Posts Tagged: ARRA

Stimulus In a Parallel Universe: What America Can Learn from ‘Put Illinois to Work’

Tonya Grisby, a 39 year-old grandmother who lives in Chicago’s predominantly black and mostly poor Austin neighborhood, worked at a warehouse until December 2009. But the person Grisby carpooled with to work got laid off and, without a ride, Grisby was soon laid off as well.

Grisby had few prospects for employment until last May when she was hired by Chicago’s Westside Health Authority thanks to Put Illinois to Work – a government subsidized job program. Uncle Sam paid for Grisby to work a 40 hour-a-week front-desk job that paid $10 an hour. (more…)

Would you buy a used car industry overhaul from this guy?

Steven Rattner

Steven Rattner is hardly a disinterested party in gauging the effectiveness of the auto industry bailout that took place a year ago, but, writing in the Washington Post today, he may be right that the program worked.  The federal treasury and the American people stand to earn money on the GM bailout (we’re up $4 billion right now on our investment, according to Rattner) and even though the government owns so much of GM, it’s not being run by government officials, but by hard-driving corporate types who have begun bringing the word “profit” back into play, and cut GM’s expenses in North America by $8 billion this year.

Trickle-Up Stimulus: Recovery Funds Benefit D.C., but — which D.C.?

The Washington Post’s Alec MacGillis takes an insightful look at the way Washington spending tends to stay in Washington — a good portion of it goes to private contractors paid by federal agencies to find ways to spend stimulus funds.  Among the winners are giant consulting companies like Booz Allen Hamilton and small players like Simonson Management Services.

But these aren’t the jobs the stimulus is supposed to create.  V. Dion Haynes reports, also in the Post, on the rising jobless rate in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.  Government hiring is on the increase, but folks working in other sectors, like construction, are not getting jobs.  Looks like the stimulus is trickling up.


If you haven’t felt a rush of prosperity in your immediate neighborhood — or in your own wallet — remember that it’s not easy to get nearly $800 billion into the national economy in a hurry.  Alex MacGillis of the Washington Post explains, noting that economic stimulus funds are creating new government jobs before they can create new private sector ones.  Conservative critics in Congress are already talking about government waste, though as MacGillis reports, "dozens of newly hired auditors . . . are fanning out to scrutinize spending that is barely underway."  And new government jobs administering the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are opening not only in Washington, D.C., but also, so far, in Michigan and Texas.  Still, there is a need for speed on this spending.  If lots of new jobs aren’t created and new projects visible by the fall, the Obama administration will have a lot more explaining to do. -NH