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.
They 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.
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.