Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Stimulus Package and Delaware

Call it the return of bumper sticker economics. In an effort to come up with ever more pithy slogans, Republican opponents of the stimulus package have left the data far behind.
Last week, GOP chair Michael Steele
offered this absurd comment on the stimulus package:
“You and I know that in the history of mankind and womankind, government—federal, state or local—has never created one job,” he said. “It’s destroyed a lot of them.”
That's remarkable: $800 billion, and not a single job. It's possible that Steele defines the word "job" differently than you or I. To me a job is an arrangement in which a worker performs valuable service, and is compensated in return.
The White House yesterday presented
a state by state assessment of the jobs and other benefits that would be created by the stimulus package:
In Delaware, this plan will deliver immediate, tangible impacts, including:
• Creating or saving 11,300 jobs over the next two years. Jobs created will be in a range of industries from clean energy to health care, with over 90% in the private sector. [Source: White House Estimate based on Romer and Bernstein, “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.” January 9, 2009.]
• Providing a making work pay tax cut of up to $1,000 for 330,000 workers and their families. The plan will make a down payment on the President’s Making Work Pay tax cut for 95% of workers and their families, designed to pay out immediately into workers’ paychecks. [Source: White House Estimate based on IRS Statistics of Income]
• Making 8,000 families eligible for a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to make college affordable. By creating a new $2,500 partially refundable tax credit for four years of college, this plan will give 3.8 million families nationwide – and 8,000 families in Delaware – new assistance to put college within their reach. [Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of U.S. Census data]
• Offering an additional $100 per month in unemployment insurance benefits to 54,000 workers in Delaware who have lost their jobs in this recession, and providing extended unemployment benefits to an additional 9,000 laid-off workers. [Source: National Employment Law Project]
• Providing funding sufficient to modernize at least 28 schools in Delaware so our children have the labs, classrooms and libraries they need to compete in the 21st century economy. [Source: White House Estimate]
Those 11,000 jobs would be good news to the 27,665 Delawareans who were unemployed in December. Governor Jack Markell is reporting that
16,500 residents lost their jobs last year. 11,300 new jobs would knock 1.9 percentage points off Delaware's unemployment rate, and reverse two-thirds of last year's job losses.

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