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

everyday American

October 13th, 2010
2:38 pm

Bert, something bad has happened as far as health insurance. like i said before, my wife got her raise with a local school district from the stimulus, then the following week, was notified her/our premiums are going to almost double due to the new health care bill..so, all in all, she’s losing a couple of bucks..but, i guess this is a good thing, right?

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
2:38 pm

Amvet,
FACT-Obama said unemployment will not exeec 8% and millions of shovel ready jobs to be created….FACT-Unemployment 9.6-15% nationwide and Obama admits there is no such thing as a ’shovel ready job’….FACT-almost $1 trillion gone…is almost 2 years of factual info reasonable time to make a decision AmVet?
Obama is President NOW. These are HIS issues NOW. HIS policies are not working NOW. He just asked to double down on stimulus infrastructure again NOW. Bush is not NOW. LIBERAL DEMOCRAT RUN GOV’T IS NOW. People will be voting on Obama and liberal policy in November NOW. Tucker and all liberals can keep making excuses about what is going on NOW, but people are tired of hearing excuses about everyone who is to blame, except Obama, about what is going on NOW. Please respond to anything I have said today Tucker. My guess is you will not…..

JB

October 13th, 2010
2:39 pm

Unions killed the American Auto Industry……Not republicans……………$100,000 a year for 25 years of service, 60,000 pension, 12 weeks off every year with pay during model change, paid 80% or so of pay by union during strikes…………….Yea, hard to compete with Japan with those numbers

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

October 13th, 2010
2:39 pm

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
2:37 pm

Yeah, well I bet most of the fat people in those states were originally from a northern state. :cool:

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:40 pm

Bert

- -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- -

Do you live in a cave? What healthcare are you talking about?

lots of it was enacted two weeks ago, and since it is also called the Insurance Companies Enrichment Act of 2010, the insurance companies have no restrictions of what they can charge for anything, including pre-existing conditions, except, now, no matter what the Insurance Companies want to charge a person because of preexisting conditions, they can and the person WILL BE FORCED TO PAY THE PREMIUMS, NO MATTER HOW LARGE THEY ARE.

90% of the bill simply expands medicaid. If you think anyone will drop real health insurance for medicaid, you are out of your mind.

EDUCATE THYSELF!!! Who knows, maybe an educated Bert might be well informed enough to be a Republican.

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:41 pm

Nothing is free: If you knew just a little about the industry. car manufacturing is a small portion of the industry. You know that building you use to work in…what do you think it is made of

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:43 pm

Nothing is free: Yes, certain parts of it was inacted two weeks ago, but you haven’t seen the cost hit you yet. You are complaining in anticipation. It’s like screaming ouch before it gets in

everyday American

October 13th, 2010
2:45 pm

i’m still trying to figure out why Barnes is running for Governor again, didn’t he get the memo, Dem’s want change!! not the same ole same ole..he’s already had his chance…

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
2:46 pm

UH Bert…The costs will be seen in your Jan 2011 renewal. Our open enrollment begins next month. One plan price increase by 18%. Another plan price increase by 12%. Over the counter meds no longer covered under FSA. Emergency room visits $85 now in lieu of $75.

Also we were notified to expect year over year double digit price increase due to The President Healthcare initiative.

Relax…yours is in the mail.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:46 pm

AmVet
October 13th, 2010
2:37 pm

Almost on a daily basis I see you griping about some anonymous poster “changing” their name. What’s up with that? Is your first name “Am” and surname “Vet” and you think everyone else should do that? I just don’t understand the anger. Most posters on here wouldn’t go within a hundred miles of using anything remotely like their real name.

Also, does the opposing opinion truly anger you that much? I mean, do you get into a political conversation with friends and say “ol leg lamp really ticked me off today”, or “my buddy Kamchak was right on the money with his 3:15 comment”?

These posts are nothing but entertainment. I doubt if anyone holding strong convictions would come on this board and change their convictions based on a post by an ananomous person. At least those with TRUE convictions (like you and me) wouldn’t change.

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
2:47 pm

FACT-Obama said unemployment will not exeec[sic] 8%

Someone just told a whopper.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
2:48 pm

Nothing Is Free
October 13th, 2010
2:40 pm

“talk to me in two years when you decide to drop your current health care for it-…”

What about when your company DROPS your coverage because of your pre-existing condition? Where’s the default value here?? I have a good friend whose company dropped HIM because he went on disability due to renal failure. He was employed…and was paying his company-rated insurance premiums when the COMPANY dropped HIM!! His only option IS Medicare/Medicaid!! He can’t get any other insurance because of the premim rate!! Had another friend who just recently died…her rates were over $3000/mo….and when she developed stage 4 breast cancer….

Need we say more??

There MUST be a default insurance coverage for those who are unemployed or who can’t afford BCBS….and since too many here decry UNIVERSAL coverage….a REPUBLICAN idea (Teddy Roosevelt and Mitt Romney)…what would YOU suggest??

willie lynch

October 13th, 2010
2:49 pm

Interestingly the best Colleges and Universities are located up north.

