Here’s More Proof The Stimulus Saved The U.S. Economy

Republicans and conservatives have an annoying habit of not believing reality. They don’t believe in climate change or evolution, but they do believe that tax cuts magically create growth, that there was a relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, and that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Recovery ActThey believe these things often out of self-delusion and wanting conservative leaders to be right in the face of “liberal” facts, but also because they surround themselves by conservative media – tv, radio, print, and online – that repeats these untruths to them in a 24-7 drumbeat of mendacity.

The stimulus — the American Recovery Act — was the biggest piece of legislation passed by President Obama and the Democratic Congress in his first year in office. They inherited an economy near complete collapse thanks to a policy of deregulation across multiple presidencies and a lack of oversight and imagination by the Bush administration.

The Act was not perfect, and I believe — along with other more economically knowledgeable people — had it been composed of more direct investment and not balanced with tax cuts and cuts to government employment, would be even more successful  But make no mistake: It worked. It wasn’t some tax cut voodoo but old fashioned Keynesian economics that has added millions of jobs while eventually lowering the employment rate. The Obama stimulus beat the Bush recession.

The charts below are from a research document created by economist Mike Norman.

How The Stimulus Raised GDP

At the low point of the Bush recession, GDP was in negative territory. Now it is positive.

How The Stimulus Stopped Rising Unemployment

As the Bush recession took hold, we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs each month, and were well on our way to 10% unemployment. Unemployment is now below 8%, post-stimulus.

How The Stimulus Added Jobs

Again, we’ve gone from jobs lost to jobs gained. One of the funniest bits of this is, as the stimulus began to add jobs to the economy, conservatives complained that these were just government jobs (including some insane hysteria about the census for the first time ever). Never mind that past government stimulus led to growth with government employment, under Obama conservatives insist we simply cannot adhere anymore to past rules of measure. Something about the president being a Democrat or something.

Anyways, the administration began to point out that the private sector had also gone from negative to positive territory on job growth. And conservatives went on to mumble about other, nuttier conspiracy theories.

How The Stimulus Helped Auto Sales

The stimulus and the auto rescue helped to keep afloat one of the country’s top industries. Many were conflicted about the auto rescue (including myself!) but few went as far as Mitt Romney to say “let Detroit go bankrupt.” Thank goodness we didn’t. The U.S. auto industry is back, and millions of jobs that could have been lost via a ripple effect were saved.

How The Stimulus Save Retail Sales, Business Investment, Household Net Worth, & More

It’s worth reading the entire document to see just how much the stimulus pushed us back from disaster and has laid a foundation for future growth. But here are a few other noteworthy charts that show the vital changes made to the U.S. economy. It isn’t socialism, and we aren’t headed towards stagnation — unless we make the wrong choice in November and head back to the policies of failure from the right.


  • db


    “I guess you’re not aware that now it’s the Dems that are the poll truthers questioning the weightings.”

    Not really. I’ve said it before any poll is a snapshot of a moving river. Any one doesn’t tell you much.


    We’re about to lose George McGovern. Probably the most honorable man to run for President in his generation.


    • M2

      He had a good run. Sounds like a terrible way to leave though.

  • Plunket

    Hillary falls on her sword, Obama hides behind her skirt.

    Hillary is the mommy, Bubba is the daddy.

    Joe Biden is the crazy old uncle.

    It’s both a soap opera and a freak show.

    • db


      Topic. It’s not those places where it’s hot.

      We were discussing the stimulus & other bailouts. But you’ve apparently got another “scandal du jour” to run off on.

      • Plunket


        You guys were talking about dishwashing, or something stupid like that. And even that was a long time ago. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to sort out the internals on this latest Daily Kos/PPP national poll that has Romney with a 4 pt lead and broaching the 50% mark. Kos kids seem to doubt their own polling, not sure why.

        • db

          Have a good time.

          You know my opinion of polls. I guess they’re not being skewed anymore? You were hot about that a week or so ago.

          • Plunket

            That wasn’t me, actually, but if you’re not paying attention to polls then I guess you’re not aware that now it’s the Dems that are the poll truthers questioning the weightings.

      • M2

        As a Republican, he’s isn’t accustomed to anyone taking responsibility for anything.

        • Plunket

          You mean unlike President The Buck Stops at the State Department, Marco?

          Gallup: Romney 50% Obama 46%


          • M2

            More polls you laugh at? Awesome.

            I told you before I trusted Hillary in charge, and she is, as per usual. It’s called “Just doing my job.” which is why it’s so foreign to you guys.

