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

seabeau

October 13th, 2010
2:00 pm

Cynthia! How’s this for a better idea? A lower tax rate, keeping money in my pockets,my spending it locally, putting people to work, cutting jobs in Washington ,telling Washington to POUND SAND!!!

HDB

October 13th, 2010
2:02 pm

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….

Bush’s POLICIES were part of the cause!! If we had maintained the Clinton era policies….unemployment would have been much lower!! I’ve always said that Presidential POLICIES do influence the marketplace….THAT’S my focus!!

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:02 pm

HDB

During the most prosperous times in our history, there have been sections of the population with high unemployment numbers. That is always the case. But that doesn’t change what has happened to our country in thew past four years.

Democrats come in and immediately start attacking capitalism and our consumer driven economy and when their attacks start to work, giving the government the opening to expand a little quicker than the Third Reich expanded during 1933, the democrats try to blame the Republicans.

It’s bad enough that they seem hell bent on destroying our economy for their own advances and their own power enhancements, but they should at least admit to what they are doing.

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:03 pm

Are any of you people happy? What most of these comments have taught me is that there are a lot of people out there who have no idea what really happens with the federal government’s budget. The fiscal year just ended for the government, and does anyone out there have any idea how much money was spent in the last three weeks.

Does anyone know anything about macroeconomics. Does this equation look slighly familiar C+G+I+NX. What do you think that “G” abbreviates

You Asked

October 13th, 2010
2:05 pm

Gm – about you being “from the South”

Just cause your cat has kittens in the oven it don’t make ‘em biscuits.

Take your bigotry somewhere else. Delta is ready to go when you are.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:05 pm

Gm
October 13th, 2010
1:59 pm

Yeah, good thing we have northerners to thank for showing us how to improve race relations. Why, just look at how smooth things went in Boston, MA, in 1976 when they tried to desegregate their schools – almost a decade after GA desegregated its schools.

Independent J

October 13th, 2010
2:07 pm

I agree HDB, so we will agree that Obamas policies will be blamed then for the last 2-4 yrs and into the the next 2 yrs….
clinton didnt have a 9/11 and a need to rebuild…im not saying its all 9/11 but it certainly impacted everything….airlines, automotive, banking, ect..

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

October 13th, 2010
2:07 pm

Bert
October 13th, 2010
2:03 pm

“What do you think that “G” abbreviates”

George W. Bush!! There, I beat the libs to it.

You Asked

October 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

I am “from the North” and the bigotry was just as bad up there. At least down here the rednecks act stupid and stick out so you know who to avoid. Up north they just lied to your face and stabbed you in the back if you were different from them.

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

Gm

You state GA hicks with 10% unemployment etc. What about the Dems in NV and Hairy Reed and 14.4% unemployment not to mention the pompus Mr Reid is fighting for his political life.

Please educate us!! We need you!

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

October 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

Independent J
October 13th, 2010
2:07 pm

Better be careful. Logic is often frowned upon on this blog. :)

HDB

October 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

Independent J
October 13th, 2010
1:53 pm

Immediately after 9/11, United Airlines axed 25,000 people (I was PART of it!!)…other companies axed over 1.5M people at that point. The government couldn’t absorb the workforce….and the private sector DIDN’T! All along, Bush said “Keep spending”. There was no cohesive policy for getting people back to work…..and the tax cuts did nothing for many segments of the work force! I know many people who are STILL adversely affected by Bushian policies immediately after 9/11!! All the tax cuts did was make corporations profitable…at the expense of the workforce……

JB

October 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

Do liberals ‘KNOW” where the money comes from ? Really, do they……We are approaching 50% who contribute NOTHING. Just take…And want more…………Do liberals think we are( were) the greatest Country in world with liberal ideals, policy and doctrine? Do you really think that..?
No incentive, no work ethic, over taxed and regulated and weak morals builds and makes a great nation. Do you really think that? Capitalism isn’t perfect, but a liberal agenda is a one ticket to being invaded and jailed.

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

“Just cause your cat has kittens in the oven it don’t make ‘em biscuits.”

LMAO!! Thats a new one!

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:09 pm

Gm

Yea, you sound like a true Southerner. Chances are, you have never been South of south Detroit.

I’m not from the South and the North sucks. It’s cold, the people are ignorant and rude and there are few things uglier than a fat northern woman.

People in the north were huge slavery proponents with the largest slave auction being in New York City.

As far as marrying cousins, that is a trait known mostly to English Royalty, but there’s a lot more family “affairs” going on in Northern Row Houses than in Southern Trailer Parks.

Want to try a little more ignorance spouting. So far, you look a little like an ignorant fool.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:11 pm

You Asked
October 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

As far as who to avoid, I’d rather be lost in a “redneck” neighborhood at 2AM in the morning than I would in the projects. Just sayin…..

JB

October 13th, 2010
2:13 pm

American by birth, Southern by the grace of God…….

JB

October 13th, 2010
2:15 pm

Why do you never see hundreds of Acres being bulldozed up North to build houses making room for all the new Southerner’s moving in ?

