By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
All the attention being paid to the healthcare debate has sort of pushed the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--also known as the stimulus--off the front page.
It's a shame really, because the latest employment figures--real unemployment figures--show it is still failing to deliver as promised. According to a table put together last December by the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, payroll employment declined everywhere except for North Dakota and the District of Columbia in the nine months since the stimulus had been signed into law.
As I wrote at the time, "It is not just that the $789 billion package has not had the effect the White House promised it would; it's that it may actually have been counterproductive, actually lengthening the recession by effectively taking money out of the private economy, where it could have been used to create jobs and for investment purposes."
On Friday, the committee released an updated version of that chart, which compares the White House's original projections of state-by-state job creation to the actual change in state payroll employment through February 2010 as measured by the U.S. Department of Labor. It shows that things have gone from bad to worse, with Alaska and D.C. now the only places to post job gains.
It's not too much of a stretch to believe that, with D.C. being the only place to consistently post job gains--no matter how meager--that the only thing stimulated by the Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been the government.