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Monday, January 11, 2010

Obama's $20 Billion Building Projects Have Not Helped Unemployment Rate

File this one under "yeah, people have been saying that"-- Jacobson at Legal Insurrection for starters.

From the AP article by Matt Apuzzo and Brett J. Blackledge:

"A federal spending surge of more than $20 billion for roads and bridges in President Barack Obama's first stimulus has had no effect on local unemployment rates, raising questions about his argument for billions more to address an 'urgent need to accelerate job growth.'

"An Associated Press analysis of stimulus spending found that it didn't matter if a lot of money was spent on highways or none at all: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless. And the stimulus spending only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, the analysis showed.

"With the nation's unemployment rate at 10 percent and expected to rise, Obama wants a second stimulus bill from Congress including billions of additional dollars for roads and bridges — projects the president says are 'at the heart of our effort to accelerate job growth.'

[...]

"But AP's analysis, which was reviewed by independent economists at five universities, showed the strategy of pumping transportation money into counties hasn't affected local unemployment rates so far.

"'There seems to me to be very little evidence that it's making a difference,' said Todd Steen, an economics professor at Hope College in Michigan who reviewed the AP analysis.

"And there's concern about relying on transportation spending a second time.

"'My bottom line is, I'd be skeptical about putting too much more money into a second stimulus until we've seen broader effects from the first stimulus,' said Aaron Jackson, a Bentley University economist who also reviewed AP's analysis.

[...]

"Even within the construction industry, which stood to benefit most from transportation money, the AP's analysis found there was nearly no connection between stimulus money and the number of construction workers hired or fired since Congress passed the recovery program. The effect was so small, one economist compared it to trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it.

"'As a policy tool for creating jobs, this doesn't seem to have much bite,' said Emory University economist Thomas Smith, who supported the stimulus and reviewed AP's analysis. "In terms of creating jobs, it doesn't seem like it's created very many. It may well be employing lots of people but those two things are very different.'

"Despite the disconnect, Congress is moving quickly to give Obama the additional road money he requested."

*sigh* More enormous amounts of money spent for no discernible effect. Welcome to the spending practices of the Obama administration and Left Congress...

1 comment:

  1. If it's not working, can we get our money back? Didn't think so. It would have helped if ANY of these guys in the WH had run a business or even taken a basic economics course.

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