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
2:49 pm

Without any response to any of my posts today Tucker, I will take that as you are another far left Liberal who adds nothing to the public discourse except hot air, or is it co2, or is it global warming/climate change/ or is it global climate disruption. Which term have you chosen to adopt at this point Tucker? My point being, if YOU stop talking, you will reduce ‘whatever you want to call it’ by half…your silence speaks volumes ma’am…

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:49 pm

HDB

It’s a scam:

1) Health care system. The initial iteration will need refining…but elimination of pre-existing conditions is a good first step

there are no restrictions on what the insurance companies can charge for insuring people with pre-existing conditions, except now the person HAS TO PAY WHATEVER THE INSURANCE COMPANIES DECIDE TO CHARGE. Is that better? Not even close, but instead, much worse.

2) Financial reform – sorely needed in the light of what has happened in the financial markets

That was backed by the largest banks in the country, and you believe it is for the people and not the banks? Have you bounced a check since the bill was passed? Suntrust (which I love compared to BOA) now charges $36 for bounced checks when they charged 30 before the bill.

3) Lily Ledbetter Act: Pay equity…..

Nobody has jobs.

4) Tax breaks for small business owners is a part of the stimulus package

I’m a small business owner. Didn’t happen. My taxes are a lot higher this year and my accountant says to bend over for next year.

5) Greater depreciation of equipment has been held up by the GOP in the Senate…that would help you…..

Actually, I’m a C-Corp, not an S. I write if off when I buy it. But right now, I can’t afford to buy a lottery ticket.

I know you have a good heart, but this is garbage. It has been an out and out assault on business since 2007.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:49 pm

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
2:47 pm

I guess that depends on what your definition of the word “said” is. (thanks Bill). ;)

everyday American

October 13th, 2010
2:49 pm

i guess you’re right, it hasn’t hit yet. BUT we were notified that it will in exactly two weeks..close enough..

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
2:51 pm

Kamchak,
Don’t waste my time….

HDB

October 13th, 2010
2:52 pm

Cynthia Is Sexy!!
October 13th, 2010
2:46 pm
“Also we were notified to expect year over year double digit price increase….”

Wasn’t this happening BEFORE Obama got into the White House?? I was seeing 20-30% increases under Bush every year (contingent on the coverages I chose!)…..but now, the increase in my open enrollment is just at 10%…..and that is with the HMO option……

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:53 pm

Cynthia is Sexy: I have seen the increase since 2006, so please explain those cost increases. Health care cost have been increasing exponetial for the last 10 years; however, we on find time to talk about it when it suits our partisan politics.

everyday American

October 13th, 2010
2:53 pm

according to Obama, a C-Corp and an S-Corp are in the same bracket as a Marine Corp…with an emphasis on the ‘P’…

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
2:55 pm

Kamchak,
Don’t waste my time….

Obama never said it, sport.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
2:55 pm

willie lynch

October 13th, 2010
2:49 pm
Interestingly the best Colleges and Universities are located up north.

Hold on there….there are some GREAT schools here in the South!

Engineering: Georgia Tech, Texas, Tennessee and Florida State
Medical: Duke, Emory, FSU, Florida, LSU, Meharry
Agriculture: UGA, Auburn

That’s a start…..

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
2:56 pm

We had increases but not to this extent…plan % increases and not double digits. Emergency room visit hasnt increased in years. The FSA over the counter purchase elimination is new. I also belive Obama doesnt want FSA deductions allowances over $500, however, I could be wrong on that one.

SO…add to that the Obama tax increase/elimination of the Bush tax cuts (possibility) and thats a HUGE double whammy. Now this will really hurt the families making say $30K to $55K…they just got a royal screwing.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
2:57 pm

“according to Obama, a C-Corp and an S-Corp are in the same bracket as a Marine Corp…”

AHH HAHHAAAA!! LMAO!

Bert

October 13th, 2010
2:58 pm

Nothing is free: If your taxes were higher, you either made more money, or you need a new accountant.

ODDOWL

October 13th, 2010
2:59 pm

The stimulus bill created more then three million permanent jobs. source; Congressional budget office. President Barack Obama and the Democrats have created more jobs in the last two years then the Bush/Cheney Regime created in eight years. That’s a fact based on the preponderance of the evidence. A vote for a Republican candidate is a vote for a double dip recession/depression.

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
2:59 pm

willie lynch

The North is a great place to become a book worm.

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

October 13th, 2010
2:59 pm

Good ol Joe. BAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

“BIDEN: Dems not running on administration’s accomplishments because ‘it’s just too hard to explain’…”

willie lynch

October 13th, 2010
3:00 pm

A friend of mine is covered by one of the larger healthcare providers in Georgia. A couple of years ago that provider came in and told them that their plan was changing from the standard co-pay set up to a threshold based yearly number determined by some convoluted system. Needless to say after seeking treatment recently and being billed $1500.00 he was told by the insurance company they would pay $500.00 and he would be on the hook for the other $1000.00.

