Journalism in the Public Interest


Stimulus Spending Likely to Make Administration’s Goal

The federal government, which disputes that it isn’t spending Recovery Act money fast enough, is on pace to have 70 percent of the stimulus package out the door by the end of September.


Work continues on a light-rail line between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City in an attempt to relieve congestion on Interstate 10. California has been given some $3.7 billion in federal stimulus money to address transportation and infrastructure problems. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Obama administration is on track to reach a self-imposed stimulus milestone: spending 70 percent of Recovery Act money by the end of September.

The administration set the goal in February, on the first anniversary of the bill. According to our Stimulus Progress Bar that tracks spending, 62 percent of stimulus money has gone out the door, putting $490 billion into the economy. If the administration keeps spending at the same rate it has so far this year -- both in terms of direct spending and tax cuts -- it should easily meet the goal.

Last week, the White House released a blog post addressing criticism that more money hasn't gone out the door. Since two-thirds of stimulus money is tax cuts and unemployment checks -- which have already been allocated -- the post explained that the funds "aren't 'unspent' ... they just haven't been paid out yet." Got that?

Speed has been a priority for the stimulus as the administration tries to counter the highest unemployment rates since the early 1980s. The White House Council of Economic Advisers recently estimated that the stimulus has added 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs to the economy.

Check out stimulus spending by agency on our interactive Stimulus Progress Bar, and how fast agencies are moving money out the door on our Stimulus Speed Chart.

the WH “pride” in stimulus spending flies in the face of reality. The number of sole-source contracts, short-cut requisition protocols and padded expenditures on civil service costs is a scandal. I am not fooled, although I paid for it.
The defensive attitude of the WH “advisors” - each of them an academic with zero business or trade experience - is remarkable. They stick to the “you agree with us, or else you are uninformed or just stupid.”
I yearn for the days when Bill Clinton was forced to deal with and compromise with all comers. This in-a-bubble admin, with its frantic posturing this week in advance of *worsening* employment figures, is a pale imitation of those glory days.
Sigh. Tired of reading of the “success” of the stimulus and the “recovery summer.” Maybe someone besides a PR person like Axe or a snarling partisan capo like Rahm could take the wheel? Please?

The “recovery” has been great for larger companies with global sales, it totally sucks for average hourly wage folks in America.

Edward R Swick

Aug. 4, 2010, 8:21 p.m.

The public money belonging to the taxpayer should be used to create hard industry in the United States. Manufacture cars, machinery, bring back the textile industry etc. Tax global products so Americans can compete with foriegn low wages.  The money from manufacturing will t"trickle” down to food sellers, police, small stores and and ultimately to foriegn workers. People cannot buy products if they do not have jobs.  Spend some money on reclaiming foreclosed homes for homeless families, especially those with children.Tax the small percentage of people who have accumulated excess wealth, especially those who did not work to get their money/

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Eye on the Stimulus

Eye on the Stimulus

Officials have struggled to spend the nearly $800 billion stimulus package quickly and effectively.

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