A Useless Stimulus

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on April 27, 2010

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Economists believe that the stimulus has had little to do with the economic recovery we are beginning to experience.

Really. It’s true:

The recovery is picking up steam as employers boost payrolls, but economists think the government’s stimulus package and jobs bill had little to do with the rebound, according to a survey released Monday.

In latest quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the index that measures employment showed job growth for the first time in two years — but a majority of respondents felt the fiscal stimulus had no impact.

NABE conducted the study by polling 68 of its members who work in economic roles at private-sector firms. About 73% of those surveyed said employment at their company is neither higher nor lower as a result of the $787 billion Recovery Act, which the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers says is on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.

That sentiment is shared for the recently passed $17.7 billion jobs bill that calls for tax breaks for businesses that hire and additional infrastructure spending. More than two-thirds of those polled believe the measure won’t affect payrolls, while 30% expect it to boost hiring “moderately.”

All of this should be remembered, of course, the next time the Obama Administration tells us that there is some kind of consensus amongst economists that the stimulus has helped lift us out of recession. And we all know that the Obama Administration will be making such claims soon. They have before, after all.

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