Wasserman-Schultz reflects on stimulus package one year later
From the office of U.S. Congress Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
On the anniversary of the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (commonly referred to as the Stimulus), it is time to take stock of its impact on Florida and our nation as a whole.
One year in, the evidence is clear – and growing by the day – that the Recovery Act is working. It has cushioned us from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and has laid a new foundation for our economic growth.
The road to recovery is still long, but we are seeing a real difference for millions of Americans and small businesses. The Recovery Act has already created or sustained about 2 million jobs overall – including an estimated 35,000 jobs here in Florida. By the end of the year, this Act is on track to support 3.5 million jobs.
President Obama and Congress have been working hard to get our economy back on track after the budget mess left by the Bush Administration, which saw the slowest job creation in 75 years, the longest recession since the Great Depression, huge deficits and the nearly doubling of the national debt.
But after this period of crisis, we can see our economy is beginning to heal. In the fourth quarter of 2009, it grew 5.7 percent—the largest gain in six years, and something many economists say is due in large part to the Recovery Act.
The effect of this Act is clear: It is helping give Americans the opportunities to live economically stable lives.
Most Americans don’t realize the largest single part of the Recovery Act is tax cuts – making up one-third of the package. Currently 95 percent of American workers are receiving one of the fastest and broadest tax cuts in history, implemented by immediately having more money in their paychecks. These tax cuts ensure that families can pay their bills, and they boost commerce for local businesses.
And that is just one of 25 tax cuts within the Recovery Act. There are tax cuts for small businesses, first-time homebuyers, families sending kids to college, and many others.
Since the Recovery Act was signed into law a year ago, we have made loans to more than 42,000 small businesses through the Recovery Act (including roughly 1,200 Florida businesses), providing them with nearly $20 billion in much-needed capital. These loans to small businesses have allowed companies to stay open, kept people employed, and prevented a deeper economic downturn.
The Recovery Act is ensuring families can make ends meet by offering unemployment benefits to Floridians who have lost their jobs, helping families pay for health care, and providing a $250 check last year to seniors and disabled veterans.
To improve our quality of life and make our communities safer, the Recovery Act is saving hundreds of thousands of jobs for teachers, police and firefighters across America. In fact, here in Florida, 18,000 of these jobs were saved or created.
We are rebuilding Florida through investments in infrastructure as well, by funding projects including express hybrid buses on I-95, Everglades restoration, road improvements, and clean water. Here in Florida, 556 infrastructure projects are currently under construction and these investments have created roughly 4,200 jobs. Such projects have twofold results: they stimulate our economic growth with jobs now, and improve our infrastructure for the future.
The upturn in our economy is noticeable. In January 2009, before enactment of the Recovery Act, 779,000 Americans lost their jobs. A year later, job losses have been reduced to 20,000 jobs—a 97% reduction from what President Bush left behind.
As President Bush left office, America’s GDP fell by 6.4%. By the end of 2009, our economy grew by 5.7%—the fastest three-quarter swing in almost 3 decades. Economists, regardless of their political views, acknowledge that the Recovery Act played a significant role in this economic growth.
Other positive signs for families and American businesses include the rebound of the stock market – a relief to the many whose retirement savings plummeted – and American manufacturing, which has grown for the last six months—reaching its highest level in 6 years.
The Recovery Act was never meant to replace dollar for dollar or job for job what we lost – no single program ever could. But nearly 15 million Americans are out of work through no fault of their own and many others are struggling to make ends meet.
This is why the Recovery Act was designed to spend money gradually in order to sustain a true recovery – with peak spending occurring early this year.
One year in, experts ranging from private forecasters to Governors on both sides of the aisle say the Recovery Act has helped pull us back from the brink of economic disaster and is helping lay a firm foundation for our economic recovery.
I will keep fighting to create good private sector jobs. If you need help, I want to hear from you. Contact my office in Pembroke Pines at (in Aventura at (305) 936-5724, or in Washington, DC at (202) 225-7931. Or visit my Web site at: http://wassermanschultz.house.gov to receive more information or to subscribe to my electronic newsletter.
To view street-level data on the Recovery Act go to Recovery.gov and click on “Where is the money going?”
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Wasserman-Schultz is a media hound who leans whichever way the wind or news cameras are facing. She is also one of the largest “spenders” of YOUR money to grace South Florida’s political arena. One headline proclaimed Wasserman Schultz “brings home the bacon” for Florida, what the heck does that mean? It meant she bent some other taxpayer over to garner funds for South Florida on some very iffy projects. Its amazing how this woman can brag over the fact she petitioned for stimulus money without disclosing the fact that “somebody has to pay for this stuff”.
Its almost as if she has the mindset of Obama, (its only money) and better yet its somebody else’s money. People, Wasserman Schultz is part of the problem and she will never be part of the solution. She is the poster child for spending as if there is no tomorrow…this is another one who MUST GO..
Valigator, it’d be a lot more helpful if you’d debunk the actual claims instead of leveling a vague charge of tax’n'spend. I heard this kind talk from the “Anyone But Bush” liberals back in 2004, and that wasn’t very productive either.
You obviously arent familiar with my policial views. I have watched Wasserman Schultz and looked at her with a fine tooth comb. She is a spender. I have researched her travel logs, followed her and her rants for a while now. Just becuase you havent ran across my not so vague allegations of ineptness of her doesnt make your post “so”. “liberal” would be the last adjective that would be associated with me. She is indeed a media hound on any and all subjects that do nothing for her constituents and or the people who pay for her wasted position in “government”…
I did a few searches, and found that your most salient writings are not on Wasserman-Schultz, but on sex crime law. Your allegations are harder to find than you think.
I think that the stimulus package have helped a lot in restoring the economy. right now we can see some improvements in the economy. right now we can see some improvements in the eco-”.