Monday, August 20, 2012

Unemployment and The Recovery Plan

Thanks to Instapundit, We can see that graph that shows how unemployment was supposed to be resolved with the stimulus.

Anyone can look at this chart and see that the recovery plan (stimulus) did not work at all like our president said that it would, but how about another perspective?

We spent, or will spend, $831 billion on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

For that, the president expected, essentially a 0.4% reduction in unemployment 3 1/2 years later (now).

Had we taken that $831 billion and divided it amongst the 0.4% of the population (1,240,000) million and we could have given them each a check for $670,000.  (I know that not all of the population is included in the unemployment numbers.  Were we to divide the stimulus by the people who this law would have directly helped 3 1/2 years later the check would be larger.)

Name the argument in favor of the stimulus and tell me how a check for $670,000 given to one and a quarter million Americans would have not done the same?

According to the census (found thanks to this), in 2010 there were 194,296,087 Americans from the ages of 18 to 64.  If we use that number as our population, we can look at some other numbers (All numbers for July 2012)(Unemployed only counts those who are actively looking for work. Notice, also, that I'm ignoring the closer to accurate unemployment number of 11% in order to bias these numbers in favor of the stimulus.):

Unemployed: 8.3%, 16,126,575
Number who would not be unemployed had the stimulus worked to plan: 0.4%, 777,184

We could have given each unemployed individual a one time check for almost $52,000.

We could have given each person who would have been helped, 3 1/2 years later (had the stimulus worked to plan) each a one time check for $1,069,000.

If the goal of the recovery plan was to reduce unemployment, did it?  If the goal was something else, was that accomplished?

Rather than spend money who knows where, we could have saved that money in 2009 and given each of the unemployed in 2012 a check for $52,000.

Which would have made the lives of Americans better: 1.) the stimulus plan as it happened or 2.) each unemployed person getting a check for $52,000?

We wasted $831 billion, and have what exactly, to show for it?

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