Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Examining the Obama Stimulus in Texas

Economists declared the recession officially over. The National Bureau of Economic Research report that the recession ended in June, 2009 but the recovery is still very slow. That is of cold comfort to the millions of Americans struggling to keep pace with their obligations and to those nervous about losing a job in a floundering national economy.

The National Bureau of Economic Research, a private nonprofit research group that is considered the official arbiter of economic contractions and expansions, took pains to note that a determination of the end of the recession doesn't mean the economy has returned to vigorous growth.

"The committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity," the panel said in a statement after meeting Sunday.

While the November mid-term elections point to a change in majority control in the House of Representatives, the Senate will most probably remain under control of the Democrats but with a much smaller majority. The upheaval guarantees that plans are being made for a vigorous push in a busy lame duck session. Between the election and the new Congress being sworn in during January, 2011, Democrats will strive to make the most of their fading power. The Democrats will try to push through any unfinished legislative dreams. One concern is that there is a plan for a second stimulus bill.

The first stimulus bill signed into law by President Obama - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - was sold by this administration's economic advisers to the American taxpayers as a cushion against higher unemployment rates and a boost to state economies. To date, it has been a failure. Unemployment is almost at 10% and private sector jobs are not emerging. Government-related jobs are flourishing, however. The country's disposition is tense and increasingly angry. Since the stimulus was signed into effect, 2.4 million jobs have been lost.

According to a recently released Policy Brief from Texas Public Policy Foundation, the numbers are in on how well the State of Texas has fared. You may read the entire report here:

While Texas has fared well as a business-friendly state, the numbers are in on the effects of the Obama stimulus plan. Texas unemployment has grown from 6.5 percent in February 2009 to 8.3 percent in August 2010. As the report states, nearly $18 billion has come into the state and local economies yet private sector jobs are not being created as the job market remains weak. Non-farm jobs have decreased by about 99,100. Per capita personal income has decreased and as long as the government continues to intervene in the private sector, business of all sizes are not confident to hire more workers. The trend is not good. In contrast, government -related employment have increased by 105,400 jobs. The policy brief concludes the rise is in Government and Educational & Health Services sectors.

The Obama stimulus has failed. To date, the results have not been as sold by this administration to the taxpayer. Spending has not historically been the solution to digging out of a national recession. The data in this policy brief shows the same.

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