Despite criticism, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 did much of what President Obama intended. The stimulus created or saved 3.6 million U.S. jobs, roughly 60,000 in Minnesota, boosted rebuilding of our crumbling infrastructure, invested in education, kept the unemployed from falling further into poverty and provided tax breaks to 95 percent of Americans. Respected economists say it helped prevent a depression.
Infrastructure improvements and construction projects captured much of the national media attention, but at $48 billion they were a small fraction of the $800 billion stimulus. Tax breaks, worth $288 billion, comprised the single largest federal stimulus expenditure, but didn’t directly create a single job.
The state ties 13,000 Minnesota jobs directly to stimulus funding. But using well established economic multiplier analysis, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers estimates recovery dollars accounted for 60,000 jobs in the state. Many of those jobs originated from 200 road, bridge and infrastructure projects worth $500 million.