Phantom 309

October 13th, 2010
2:16 pm

Im so looking forward to elections return night!!

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:16 pm

American by birth, Southern by the grace of God, embarrassed by the lack of progression

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

Tick,,,tick,,,tick….

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:19 pm

I’ve lived in the North and the South.

it’s very simple: Where do Northerners go on Vacation, when they can afford it?

The Jersey Shore? (Yuk, puke, ugly fat people like beached whales laying in the sand)

Niagara Falls? The biggest attraction is that Northerners leave on as many clothes as possible around the cold spray.

Manhattan? More like Brooklyn.

Chicago? That town’s a little too rugged for you and me, bad girl. (Randy Newman, I love LA)

When the trend starts to put Southerners retiring on Long Island, I’ll start to give credibility to Yankees that hate the South.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:19 pm

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

Are you counting down to the election? Me too! :cool:

Independent J

October 13th, 2010
2:19 pm

So 2million people couldn’t be absorbed from the Private sector and put into jobs….huh! wonder why? must of been the whole attacky terroisty thangy that happened. remember when everyone froze up because we had no idea what was going to happen.. But that had to be W’s fault. Could it be that simple

JB

October 13th, 2010
2:20 pm

The main stream media will have one thing to blame for the November results, and it will be in code, so listen close…………….RACISTS………….Not Jobs, the economy, spending, oil spill mismanagement, Cap and trade, backing down to Russia on missile defense with Soviet union and GETTING NOTHING in return, Screwing generations of GM stock holders…..non of that silly stuff…….

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
2:20 pm

“At least down here the rednecks act stupid and stick out so you know who to avoid.”

You Asked, LOL.

“Why do you never see hundreds of Acres being bulldozed up North to build houses making room for all the new Southerner’s moving in ?”

JB, my understanding from a previous co-worker who was from Connecticut was that ,”We are simply coming here to take what is rightfully ours.”

Being Kansas born and bred, I am an entertained but essentially neutral observer on such matters…

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
2:21 pm

I traveled up north a few times NE area and yeppers…two tons uh fun walking all over the place. And at the convenient stores you have these “2 buns with Creme” this with creme, that with creme. No wonder they are such fattys up there…

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

October 13th, 2010
2:21 pm

Nothing Is Free
October 13th, 2010
2:19 pm

Or as the late, great, Lewis Grizzard once said, “you won’t hear too many guys in a bar in Atlanta on a Friday night hollering “hot damn, I just got transferred to New Jersey”!”. Game, set, match.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
2:21 pm

Nothing Is Free
October 13th, 2010
2:02 pm
“Democrats come in and immediately start attacking capitalism and our consumer driven economy and when their attacks start to work, giving the government the opening to expand a little quicker than the Third Reich expanded during 1933, the democrats try to blame the Republicans.

It’s bad enough that they seem hell bent on destroying our economy for their own advances and their own power enhancements, but they should at least admit to what they are doing.”

Democrats are NOT attacking capitalism….but the ABUSES of capitalism!! Laissez-faire capitalism , because of the LACK of control, will ultimately consume itself….and only those with wealth can partake of its benefits!! If controls that protect the consumer are put in place, if policies that can eliminate SOME risk (note…risk is a part of the system!) are in force allowing ALL people to partake of the system, then economic GROWTH for ALL segments can occur! The middle class is SHRINKING…and has been since 2002!!

Independent J

October 13th, 2010
2:07 pm
“I agree HDB, so we will agree that Obamas policies will be blamed then for the last 2-4 yrs and into the the next 2 yrs….”

That is contingent upon which segment of society your POV comes from….and IF one has been positively/negatively affected!! Contingent on that stipulation, I agree with you!!

The Leg Lamp is a “major award”, much like Cynthia Tucker’s Pulitzer and Obama’s Nobel.

October 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

“Better be careful. Logic is often frowned upon on this blog.”

Not the case with me….logical discussions bring forth reasoned AND passionate persuasions…not just pure emotional rants…and a modicum of civility!!

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:22 pm

Bert

Progression like Detroit? Cleveland? Toledo? LOL!!!

Poor pitiful Northerners.

it’s no one’s fault that you were stuck growing up in a cold, grey, rude wasteland.

I’ve seen the row houses. I’ve driven into and out of the pot holes that could swallow a truck. I’ve seen the poverty and crime caused by the labor unions.

The North progressive? LOL!!

Now that is rich.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:23 pm

AmVet
October 13th, 2010
2:20 pm

”We are simply coming here to take what is rightfully ours.”

Kind of like the Jews and Jerusalem? :cool:

Hobby

October 13th, 2010
2:23 pm

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
2:23 pm

But Cynthia is not fat…OH NO! Cynthia is S-E-X-Y SEXY!!

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:24 pm

JB: Pick a side….how can you blame the government for GM, and talk about support republicans. GM was suppose to fail given the mismanagement and the inflate price of labor. C’mon, at least be consistent

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:25 pm

HDB

What has prevented anyone from taking part in the capitalistic system?

What was broken before that has ben fixed now. Please give specifics. I hear the rhetoric, but there is no substance.

