Nov 24, 2011 5:56 AM GMT
Surprise... well, not really.
Recovery: After nearly all the stimulus money has been spent, the Congressional Budget Office now admits it cost more than advertised, did less to boost growth and will hurt the economy in the long run.
In its latest quarterly report on the economic effects of the Obama stimulus, the CBO sharply lowered its "worst case" scenario while trimming many of its upper-bound estimates for stimulus-fueled growth and employment.
The new report finds, for example, that the stimulus may have added as little as 0.7% to GDP growth in 2010 — when spending was at its peak — and created as few as 700,000 new jobs.
Both are down significantly from the CBO's previous worst-case scenario.
The report also lowered the best-case estimate for added growth in 2010 to 4.1% from 4.2%.
In addition, the CBO says the extra infrastructure money didn't boost growth as much as it previously claimed, because states reacted by spending less out of their own budgets on highways.
So in other words, the CBO now says it's possible that the stimulus had virtually no meaningful effect on growth and employment despite its massive price tag.
All this comes after the CBO increased that price tag to $825 billion from its initial $787 billion — a 5% hike.