What was saved?
The MacIver Institute has their first look at the effect of the stimulus bill in Wisconsin:
$1.9 billion – ARRA money awarded to Wisconsin so far.
$680 million – Wisconsin ARRA expenditures during the first reporting quarter.
8,284 – the number of full-time jobs saved or created to date.
$82,085.95 – the cost of each job saved or created.
6,100 – the number of full-time jobs saved that were public service jobs.
2,184 – the number of full-time jobs saved that were private sector jobs.
271,200 – according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of unemployed Wisconsinites as of August, 2009.
Meanwhile the Wisconsin Public Research Institute points out, “…much of the funds the state spent merely displaced state general funds, which had been used to pay for state government prior to the economic downturn.”
For instance, the final budget increased state funding for public schools by nearly $250 million in federal stimulus aid, then reduced the state share by the same amount. So it’s basically business as usual, just with a different funding source.
In effect, the state took out a one-time loan in order to keep government workers in their jobs. It would be like using a credit card to make your car payment, then patting yourself on the back for your achievement in “auto retention.”