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Did the "stimulus" work? Republicans claim it was a failure, a waste of money, and was the reason the deficit soared. So let's see what happened. And I do mean "see."

(Actually, the deficit soared in Bush's last budget year -- all the way to $1.4 trillion! The stimulus kicked in after that. And now the deficit is down by more than half from where Bush left it. But hey, apparently repetition of lies is better than knowledge of facts...)

Anyway ... did the stimulus work? See for yourself:

The very left side of this chart shows the last few months of the Bush administration. Those lines going down and down and down show job losses. By the time Bush left we were losing over 800,000 jobs per month.

Then the stimulus kicked in. See how the lines start going up and up and up? After a year the country was gaining jobs again, and has been ever since.

The stimulus worked, but it was not enough.


This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture.  I am a Fellow with CAF.  Sign up here for the CAF daily summary

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm confused... (0+ / 0-)

    If the stimulus "worked," what does the closing sentence mean? "The stimulus worked, but it was not enough."

    And, it's widely accepted fact that the majority of "new jobs" are a poor replacement (majority of new jobs are very low-paying) for the old jobs.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 07:55:13 PM PST

  •  Different Times (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After WWII we were also up to our eyeballs in debt.

    We were able to pay that down because we had the only functioning economy in the world because we weren't touched by the war.

    We supplied the world with everything it could want and need to 2 decades with no competition.

    It was a unique point in time historically and not analogous to anything we could reasonably do now.

    We could do a massive stimulus now, but there is no world waiting to be rebuilt with all our new and fancy stuff that is going to off-set the debt we incurred to do it.

    Besides, it is getting to the point with debt that if we ever got back to even normal growth and interest rates that debt service costs would eat up an intolerable part of the budget.

    Sustained real economic growth would bring higher interest rates. Our politicians don't want that, so they will continue to nibble around the margins to keep the government borrowing costs down.

    A real recovery would invite a new headache that none of them seem prepared to deal with.

    •  Not investing in upgraded and innovated... (4+ / 0-)

      ...infrastructure now is going to make things worse than extra debt. That improved infrastructure will smooth the way for a rejuvenated economy, if, of course, we do other things as well, one of which is to rework our trade pacts.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:30:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  'supplied the world with everything' was not true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfm, samddobermann

      Exports (and imports) accounted for less than 6% of the US' GDP during that whole time in the 50's and 60's.  Poor countries typically don't buy anything from rich, expensive countries. In fact, during that whole period we had fairly high tariffs. This was before the 'free trade' delusion took hold.

      Your point about the debt is also wrong.Economic growth will automatically shrink the deficits and debt. So you don't have to wring your hands worrying about 'what if the economy recovers and interest rates rises?'  If the economy recovers, we (the government) don't need to borrow as much, and the problem solves itself.

  •   inflation is not a bad thing, so long as it is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    not in the double digits like in the late 70s. a 3-4% is imo managable. currently inflation is what 1.5%. if anything deflation is more of a concern than hyperinflation.  you put people to pay, they pay thier taxes and spend thier paychecks. multiply that 10s of millions of times over and all the times those dollars change hands from stores to supplies to movies, and the value of our gdp will likely grow a great deal- since you know we're doing stuff.hell we likely will generate enough revenue in the federal coffers to start hacking at our debt.the really dumb thing aboutt bush, was that they never bother to raise money to pay for thier newfangled wars. now that we are getting our troops home, use the peace dividend to start fixing our freaking country. and yes the stimulus was too small. it likely needed to be 3-5 times what it was. 2.4-4 trillion.

  •  It benefited me personally (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, samddobermann, puakev

    Thanks to the stimulus money, my commute has greatly improved due to a widening of the freeway I use to get to and from work. So, yea, for me, the stimulus was a godsend.

  •  Most MIC companies here at Ground Zero (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    in the Valley of the War Profiteers are expanding their properties, building new, mysterious-looking buildings, clearing ground, etc. Two are immensely visible: Harris Corp and GE.
    Always there's a sign saying they're expanding with stim money, signed by PBO.
    These companies obviously, expertly, know how to get their mitts on the ca$hola.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:17:34 AM PST

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