            After years of “What, us? Naaah.” it’s quite refreshing.

  • M2

    “I never once claimed I hated it. Just d-bags who rely on it because they can’t present their own arguments in their own words.”

    Like you just did.

    “So now you’re Joe Biden???”

    Well, conservatives do seem to be whining like bitches, so…

    “Name a worse post-WWII recovery, Marco. If this can even be termed a recovery to begin with.”

    Name a worse recession other than the great depression. Name a plan Mitt and Eddie Munster has that hasn’t been laughed off the table for its phony numbers.

    7.8 unemployment. Housing market coming back. Stock market solid. Auto industry saved.

    Four more years on the way.

    • M2

      And Paul can’t even make soup in a soup kitchen.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist his Bush turkey moment.

      • oi ly

        “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

        What a guy!

      • oi ly

        “Antal, a self-described independent voter, said that he “can’t fault my volunteers” for letting the campaign in but said that the campaign “didn’t go through the proper channels.”

        He noted that the soup kitchen relies on funding from private individuals who might reconsider their support if it appears that the charity is favoring one political candidate over another.”

        Amazing they would jeopardize a soup kitchen’s funding for a photo op. Oh well, they’re not voting for the ticket anyways, so who gives a rat’s ass. Right?

  • Plunket

    copypasta (which he claims he hates)

    I never once claimed I hated it. Just d-bags who rely on it because they can’t present their own arguments in their own words.

    “That record of futility can never have been approached in American history.”….BWAAAHAAAA!!!!!

    So now you’re Joe Biden???

    Name a worse post-WWII recovery, Marco. If this can even be termed a recovery to begin with.

  • M2

    Consistency and beliefs are for whiny liberals. – Zython

    Dennis just proved that with his copypasta (which he claims he hates) from his wingnut blog (he condemns liberals for linking to lefty blogs – fuck, he hates that we bother to read OW where he posts).

    Beyond laughter.

    “That record of futility can never have been approached in American history.”


    • db


      Excuse me for butting in between you & Dennis, but it strikes me that demographics itself are going to have more people leave the labor force than enter it. WWII ends in 1`945 & the Troops return. the Baby Boom starts in 1946. They’re turning 66 this year. So all you have to do is assume the retirement age is 62 (& that’s not a real stretch as that’s the first age you can pull SSI Retirement funds) and you have your explanation. Not quite the Obama-bash Dennis wanted though.


      “Name a worse post-WWII recovery, Marco”

      Name a worse post WWII recession, Dennis.

  • Plunket
  • Plunket

    USA Today/Gallup Poll: Swing States poll: Women push Romney into lead

    4:05PM EDT October 15. 2012 – WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney leads President Obama by five percentage points among likely voters in the nation’s top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank.

    As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee now ties the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-48%, while he leads by 12 points among men…….

    Thank you, Pluggs Biden!

    • db


      Changing the topic again?

      Wasn’t it only last week you were complaining that the polls were skewed by the “Liberal Pollster Conspiracy”?

      • Zython

        Don’t be silly, Dennis’s positions are whatever they need to be at any given time. Consistency and beliefs are for whiny liberals.

        • db

          Shaking the “Etch-a-Sketch’?

  • M2

    Well, if the AEI says so, let’s see Mitt and Paul’s math.

    Oh, that’s right. Never mind.

    • enlightened liberal

      I have CNBC on in the office and am seeing someone white-knighting Romney’s plan- “well it CAN work if we eliminate deductions, like mortgage interest, state tax credits…”

      If Romney/Ryan ADMITTED that they can ONLY achieve their objectives through removing the mortgage interest and property tax deductions they would lose by a Goldwater like margins. So lying is their only possible strategy.

  • SaveFarris

    This is bad as opposed to zero?

    Ford didn’t take the bailout. Last I heard, they were okay.

    Obama’s talking point about GM assumes a fundamental misunderstanding of the bankruptcy procedure. Had GM gone through bankruptcy, they’d still be around. (American Airlines is currently in bankruptcy RIGHT NOW. Guess what? Still in the air.)

    The only difference is that bankruptcy allows the company to fundamentally alter it’s structure in order to regain profitability. Instead, Obama skirted the process in order to financially reward his favored constituency without regard for actually setting up the company for future success.

    No one argues that we are where we’d like to be. … The question has always been, “where were we four years ago?”

    Four years ago, we had $5.5 trillion less in debt, a AAA credit rating, and (sketchy September BLS numbers aside) fewer unemployed. Despite Obama’s bluster, the fundamental causes of the downturn (housing, structural deficits) still haven’t been addressed. Even with trillion dollar deficits and QE-Infinity, the economy is still struggling along at a ‘we could technically already be in recession’ 1.3%.

