James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

What’s in a name?

June 5, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment  Act is quite poorly named. First of all, the U.S. economy is already recovering even though maybe 5 percent of the $800 billion package has been spent. Plus, much of the spending will have nothing to do with reinvestment, as the Associated Press notes:

Most of the roughly $300 billion going directly to the states is being funneled through existing government programs for health care, education, unemployment benefits, food stamps and other social services. “We all talked about ‘shovel-ready’ since September and assumed it was a whole lot of paving and building when, in fact, that’s not the case,” said Chris Whatley, the Washington director of the Council of State Governments, a trade group for state governments. He estimates states will get three times more money for education than for transportation.

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