President Obama promised that unemployment would not exceed 8% if his "Stimulus Bill" was passed immediately. In fact, he declared that unless congress passed his bill immediately, the recession could be "catastrophic" and "irreversible". Of course the bill was passed. And the result?
Unemployment is up to 9.8%. A net total of 263,000 jobs were lost last month in addition to a downwardly revised 201,000 in August. If you include those who have settled for part-time work or have given up looking for new jobs, the unemployment rate rose to 17 percent. 571,000 people dropped out of the work force last month, presumably out of frustration over the lack of jobs. That sent the participation rate, or the percentage of the population either working or looking for work, to a 23-year low. Over 15 million Americans are now out of work. 7.2 million jobs have been eliminated since the recession began in December 2007.
Incredibly, President Obama claimed Thursday that "America is stronger" because of the stimulus bill.
To bring the issue closer to home, I will look at my own county in South Carolina. Spartanburg county unemployment is at 12.7%. The "Stimulus Bill" has done the following:
Sherman College - $13,410 grant
University of South Carolina - $2,372,829 grant
Spartanburg Methodist College - $511,306 grant
Spartanburg Community College - $3,354,652 grant
Wofford College - $304,910 grant
City of Woodruff - $18,239 grant
Woodruff Housing Authority - $200,880 grant
RP Financial Services - $250,000 loan
Regenesis Community Health Center - $703,637 grant
Spartanburg County First Steps - $89,470 grant
Piedmont Community Actions, Inc. - $267,148 grant
Converse College - $301,770 grant
ETV (PBS) - $50,000 grant
United Way - $9,000 grant
There are NO contracts (jobs) awarded in Spartanburg County from the "Stimulus Bill".
So some colleges, community centers, a television station, local governments and the united way got some "free" money. How does that create jobs? Would Spartanburg really be in a "catastrophic" and "irreversible" recession right now without the above grants? I don't think so.
To put this all in another perspective, each person who has lost his/her job since December 2007 could have received a $110,000 check from the federal government for the same cost as the "Stimulus Bill". Do you think that would do more or less for the unemployed people in Spartanburg county than the above grants?
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