The Will of the People: More Stimulus Spending to Create Jobs

by Ben Hoffman

A recent Gallup poll showed that 60% of Americans favor more government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Read more… Right-wing media outlets would have you believe that the majority is against the stimulus, but really it’s just the majority of right-wingers who are against it.

There has been a lot of lying about the Recovery Act passed last year. Some claim that it cost over a trillion dollars and hasn’t created any jobs. Those are both lies.

First of all, the stimulus is a five year $792 billion program. About $223 billion in tax cuts have been issued so far as part of the Recovery Act. About 1/3 of the stimulus was tax cuts — a fact you’ll never hear about in the right-wing media outlets or even the mainstream media. Tax cuts do very little to stimulate the economy as shown by the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and the Reagan tax cuts.

About $289 billion has been spent on things like infrastructure improvements, renewable energy R&D, improvements to the energy grid, transportation, and money for states to avoid layoffs of teachers and other civic workers.

Read more…

Republicans and right-wingers claim the stimulus was a failure. Of course the stimulus didn’t fix all the problems with our economy, but it has helped. Economists at Goldman Sachs, IHS Global Insight, JPMorgan Chase and Macroeconomic Advisers say the stimulus boosted gross domestic product by 2.1% to 2.7%.

A detailed assessment of the government’s efforts to combat the recession concludes the stimulus created 2.7 million jobs. Unemployment would be 11% without the stimulus and 16.5% if neither the fiscal stimulus nor the banks’ rescue had been enacted. Read more…

There is also the multiplier effect of government spending on infrastructure. When jobs are created for the lower and middle class, people have more money to spend and they spend it. That creates more business for restaurants, stores, and all sectors of the economy. Some of the money is returned to the government when income taxes are paid and sales taxes create more revenue for local governments.

There’s a lot of noise these days for the government to “stop all the spending” because of the huge deficits. Most of it comes from the right who’s only concern is getting more Republicans in office. You never hear them complain about the three trillion dollars the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the country. They don’t mind that we’re spending 100s of billions to rebuild those countries but they hate that we’re spending money on our country.

America is in bad shape. We’re deep in debt, unemployment is hovering at almost 10%. And Republicans in the Senate are trying to block all attempts to stimulate the economy. Should Republicans gain control of one or both of the Houses of Congress, that will pretty much seal the fate of our country. While many progressives and liberals aren’t happy with Obama’s performance so far, things will be a lot worse if we allow the radical right to regain power.

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One Comment to “The Will of the People: More Stimulus Spending to Create Jobs”

  1. Thanks for the link to the Gallop poll. It’s interesting to note how many Republicans, Democrats & Independents are all for increasing the stimulus to the economy in order to create jobs!

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