In Case You Missed It: Economists say Recovery Act on track with jobs goals, economy better off than without stimulus
A Saturday, November 21st story in The New York Times highlights analysis by a wide range of economists who say that the economy is better off today than it would have been without the Recovery Act and that predictions related to created and saved jobs are on track. The article “New Consensus Sees Stimulus Package as Worthy Step” points out that, for an economy in free fall one year ago, there are measurable factors confirming the stimulus has stemmed job losses and was structured appropriately to help weather the road of a predictably long and initially jobless recovery.
From the article (emphasis mine):
The legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), a variety of economists say, is helping an economy in free fall a year ago to grow again and shed fewer jobs than it otherwise would. Mr. Obama’s promise to “save or create” about 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010 is roughly on track, though far more jobs are being saved than created, especially among states and cities using their money to avoid cutting teachers, police officers and other workers.
“It was worth doing — it’s made a difference,” said Nigel Gault, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, a financial forecasting and analysis group based in Lexington, Mass.
Mr. Gault added: “I don’t think it’s right to look at it by saying, ‘Well, the economy is still doing extremely badly, therefore the stimulus didn’t work.’ I’m afraid the answer is, yes, we did badly but we would have done even worse without the stimulus.”
In interviews, a broad range of economists said the White House and Congress were right to structure the package as a mix of tax cuts and spending, rather than just tax cuts as Republicans prefer or just spending as many Democrats do. And it is fortuitous, many say, that the money gets doled out over two years — longer for major construction — considering the probable length of the “jobless recovery” under way as wary employers hold off on new hiring.
Click here for the full article “New Consensus Sees Stimulus Package as Worthy Step” published Saturday, November 21st in The New York Times.