    THIS is the new normal?!?

    • enlightened liberal

      As usual, Farris has no idea what he is talking about. And he also confuses correlation and causation.

    • db

      el beat me to some of it but:

      Where did you get your Law Degree? You want to explain Bankruptcy Law to us? To answer your point it depends on what type of bankruptcy you head into. Under Chapter 11 of the Code you try to reorganize the business. Under Chapter 7 the business is liquidated.

      But that & Ford are irrelevant. GM asked for the bailout. Theyt said they’d go bust without. You can call the GM BOD a bunch of liars if you choose, but President Obama (& I) believe they know what they’re talking about when they talk about their own financial status.

      I’ll toss in the impact on the Pension Guaranty Board as well.

      Housing is coming back. Foreclosures are down. Prices are up. & apparently the process of “flipping houses” is once again profitable.

      The US lost it’s AAA Bond rating because the Republican Congress played “chicken” with the Debt Ceiling. It was only two years ago, Farris, you remember, right?

      The “Liberal Media Pollster Conspiracy” infiltrasted the BLS statistics? That’s on “” too? Glad to see all those un-skewed polls showing Romney in a landslide. You want to get in on Frank’s side of the Romney 300 EV bet?

      • SaveFarris

        I love how EL throws out all those facts and figures and backs up his arguments. Top notch!

        But that & Ford are irrelevant. GM asked for the bailout.

        Comparing two organizations in the same situation undertaking a different strategy and achieving different results? And then studying those results to see which actions achieved preferable outcomes? Gee, I can’t imagine *WHAT* we might learn! You’re right: IRRELEVANT!!!!!!

        The US lost it’s AAA Bond rating because the Republican Congress played “chicken” with the Debt Ceiling.

        Obama 2012: The Buck Stops Nowhere Near Here

        Obama is the President, no? And part if his job is negotiating with Congress on things like the budget and debt ceiling, no? And he knew for months, if not years, that this problem was approaching and did literally nothing until the last minute before trying to pull a fast one on Boehner (per Bob Woodward), no?

        And it’s REPUBLICAN’S fault?!?

        The “Liberal Media Pollster Conspiracy” infiltrasted the BLS statistics?

        Every other time unemployment fell .3% in a month, it coincided with employment increases of 800,000+ and GDP growth of over 8%. What they announced was quite the statistical anomoly.

        Pretend those stats came out of a Bush/Chao Labor Department the month before his matchup with Kerry instead of Obama/Solis and tell me you wouldn’t raise the same questions.

        • enlightened liberal

          You’re arguments are ridiculous, I don’t debate with talking points. You violate just about every logical fallacy there is, you post links from right-wing think tanks, and you don’t apply the same standard to Obama that you apply for your side.

          You ask clown questions, bro.

        • db


          You took Constitutional Law too? You’re going to tell us that the President can pass laws all on his own? (well maybe Bush Jr. with his signing statements but that’s not what the Constitution envisions).

          Haven’t read Woodward’s book yet. Is it good?

          It wasn’t the President refusing to raise the debt ceiling. It wasn’t that long ago. Are you having short-term memory problems? I’ve heard there are some promising medical advances.

          Ford & GM decided on different paths. Your argument is not with President Obama and the ‘bailout”. Your argument is with the GM BOD. I’m sure they’d love to have you tell them what idiots they are for asking for a “bailout” from a Democrat.

          You’ve gone beyond “they all do it”. You’re now into “You would have done it.” I’ll leave it to DA to find the BLS stats for Aug-Nov 2004.

          • SaveFarris

            Ford & GM decided on different paths. Your argument is not with President Obama and the ‘bailout”. Your argument is with the GM BOD.

            My argument is with Bush(!!!) and Obama who allowed TARP to be written and implemented in such a way as to allow this type of cronyism to occur. $30 billion giveaways shouldn’t be allowed to ANYONE. GM or Halliburton. (Although at least with Halliburton we got something out of the deal. With GM, we just got a bunch of unusable Volts.)

            You’re going to tell us that the President can pass laws all on his own?

            Let’s ask Obama’s Welfare changes. Or NCLB waivers. Or his appointments to the NLRB. Or his new immigration policy. Or…

            It wasn’t the President refusing to raise the debt ceiling.

            Sure it was. He said he wouldn’t sign any deal that didn’t include tax increases that (in his own opinion) would cripple the economy. What exactly were Republicans supposed to do? Give him a blank check? From the S&P press release announcing the downgrade:

            “The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.”

