FACTBOX-The U.S. stimulus plan, one year later

Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:49pm IST

 Feb 17 (Reuters) - On Feb. 17, 2009, President Barack
Obama signed into law one of the largest packages of tax cuts
and spending measures in U.S. history.
 The two-year American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which
Obama said would create or save more than 3 million jobs, was
originally estimated to cost the federal government $787
billion.
 A year later, and halfway through the plan's
implementation, Americans are weighing the recovery act's
impact on a stubbornly high unemployment rate and the longest
and deepest economic recession in nearly 80 years.
 Here are some facts:
 - So far, $179 billion in the plan has been spent and $93
billion in tax cuts have been issued. Another $154 billion is
in the process of being sent out, and $247 billion is left to
spend. The remainder comes in tax cuts yet to be granted.
 - The Congressional Budget Office revised its cost estimate
for the recovery act up to $862 billion from $787 billion last
month.
 - The administration says it is on track to have disbursed
70 percent of the plan's funds by Sept. 30. To meet that goal,
the administration says it will increase its average monthly
rate of outlays and tax breaks to $32 billion from the current
rate of $27 billion.
 - More than $8 billion from the plan has been spent on
increased food stamps, as the assistance program for the hungry
recently reached a record enrollment of 38 million people.
 - By the end of December, the Department of Transportation
approved 10,000 highway projects. Of the $34.1 billion the
department has made available to states, it has only paid out
$8.63 billion.
 - The plan increased unemployment benefit payments and
extended extra payments for those who could not find work when
their regular benefits were exhausted through the end of 2009.
Recently, Congress pushed the expiration date of both programs
to Feb. 28.
 - Nearly $280 billion of the spending will be directed
through state governments, including a $48 billion
stabilization fund to help states balance their budgets.
  - According to figures provided by those who received
grants and loans from the plan, 595,263 jobs were created or
saved by the plan in the final three months of 2009, the White
House said in late January. A previous report, which had used a
different method of calculation, said it had saved 640,239 jobs
in the prior quarter. For more, see [ID:nN31157250].
 - The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated
there would have been 1.5 million to 2 million fewer jobs in
2009 if not for the stimulus funds.
 - The Congressional Budget Office estimates the package is
responsible for employing up to 2.4 million people.
 - In January, the U.S. employment rate stood at 9.7
percent. A year earlier, when Congress was negotiating the
stimulus plan, it had just reached 7.7 percent.
 - In the fourth quarter of 2009 U.S. gross domestic product
grew 5.7 percent, with two quarters of growth bringing hope
that the economy was pulling out of recession.
 - Certain projects were designed to make good on Obama's
campaign promises and begin work on his long-term policy goals,
alongside creating jobs and strengthening social programs.
,    The plan still has $61.5 billion to outlay for these
projects, which include developing high-speed rail, creating
more energy efficiency in buildings, updating health
information technology, scientific research grants. 
 Sources: USDA, www.recovery.gov, ProPublica, U.S. Census,
Labor Department, Congressional Budget Office, Vice President
Joe Biden's Annual Report to the President on Progress
Implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
 (Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Eric Beech)


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