Quick Fact: Beck advances myth that stimulus bill is not working


Glenn Beck advanced the conservative myth that no jobs have been created under the stimulus and baselessly claimed that its "intent to restore the economy ... [is] not working either." In fact, independent analyses of the stimulus, including those conducted by Moody's Economy.com and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, have estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased employment by as many as 2.4 million jobs by the end of 2009 and added to real GDP growth in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2009.

Beck claims stimulus isn't helping to "restore the economy," no jobs "have been created"

Beck claims stimulus "not working" and no jobs have been created. During his February 17 Fox News show, Beck stated of the stimulus, "Can I ask you this question: Was there any intent to restore the economy in the first part? 'Cause that's not working either. Maybe it could be in the third part. I don't know." He later said that the ARRA "was not about creating jobs. None have been created."

Fact: White House, independent analysts agree stimulus has increased employment and GDP compared to non-stimulus baseline

White House economic advisers: "[T]he ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by 1½ to 2 million." In a quarterly report issued January 13, the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimated: "As of the fourth quarter of 2009, the CEA estimates that the ARRA has raised employment relative to the baseline by between 1½ and 2 million. The CEA estimates for both the effects on GDP and employment are similar to those of respected private forecasters and government agencies." From the CEA's quarterly report:


NY Times' Leonhardt: Independent analysts "estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that is ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs." From David Leonhardt's February 16 New York Times analysis:

Imagine if, one year ago, Congress had passed a stimulus bill that really worked.

Let's say this bill had started spending money within a matter of weeks and had rapidly helped the economy. Let's also imagine it was large enough to have had a huge impact on jobs -- employing something like two million people who would otherwise be unemployed right now.

If that had happened, what would the economy look like today?

Well, it would look almost exactly as it does now. Because those nice descriptions of the stimulus that I just gave aren't hypothetical. They are descriptions of the actual bill.

Just look at the outside evaluations of the stimulus. Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody's Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative.

CEA analysis -- in line with independent analyses -- reported "substantial positive impact on real GDP growth in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2009." In its quarterly report issued January 13, the CEA stated the following: "The CEA estimates suggest that the Act contributed between 2 and 3 percentage points to real GDP growth in the second quarter; between 3 and 4 percentage points in the third quarter; and between 1½ and 3 percentage points in the fourth quarter. The estimates imply that as a result, it has raised the level of GDP at the end of 2009 by about 2 percent, relative to what otherwise would have been." The CEA noted that "private sector estimates" of the stimulus effects on GDP were "generally similar":


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