Is the massive $787 billion spending package stimulating the economy? Here’s a look at the impact of the 2009 stimulus at the state level.
After a year of operation, President Obama's Recovery Act for the economy has generated controversy but is also drawing bipartisan praise in places where the money has reached.
Is the massive $787 billion spending package stimulating the economy? Here are five points of reference that go beyond that headline number to gauge its Main Street impact.
• California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is grateful for it. While Mr. Obama was on a podium in Washington Wednesday touting what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has accomplished, the Republican governor was standing on the site of an ARRA-funded highway expansion, holding his own celebration. "This money has been very, very helpful to a lot of struggling Californians," said Mr. Schwarzenegger. The state is the largest recipient of ARRA highway funds and high-speed rail funding, he said. He's not the only Republican at the state level who's glad to be on the receiving end of federal largess.
• More money is headed to Vermont than to Florida. That's the case if you divide the Recovery Act money pledged so far by each state's population. You may not think of Vermont, Montana, or North Dakota as among the states hardest hit, but they're all recipients of above-average total obligations of Recovery Act money. On a nationwide basis, some $302 billion has been obligated in the 50 states, or nearly $1,000 per capita. Among the states most affected by the recession, many including California have gotten roughly average amounts. Florida appears to be an exception, currently slated to receive about $814 per resident.