Remember how urgent it was?

by Russ Roberts on May 31, 2009

in Stimulus

The stimulus package was signed into law February 17th with great urgency and fanfare. As of May 22, a total of $35.9 billion has been spent. In a $14 trillion economy, this is not much stimulus.

To see the total amount spent, go here and click on box number 3 in the main window at the top of the page. It's tricky. Right now the main window is about "Health Care in Indian Country" but at the bottom of the blue box, there is a "Learn More" option. Click on number 3.

At first, I assumed the weekly totals must not be cumulative. How could a cumulative number go down? Did they gtake some of the money back? Turns out there was a $8.9 billion "accounting adjustment." So the correct number that the government is reporting as of May 22 is $35.9 billion. That is the total spent out of the $787 billion. That's just under 5%.

I always thought the one thing the government was pretty good at was spending money. Maybe it is, but it's not good at doing it quickly.


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