            Remind me again which party was pushing for an increased focus on debt reduction and which party was the more debt, the merrier!

    • Zython

      causes of the downturn (housing, structural deficits) still haven’t been addressed

      1. You claimed before that the downturn was caused by an increase in the minimum wage.

      2. That’s because the GOP wants a moratorium on regulation.

      a AAA credit rating

      Which the GOP ruined by threatening not to pay the countries debt obligations.

      I guess “party of personal responsibility” doesn’t apply if you’re a white male.

      And it’s REPUBLICAN’S fault?!?

      You guys wanted the default. So yeah.

      And part if his job is negotiating with Congress on things like the budget and debt ceiling, no?

      He’s not supposed to negotiate with terrorists.

  • SaveFarris
    • db


      This is bad as opposed to zero?

      And yes, I recognize the “one link per post ” rule.

      No one argues that we are where we’d like to be. The Bush Recession was no ordinary recession and potentailly some fundamental economic changes have occurred.

      The question has always been, “where were we four years ago?”


      Farris proves that there is always both good news & bad news to be drawn out of any set of facts & figures. It’s really all in how you look at it. As long as farris, WMR, & the Republicans can phrase the questions their way, we lose.

  • SaveFarris
  • SaveFarris

    Want more? No Problem!

    Comparison of Recoveries

    • Plunket

      Pretty comical to say ‘the Stimulus saved the economy’ when it gave us much weaker results than Obama’s “What Happens If We Do Nothing” scenario.

  • SaveFarris

    Graphs, you say? Oh, we got ‘em.

  • M2

    Oh, and RIP Arlen.

    • db

      Indeed Marco,

      Specter was the kind of guy where disagreeing on this issue didn’t mean you might not agree on the next. Very frustrating to those who wish to pigeon-hole politicians.


      You & Mr. Norman write this as if it matters.

      It doesn’t fit the RW script & is thus not to be considered in the discussion. The RW ask the question, “Are you better off than four years ago?” Expecting the answer to be no. I believe it was Mr. Cesca who wrote (& supported) that the answer generally was not just “Yes.” but “Hell Yes.”

      The “stimulus” was a waste. Voter Fraud is widespread. Foreign Policy is a “failure because America is weak”. Defunding Planned Parenthood & PBS is a major solution to the deficit. The Republicans have made these the issues of the day. On Oct. 15th; I’m not sure there’s time to rephrase the questions.

  • M2

    Here’s a big chunk of the “stimulus sucks” crowd, from 2010 even.

    Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who called the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree” that “misses the mark on all counts,” wrote to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in October in support of a grant application from a group in his district which, he said, “intends to place 1,000 workers in green jobs.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Ryan said the congressman felt it was his job to provide “the basic constituent service of lending his assistance for federal grant requests.”

    Republican Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina and Jean Schmidt of Ohio sent letters in October asking for consideration of funding requests from local organizations training workers for energy-efficiency projects.

    In November, Ms. Schmidt said in a statement, “It is time to recall the stimulus funds that have not been spent before the Chinese start charging us interest.” Aides to the congresswomen said they had always supported local organizations in their requests for federal funding.

    None of the projects requested by the three House members received awards in funding decisions announced in January.

    The Environmental Protection Agency received two letters from Sen. John Cornyn of Texas asking for consideration of grants for clean diesel projects in San Antonio and Houston. Mr. Cornyn is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

    One of the letters was signed jointly with Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, also of Texas. The letter said that the Port of Houston Authority “has informed me of the positive impact this grant will have in the region by serving as a foundation for PHA’s Clean Air Strategy Plan, creating jobs, and significantly reducing diesel emissions.” Houston received millions of dollars in diesel funding.

    The agency also appeared to have received eight identical letters from Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah recommending infrastructure projects in his state, seven of which were sent before stimulus legislation was passed by Congress.

    Spokespeople for Mr. Cornyn and Mr. Bennett said they were just making sure their states received part of the spending once it had been agreed upon. Ms. Hutchison’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

    The entire congressional delegation of Alabama, including its two Republican senators, wrote to then-Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell asking for $15 million for cogongrass eradication and control programs in the state. The state ended up getting a $6.3 million grant.

    Republican Richard Shelby, the state’s senior senator, called the stimulus package “the socialist way” while it was being debated. A spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

  • M2

    Oliver, who needs all these charts when we have Paul Ryan’s letters?

    • enlightened liberal

      Exactly, Obama didn’t stop a plant from closing that was already closing so the stimulus was a waste.