I’m a small business owner. What has Obama done for me?

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
2:26 pm

Are you counting down to the election?

No.

JB

October 13th, 2010
2:26 pm

Don’t forget Obama care….you know, we’ve got to pass it to see what’s in it…………Think a repub would get a pass making a statement like that……….You know, most hard left are highly educated …. wonder what they think of having Dumba$$’s in charge of their party….??????

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:27 pm

Nothing is Free: I was talking about progrssion in GA. I currently live in Columbus, OH; Detroit, Toledo, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Cleveland got the name of the “Rustbelt” in ‘81. Now let’s think who was in office? Who deregulated, and started using off-shore steel….can you tell me, Bueller???

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

October 13th, 2010
2:27 pm

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
2:26 pm

I just thought the “tick….tick…..tick” was in referenced to the liberal time bomb that is slated to go off in less than 3 weeks. :lol:

JB

October 13th, 2010
2:28 pm

Who said I’m a republican…….I’m sure you assume I’m a racist……i don’t assume you’re Gay.

Steve

October 13th, 2010
2:29 pm

Congress spends everything it has, and then some, during good times. During bad times, they spend even more trying to restore the good times. Some of the spending is beneficial, and some isn’t. The bottom line; however, is that this cycle of spending is a formula for financial disaster.

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:29 pm

Health care reform is a nice divisive topic, but it hasn’t gone into effect yet. So why is it that people keep metioning it as if something bad has happened. talk to me in two years when you decide to drop your current health care for it

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
2:29 pm

I just thought the “tick….tick…..tick”…

Don’t think, meat; it can only hurt the ball-club.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:32 pm

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
2:29 pm

I’m not Brooks Conrad…. :cool: Nice try, though.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:33 pm

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
2:29 pm

“meat”

That’s something AmVet uses a lot. Any “split personality” issues you care to share? :lol:

everyday American

October 13th, 2010
2:33 pm

the Democrats are right!! CHANGE is what we want!! so they shouldn’t be upset with changing the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank or John McCain, right??

and you gotta love the Democratic Senator from W Va on Obamacare,”yes i voted for it, but yes i do want to repeal most of it”..that is just too funny..

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:33 pm

Bert

Who did start using off shore steel? The auto industries that was run by what?

If you want to talk about what happened to the auto industry, it has nothing to do with off shore steel. It has everything to do with robotics.

A 1984 Toyota was built almost entirely by robots. The cars were good, solid, well made and if they were built on a Monday or a Friday, they would still be good cars.

So please. Since you know so much about it, tell me what the unions allow robotics to be used for in 2010 in American Car plants? It’s two things that are allowed to be done by robotics. They rest is done by non-caring, overpaid workers who get 15 minutes break for every hour of work. What are the two tasks that the unions allow?

JB

October 13th, 2010
2:34 pm

Yahoo came out with the top 40 cities for growth and excellent business climate for this decade ……Most of 40 had ONE thing in common…………………….OK, you guess it, Conservative government, low tax’s, friendly business climate, low unemployment ( employable population) and controlled spending with high bond ratings….No, Detroit was not on the list….
Get a clue people……

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
2:37 pm

Yeah, Lamp and with the same expected blowback…

And Kam’s meat reference is from the film, “Bull Durham”. It is not the same as my mystery meat moniker for the endless number of name-changing bloggers, who are lacking in spines…

“No wonder they are such fattys up there…”

CiS, inexplicably, you somehow must have missed the actual facts!

The top five states for obesity:

West Virginia – 34%
Kentucky – 32.8%
Mississippi – 32.7%
Arkansas – 32%
South Carolina – 31.1%

And other than Florida (15th) not one Dixie state is in the bottom 15 states for obesity rates…

HDB

October 13th, 2010
2:37 pm

Nothing Is Free
October 13th, 2010
2:25 pm

“What has prevented anyone from taking part in the capitalistic system?”

1) Capital – and the access to it!! Redlining still exists, although it IS illegal. The tightening of the banks’ lending isn’t helping

2) Employment…
3) Societal focus on “instant gratification” rather than long term
4) Education: In some places, the focus is on “test passing” rather than education….and the persistent conflict between public and private systems
5) Politics! Look at the discussiosn between conservatives and progressives…”moochers”, haves vs. have-nots; shrinking of the middle class

There’s a lot…..not saying that it can’t be overcome…but a person shelved with over $250K in school loans would have a more difficult time achieving success vs. someone with $1M given to them in a trust fund!!

What has been fixed? Not enough in my POV!
There is still discriminatory practices in employment has has yet to be addressed; educational funding is still an issue – particularly with school loans and full funding of NCLB….

What has been attempted? Much!

1) Health care system. The initial iteration will need refining…but elimination of pre-existing conditions is a good first step
2) Financial reform – sorely needed in the light of what has happened in the financial markets
3) Lily Ledbetter Act: Pay equity…..
4) Tax breaks for small business owners is a part of the stimulus package
5) Greater depreciation of equipment has been held up by the GOP in the Senate…that would help you…..

Just the beginning…..