pork-laden monstrosity stimulus program was an absolute failure:
Wilson’s study makes an important contribution to this debate by focusing on state-by-state comparisons. A large portion of stimulus funding at the state level was based on criteria that were entirely independent of the economic situation that states faced. For example, the number of existing highway miles was used to calculate additional transportation spending.
The study uses this resulting variation in state-level stimulus funding to determine what impact ARRA funding had on employment — including both the direct impact of workers hired to complete planned projects, as well as any broader spillover effects resulting from greater government spending. Administration economists have repeatedly emphasized the importance of this indirect employment growth in driving economic recovery.
The results suggest that though the program did result in 2 million jobs “created or saved” by March 2010, net job creation was statistically indistinguishable from zero by August of this year. Taken at face value, this would suggest that the stimulus program (with an overall cost of $814 billion) worked only to generate temporary jobs at a cost of over $400,000 per worker. Even if the stimulus had in fact generated this level of employment as a durable outcome, it would still have been an extremely expensive way to generate employment.
In other words, on the advice —nay, the insistence!— of the President and (Social) Democratic leadership, we borrowed and blew over $800 billion dollars… for nothing! Well, except for unused airports, frozen fish sperm, and coke for monkeys, among other things.
Actually, it was less than nothing, for the study shows how assistance to state Medicaid programs actually cost jobs:
Interestingly, federal assistance to state Medicaid programs appears to have decreased local and state government employment. One possibility is that requirements to maintain full Medicaid benefits in order to receive federal aid proved sufficiently expensive that state governments pushed though additional rounds of layoffs in non-health related areas.
Oh, well done, you geniuses. Go ahead, pat yourselves on the back. Trusted by the voters to heal a sick economy, you acted like drunken sailors in a brothel on payday and actually made it worse. And now we’re stuck with your hangover. High fives and group hugs all around!!
It’s no wonder the voters took you to the woodshed last month. It is a wonder they didn’t have you shot.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)