believes that Bush was the problem. Unemployment was 4.7 when the country sent the Republicans home and it was still 5% a full year later. ”

Not totally – that’s contingent on your location and profession! In many cases…and areas, in 2007, unemployment had actually gotten over 8%. Remember the old adage: It’s a recession when your neighbor is unemployed; it’s a DPERESSION when YOU are unemployed!!

Independent J

October 13th, 2010
1:53 pm

HDB. bush put you in unemployment? why is the rate still close to 10%…..cmon! are you saying Obama got you your job now..can you not do it on your own…cuz thats what it sounds like….

travelingman141

October 13th, 2010
1:54 pm

Porkulus Succubus Stimulus. Spending printed worthless paper money we don’t have and somebody else is gotta to pay for it. SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN TO ME!!! Silly libtards, governing is not for you!

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

October 13th, 2010
1:54 pm

Don’t you know that Bill Maher is just livid that the rescued miners said things like God was with them, they prayed and always had faith the would survive, read bibles, and a couple even did the Catholic cross upon exiting the tube.

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
1:57 pm

“I throw up everytime I hear Obama talk about all this being Bush’s fault.”

Mongo, we’ve discussed this repeatedly.

NOTHING is George Walker Bush’s fault.

He according to the legions of apologists, he was so Teflon-coated that his legacy ended at 12PM on January 21, 2009, and the slate was wiped clean.

And I suppose had I the complete lack of lucidity to even vote for that man once, (much less twice!) I too would to find some way to make up sheer nonsense to justify it.

And isn’t it ironic that somehow the nation still struggles from the effects of the Carter and Clinton administrations…

JB

October 13th, 2010
1:57 pm

I hope I have a front row seat the day Bill Maher. meets our Lord to be judged…….Won’t that be an interesting conversation…… First thing Jesus will say, ” I don’t believe I know you”……

HDB

October 13th, 2010
1:59 pm

JB

October 13th, 2010
1:42 pm
What little economy we have is in spite of him, not because of him…………I will never understand why the RNC does not educate the American public ( The ones making the place work, not the Ipod, dope smoking entitlement bunch) How Bill Clinton, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank played such a big part of a loan and house for everyone policy which has taken this economy down. I understand Wall St. part of bundling these worthless loans and selling them off……….I throw up everytime I hear Obama talk about all this being Bush’s fault.

Actually…the first aspect of the “Ownership Society” came from RONALD REAGAN!!

…from Reagan:

“Most of our citizens own the homes in which they reside. In the marketplace, they benefit from direct and indirect business ownership. There are currently close to 10 million self-employed workers in the U.S.-nearly 9 percent of total civilian employment. And, millions more hope to own a business some day. Furthermore, over 47 million individuals reap the rewards of free enterprise through stock ownership in the vast number of companies listed on U. S. stock exchanges.

I can’t help but believe that in the future we will see in the United States and throughout the western world an increasing trend toward the next logical step, employee ownership. It is a path that befits a free people.”

Gm

October 13th, 2010
1:59 pm

Nothing is Free, I’m sorry how about Bubbas,

I am from the South, thank god for those people up north, you people would still have slaves and marrying your cousins.