Another good argument for the success of the stimulus bill


Juan Williams — a Fox News guy, no less — SAYS that while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has not achieved everything President Obama said it would, it’s still been a success:

First, the bulk of it was composed of tax cuts. In fact, the stimulus was one of the largest single tax cuts in U.S. history. To say the stimulus failed is to make the argument that tax cuts do not stimulate the economy.

Ninety-five percent of all Americans got a tax cut under the plan. Small businesses and working families received a tax cut. First-time homebuyers received a tax credit. Parents caring for their young children received a tax credit. Some 8 million people received tax credits and financial assistance to help pay for their college education.


It is important to keep in mind the dire condition of the economy when the stimulus passed. It was hemorrhaging jobs at the rate of hundreds of thousands per month. During President Bush’s last full month in office, December 2008, the economy lost 779,000 jobs. More jobs were lost that month than in any other single month in the previous 60 years. The GDP, the measure of all economic activity in the country, dropped by an unprecedented 9 percent in the final quarter of 2008.


Starting in April 2009, shortly after the stimulus was enacted, the outlook began to improve. The economy began losing fewer jobs per month and eventually started gaining jobs each month. In January 2012, the economy added 243,000 jobs. GDP in the final quarter of 2011 increased at a rate of 2.8 percent. Private-sector layoffs are now well below pre-2008 crisis levels. The stock market stabilized and there are now some signs of improvement in the national real estate market.