Friday, August 6, 2010

$391 Billion in Stimulus Creates a $340 Billion GDP Increase ($51 Billion Lost)

This is the kind of 'bang for your buck' that you get with a cash bonfire . Keep in mind that the numbers come from Obama policy supporters who actually thought they were arguing in favor of what he did.

"And in fact, though the authors wax enthusiastically over the ARRA stimulus, the calculations in the report show that the stimulus package was hugely inefficient and wasteful. I backed out some numbers from the report – numbers that Blinder & Zandi didn’t see fit to present. I’m using their numbers to compare the situation as it is (“Stimulus+Policy”) with the prediction for financial reform+TARP but no stimulus (“Just Policy”) Take a look at what I found:


Just Policy

GDP (1Q09 – 2Q10)

$19,558 Billion

$19,218 Billion

GDP Boost From Stimulus

$340 Billion

ARRA Stimulus Spent

(1Q09 – 2Q10)

$391 Billion

That’s right. According to Blinder & Zandi, we’ve spent $391 billion in stimulus money in “now” dollars, to get a GDP increase of $340 billion (in 2005 dollars), so we lost $51 billion. Lost $51 billion. If you adjust for inflation, it only cost us about $10 billion, but the point is that rather than spending the money in a way that has a big economic multiplier, it’s been spent with a economic multiplier less than 1.

They also tell us that their modeling predicts that the stimulus itself was responsible for 2.5 million jobs. If you simply take that at face value, and divide it into the $391 billion spent thus far, you find that each job cost us more than $150K. Yep – each job over that 18 month period cost us $100K/yr.


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