Sat Aug 18, 2012, 07:24 AM
bigtree (59,368 posts)
President Obama's 'Stimulus' Act Lifted At Least 7 Million People Out Of Poverty
Last edited Sat Aug 18, 2012, 07:58 AM - Edit history (1)
from interview with Michael Grunwald, Time magazine correspondent who published The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era, an account of President Barack Obama's stimulus bill. Grunwald asserts that the stimulus has transformed America.
____ The Obama team thought a lot about the New Deal while they were putting the stimulus together, but times have changed since the New Deal. The Hoover Dam put 5,000 Americans to work with shovels. A comparable project today would only require a few hundred workers with heavy equipment . . ..
The New Deal was a journey, an era, an aura. The Recovery Act was just a bill on Capitol Hill.
Yet its aid to victims of the Great Recession lifted at least 7 million people out of poverty and made 32 million poor people less poor. It built power lines and sewage plants and fire stations, just like the New Deal. It refurbished a lot of New Deal parks and train stations and libraries.
Most of the money in the stimulus went to unsexy stuff designed to prevent a depression and ease the pain of the recession: aid to help states avoid drastic cuts in public services and public employees; unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other assistance for victims of the downturn; and tax cuts for 95 percent of American workers. And the money that did flow into public works went more toward fixing stuff that needed fixing — aging pipes, dilapidated train stations, my beloved Everglades — than building new stuff.
In its first year, the stimulus financed 22,000 miles of road improvements, and only 230 miles of new roads. There were good reasons for that. Repairs tend to be more shovel-ready than new projects, so they pump money into the economy faster. They also pass the do-no-harm test. (New sprawl roads make all kind of problems worse.) And they are fiscally responsible. Repairing roads reduces maintenance backlogs and future deficits; building roads add to maintenance backlogs and future deficits.
The stimulus included $27 billion to computerize our pen-and-paper health care system, which should reduce redundant tests, dangerous drug interactions and fatalities caused by doctors with chicken-scratch handwriting. It doubled our renewable power generation; it essentially launched our transition to a low-carbon economy. It provided a new model for government spending — with unprecedented transparency, unprecedented scrutiny, and unprecedented competition for the cash . . .
read more: http://www.tampabay.com/news/perspective/what-the-stimulus-worked/1246202
The New New Deal:
The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era
By Michael Grunwald
528 pages, $28,
Simon & Schuster
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President Obama's 'Stimulus' Act Lifted At Least 7 Million People Out Of Poverty (Original post)
|Surya Gayatri||Aug 2012||#2|