I was delighted to read the Post-Gazette article "The Stimulus: One Year Later" (Feb. 21). The Post-Gazette should be applauded for bucking the herd mentality of the media's cynicism over the stimulus measures.
One flaw in the article, though, is that it buys into the idea that the stimulus should be judged mainly as a job-creation measure. Fiscal stimulus has two other uses: preventing human misery and growing the economy. On these counts, the stimulus has done a great job.
Millions of people, through no fault of their own, are now jobless, but measures like extended unemployment benefits, COBRA subsidies, food assistance and closing the states' Medicaid budget gaps have kept these Americans from falling into the pits of hunger, sickness, poverty and homelessness. And while employment growth is lagging -- just as it has in all modern, less severe recessions -- the GDP is growing quickly.
That's why supporting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is something no American citizen or political leader should have to be embarrassed about.