The nation's top economists are already giving odds on a double-dip recession. The Federal Reserve has only a few bullets left in its gun. And Congress seems politically paralyzed to come up with any new infrastructure or tax-cut plan that would fire up the economy.
So it seems all the more surprising that the federal government still has $100 billion to $150 billion in stimulus money left to spend. That's about as much as the Making Work Pay tax credit that gave $800 apiece to middle-class families in 2009 and 2010. And it's twice as much as Congress gave to states to stabilize budgets and save education jobs.
Nearly two years since the first stimulus dollars entered the economy, ProPublica continues to follow where they’re all going with the latest update of our Recovery Tracker.
This story was co-published with Politifact.
"One of the interesting things about the Recovery Act was most of the projects came in under budget, faster than expected, because there's just not a lot of work there."
-- Barack Obama on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 in a "60 Minutes" interview
Obama claims most stimulus projects have come in under budget, faster than expected
President Barack Obama says the time is ripe for immediate investment in infrastructure projects such as highways and bridges. With the nation recovering from a recession, interest rates are low, competition among contractors for work is intense and the cost of building materials are low.
2:55 p.m.: This post has been updated with the White House's full report.
The White House plans to release a report today announcing that it met its goal of spending 70 percent of the $787 billion stimulus package by the end of September. If so, there must have been a last-minute push to get more money out the door.
According to early news reports, the administration said it hit its goal by spending $309 million and issuing $242 billion in tax cuts — exactly reaching the target of $551 billion.
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.
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Stimulus Speed Chart
Which government agencies are the slowest at getting stimulus money out the door? Updated weekly.
Stimulus Spending Progress
How quickly are federal agencies spending? Updated weekly.
ProPublica’s Unofficial Guide to Recovery.gov
Confused by the government's official stimulus data Web site? Our guide will tell you how to navigate it.
How to Background Check Stimulus Companies
A guide of tips and resources on researching the background of companies getting stimulus funds.
The government’s stimulus transparency page
- Investments by State
Recovery.gov's list of how much each state is getting, in total and for each program
- Investments by Agency
Recovery.gov's list of how much each agency has available and paid out
- Policy Debates by State
Primers on stimulus debates in each state
- Conference of Mayors
A run-down of stimulus programs, news, and developments in U.S. cities
News and information from the Pew Center on the States
- CNN Stimulus Project
A weeklong special with stories, video and graphics from January 2010
- Business Exchange (U.S. Economic Stimulus)
Stimulus news and resources from BusinessWeek
- Education Week (Politics K-12)
Breakdowns and analysis of education funding
- Read the Stimulus
Searchable index of different versions of the bill
- The New York Times (Economic Stimulus)
The Times’ latest stimulus coverage
A breakdown of stimulus contracts from the House Republican Conference