If after paying $200.00 a month for coverage this is how it shakes out, then I’m all in favor of a healthcare overhaul.

Bert

October 13th, 2010
3:00 pm

Families of four making 30-55K don’t pay taxes. 55K for a family of four is justly slightly above 200% of the poverty line

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
3:00 pm

“The stimulus bill created more then three million permanent jobs. source; Congressional budget office”

Well when the CBO gets the actual ObamaCare costs figured out then lettuce know. The CBO is for SHYT…try again friend.

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

October 13th, 2010
3:01 pm

Obama just has this kind of effect on people.

“Rove-backed group raised $13M since attacks from Obama”

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
3:01 pm

ODDOWL

Temp jobs and/or government jobs which we all have to pay for are not the solution.

A vote for democrats is obvious. They haven’t done anything right so far. Do you really think they will change?

Democrats: Hurting millions to help dozens.

Bert

October 13th, 2010
3:02 pm

I am starting to realize where I have heard the tone of this argument before…I think it was when we invade Iraq (the second time). Everyone was for it. Now everybody thinks it wasa bad idea. I wonder if this will be the reverse.

Bert

October 13th, 2010
3:02 pm

I am starting to realize where I have heard the tone of this argument before…I think it was when we invade Iraq (the second time). Everyone was for it. Now everybody thinks it wasa bad idea. I wonder if this will be the reverse.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
3:02 pm

Well I dont know about all that…who pays and who doesnt. I certainly do though. Bottom line. The families even if they dont pay taxes just received less coverage/benefits for more dollars.

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
3:03 pm

A big factor in the north versus south debate is something that many people in this generation don’t understand, or completely fail to take into account, and that is the damage done to the south during reconstruction. I’m not taking one side or the other, but if you ever get a chance, look at just how far behind reconstruction forced the south. Again, this isn’t pro-slavery, or anti-Yankee, I’m merely stating historical fact.

Bert

October 13th, 2010
3:04 pm

It’s like the guy whose house burned down over $75. If you don’t pay, how can you complain about the results. Welcome to capitalism

HDB

October 13th, 2010
3:04 pm

Nothing Is Free
October 13th, 2010
2:49 pm

Understand your POV (thanks for the “good heart”!); what I’d been advocating for a while is this:

1) Government-run baseline HMO; major medical/catastrophic coverage by insurance….subsidized contingent to income levels
2) Two year FREEZE on federal spending; complete cost-benefit analysis run to determine where saving could occur
3) Education spending be consigned to Dept of Education for higher education
4) Veterans should be allowed to attend school for free – no matter what era because of their service
5) Consolidation of areas in the Defense Deptartment (Logistics, procurement….)
6) Merging of HHS, HUD into one HHS!
7) Infrastructure spending to commence
8) Dept of Education become a private/public consortium to address educational issues……

Opinion??

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
3:04 pm

“BIDEN: Dems not running on administration’s accomplishments because ‘it’s just too hard to explain’…”

No doubt Biden doesnt understand. He is such a good comedian!!

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

October 13th, 2010
3:05 pm

Gee, I’m sooooo glad we have someone as smart as him to help teleprompt, er, uh, I mean explain this. :roll:

“OBAMA: DC’s ‘lightning fast’ news cycle confuses Americans… “

willie lynch

October 13th, 2010
3:05 pm

HDB,

I know this. But for all the talk of what the North isn’t I thought we might need to shed some light on where the nations preeminent Colleges and Universities reside.

Nothing,

And the problem is?

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
3:05 pm

everyday American

It cost a lot more to become a C-Corp, but in the words of my accountant,” nobody in Washington gives a damn about small businesses so they will treat the s-corp folks like farm animals. C-Corps are for big business: the people with lobbyist and tickets to the SuperBowl to be given away. Those tax advantages are rock solid. He was right about that.

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
3:07 pm

Well, Biden says the administration’s accomplishments are too hard to explain, and Obama says that the DC news cycle confuses Americans. He also said that there is so much information out there that it is a distraction. This is what they think of us.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

October 13th, 2010
3:07 pm

“OBAMA: DC’s ‘lightning fast’ news cycle confuses Americans… “

He’s right…We need Daddy – Ayetoolah – Obama to splain thinks tu us dumb bunnies.

Nothing Is Free

October 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

willie lynch

No problem if you want to spend your life where you can die for taking a walk outside in December.

Personally, I like to swim, to keep myself in great shape, to be around smart, active people who are always positive and friendly, i.e. the North has nothing to offer me.

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

October 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

Real surprise here, right?

MTV: Obama town hall not political; no equal time for GOP…

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

October 13th, 2010
3:09 pm

Yet another shocker.

MTV ‘Pressuring Employees’ to Attend Jon Stewart’s Political Rally…

Bert

October 13th, 2010
3:09 pm

Nothing is Free: Undoubtedly seen too many TV cop shows