As this site has written about frequently, and especially in the past week, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, (a/k/a the stimulus bill), has been cited by a number of independent economists as having made a substantial impact in lessening the economic conditions in the world wide recession (and the Congressional Budget Office, everybody in Washington's official scorekeeper, reported in December that the bill, which has now risen to $862 billion, had created or saved 1.6 million jobs in its first year, with nearly a third of the spending of the program still to come).
But the constant criticism from Republicans has infiltrated for months into the mainstream media, to the extent that a stunning NY Times/CBS poll taken recently said that only 6% of the American public believes the plan has added jobs to the country. That is an obviously a failure in communications, a point brought forth fervently Sunday morning by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell on ABC's This Week. Responding to a clip from the CPAC conference showing Mitt Romney bashing the stimulus, Rendell said:
"We could fill up every baseball stadium in this country, Terry, with people who got jobs or whose job was saved by the stimulus. There's no ifs, ands or butts about it. Pennsylvania's budget is a little under $28 billion. We get almost $3 billion this year from stimulus. Take that $3 billion away, we've cut most of our program grants to the bone. You'd have to lay off — I'd have to lay off 37,000 state workers to balance the budget. We have 76,000 state workers.
If we did it with counties, it would be teachers, fireman, police men, emergency workers. So has it saved jobs? You bet it has. Has it created jobs? I'll take Governor Romney out to any construction site in Pennsylvania and then I'll take him — we'll drive to a construction site, back to the steel plant that provided the steel for the bridge. He knows better."