As we continue to wade through unchartered territory with more than 9% unemployment for most of the last 2 plus years, many still question what, if anything, could the government have done better to cushion the blow from the recession. Some argue that the American Recovery and Reinvestment ACT (ARRA) (aka the “stimulus plan”) was too little and the government should have spent more, while others argue that it was a waste of taxpayer money and the government should have intervened less than it did.
Although these are two diametrically opposed points of view, many agree that it is not so much how the Administration dealt with the recession; rather, it is that the Administration may have been uninformed on what they were actually dealing with. A recent article by a columnist from the Washington Post makes this point with a mere picture from the president’s Council of Economic Advisers that predicted the impact ARRA would have on jobs. There are three elements included in the graph:
- The projections for what the unemployment rate would be if no stimulus were enacted in the depths of the financial crisis.
- The projections for what the unemployment rate would be with the stimulus plan.
- The actual unemployment rate.