Most everyone probably forgets, or maybe never even knew, that in April of 2008 Gov. Stricktaft enacted his own $1.57 billion stimulus specifically designed to “create new jobs while laying the foundation for future economic prosperity.”
From his press release on April 2nd, 2008:
With the exception of the Clean Ohio program, this bipartisan package will not need to go to the ballot in November, allowing the positive benefits to the state’s economy to start almost immediately.
Hmm. Well, let’s take a look. 15 months later just how stimulated is Ohio?
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Statistics
So since Strickland’s stimulus was enacted, what has it accomplished?
288,508 less Ohioans with jobs.
That’s a 77% jump in the unemployment rate.
Now to be fair, the GOP in the General Assembly gave the Governor what he wanted. After all, it’s hard to say no to a guy that enjoys a favorability margin of 39 percent(DJ note: Now that margin is four).
But back in March of 2008, many Ohioans had a feeling this wasn’t good policy.
Gov. Strickland’s proposal to borrow $1.7 billion to create jobs in Ohio is a “bad idea,” voters say 44 – 40 percent in the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll. A total of 50 percent of voters say it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” the Governor’s stimulus package will create 80,000 new jobs in Ohio, while 44 percent say it is “not too likely” or “not likely at all” to succeed.
I think it’s safe to say -288,508 does not equal +80,000. And all Ohioans paid for these jobs losses is $1.57 billion.
You think that’s $1.57 billion that Ohio’s schools and public libraries would like back?
Say it with me, Strickland’s stimulus failed.
UPDATE: Darrell Rowland of the Columbus Dispatch was nice enough to e-mail me about this post. In particular he forwarded me an article they wrote back in February revisiting Strickland stimulus, but as he mentioned, refraining from including Ohio’s job crisis in the discussion.
A few key paragraphs from the article:
But a year after the governor proposed the bipartisan plan during his annual State of the State address and eight months after the legislature passed it, less than 15 percent of the $1.57 billion has been spent or fully committed, figures provided to The Dispatch by the Strickland administration show.
Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who also is the state development director, said the stimulus plan as approved by the legislature was to spend a certain amount of money each year through the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2013.
“This is approximately where I thought we would be,” he said. “What we need to be measured against is not where we are at halftime, but where we are at the end of the game in the first year.”
It seems after reading this statement that one has to question the wisdom of the Strickland Administration’s decision to pace, for lack of a better term, execution of the stimulus in lieu of the massive job losses.
h/t: Johnny Drama for the ridiculously good photoshop job.