January 29th, 2010
09:24 PM ET

First stimulus project nears completion, job questions remain

David Fitzpatrick
CNN's Special Investigative Unit

A town with a population of 218 sitting more than three hours from St. Louis would seem like an unlikely place for the nation's first stimulus project.

Yet the progress is apparent on a new $9 million bridge over the Osage River, and the span is scheduled to receive its first automobile and truck traffic sometime in midsummer. It's replacing a bridge built when Franklin Roosevelt was president on what the Missouri Department of Transportation says is the most direct link between Missouri's capitol, Jefferson City, and a large U.S. Army installation, Fort Leonard Wood.

The earth-moving equipment kicked in only minutes after President Obama signed the economic stimulus bill his administration pushed through Congress 11 months ago. Missouri's Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, was present at the first shovel turning and the state paid for a satellite truck to beam images of the ceremony to every resident of the state who wanted to see it.

State and federal officials said at that time that the bridge would create about 30 direct jobs and spin off another 220 "indirect" jobs - supplying the steel, pouring the concrete and boosting the local community's economy.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • David Fitzpatrick • