Dear Mr. President,
A year ago on February 17, 2009, Congress passed, and you signed, H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In the three months prior to the Act, the nation lost 2.2 million jobs. Financial institutions were on the brink of collapse, and the “Great Recession” was being recognized for what it was – the most calamitous economic downturn since the Great Depression. You asked me to lead the implementation of the Act, with a focus on getting its efforts underway quickly, watching the taxpayers’ funds carefully, and putting America back to work. Attached is a report on the first year of our implementation efforts.
One year after the passage of the Act, we can report that approximately 2 million jobs have been created or saved thanks to the Act’s impact on hiring in the private sector, by local and state governments and by non-profits. This estimate comes from the Congressional Budget Office and is corroborated by the analysis of the Council of Economic Advisers. In January, we received more than 160,000 reports on progress from recipients of funds under the Act. These reports provided a transparent look at what was going on in projects and activities that accounted for a sample representing about 20 percent of overall spending under the Act.
To date, I have spoken to governors of all 50 states and local officials from over 130 jurisdictions. These state and local officials – both Democrats and Republicans — have widely acknowledged the critical role that the Recovery Act has played in preventing teacher layoffs and avoiding tax increases.
By design, the Act had three primary purposes: Rescue, Recovery and Reinvestment. The enclosed report reviews our progress in each of these three areas. Almost 20 million Americans have gotten extended unemployment benefits thanks to the Act, and over 95 percent of working families have had their taxes cut. Jobs have been created thanks to tens of thousands of projects now underway nationwide. And the groundwork for the economy of the next century is being put in place as we invest in high speed rail, health technology, broadband, a smarter electrical grid, clean cars and batteries, and renewable energy.
Read the Full Report Here in PDF