Feb 24, 2010
It has been one year since U.S. President Barack Obama signed the $787-billion stimulus bill, the Recovery Act, to lift the U.S. out of recession, and threw an additional $50-billion lifeline to American homeowners facing foreclosure. The package was subsequently enriched and is now estimated at $862 billion, while the pledge to stem foreclosures has risen to $275 billion.
“One year later, thanks to the Recovery Act, we can stand here again and say that a second depression is no longer a possibility,” Obama said in marking the anniversary last week.
Oh no? Take another look at the numbers.
After all that spending — actual and committed (Congress passed an additional $155 billion in aid in December) — claims of job creation and economic growth remain highly suspect. The U.S. economy has shed more than eight million jobs since the recession began, and losses continue with 20,000 fewer jobs in January alone. A White House advisory council forecast that the economy will create 95,000 jobs per month this year. For forecasters, the year is not off to a good start. Unless the job generator shifts into a higher gear, one analysis concluded, it will take more than seven years to replace the jobs lost since 2007.