At what cost?
I read Michael Grunwald's column, "Five myths about the stimulus" in the Aug. 19 Sunday Monitor. I was especially interested in the first myth - that the stimulus didn't create jobs.
Grunwald writes that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directly created 700,000 construction, research and other jobs. He also notes that economic forecasters estimate that about 2.5 million jobs were created as a result of the stimulus. Taking all this at face value, I think you must take the next step and ask what it cost to create these jobs.
The stimulus package totaled $787 billion or about $1.1 million per person for the 700,000 jobs or about $300,000 per job if you use the 2.5 million figure.
I wonder what would have happened if the government decided to equally allocate the $787 billion to each one of America's 160 million workers? The answer would have been a check for $5,000.