Stimulus
There were two so-called "stimulus" programs. One under President BUSH. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, The law provides for tax rebates to low- and middle-income U.S. taxpayers, tax incentives to stimulate business investment, and an increase in the limits imposed on mortgages eligible for purchase by government-sponsored enterprises (e.g., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). The total cost of this bill was projected at $152 billion for 2008. The 2nd under President OBAMA — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or ARRA. The approximate cost of the economic stimulus package was estimated to be $787 billion at the time of passage. The primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Secondary objectives were to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in infrastructure, education, health, and ‘green’ energy. The Act also included many items not directly related to economic recovery. Was it successful? Depends on whom you ask, of course. Conservatives will say unemployment is near double-digits and growth is slow, so clearly it didn’t work. Liberals will say yes, unemployment is too high but that’s just a sign the stimulus wasn’t big enough. It worked when you think about how much higher unemployment would have been without it. And, come to think of it, we need more stimulus. Each side can find facts and models to fit its worldview. See the debate below.

Wired to Fail

8/17/15
from NCPA,
8/17/15:

A Politico investigation found that roughly half of the nearly 300 projects the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) approved as part of the 2009 Recovery Act have not yet obligated the full amounts they were awarded. - All RUS-funded infrastructure projects were supposed to have completed construction by the end of June, but the agency has declined to say whether these rural networks have been completed. - More than 40 of the projects RUS initially approved never got started at all, raising questions about how RUS screened its applicants and made its decisions in the first place. If these networks do not draw all their cash by the end of September, they will have to forfeit what remains. In other words, they may squander as much as $277 million in still-untapped federal funds, which can\'t be spent elsewhere in other neglected rural communities. Either way, many rural residents who should have benefited from better Internet access -- a utility that many consider as essential as electricity -- might continue to lack access. Even RUS admits it\'s not going to provide better service to the 7 million residents it once touted; instead, the number is in the hundreds of thousands. The checkered performance of RUS offers an all-too-familiar story of an obscure federal agency that has grown despite documented failures, thanks in large part to its political patrons in Congress. "We are left with a program that spent $3 billion," says Mark Goldstein, an investigator at the Government Accountability Office, "and we really don\'t know what became of it."

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