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The stimulus money went down a black hole

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

Your Feb. 24 editorial "Real Dollars: The Stimulus Program Bolstered Pennsylvania" claims that "Pennsylvania and the nation would be in a deeper stew if this recovery program had not happened." You report how much was spent, and where it was spent in very general terms. But how do you know it was well spent?

A stated purpose of the "stimulus" was to create jobs. You say that $26.8 billion spent "translated" into 12,000 jobs. That means that it took more than $2.2 million to create one of these jobs!

The $2.2 million per job spending figure accepts at face value your claim that 12,000 jobs were in fact created. You don't say where you found your numbers, but the U.S. Labor Department estimates that Pennsylvania really lost 147,583 jobs in 2009. Your own figures show that the stimulus money was not well spent; it was thrown down a black hole as feared by the opponents of the stimulus.

You claim that the nation's "top economists," who remain nameless, agreed on the need for the "stimulus" along with President Barack Obama and "most" congressional Democrats. It looks like they were all wrong. You will recall the heated debate a year ago when opponents of the stimulus plan argued that it involved too much spending and not enough tax relief, and that the plan was in reality the mother of all pork spending bills.

Your gushing editorial and all those "top economists" notwithstanding, it looks like the stimulus opponents were right, again. Big government simply is not the answer. Will you ever learn?

DENNIS M. SHEEDY
Fox Chapel

 

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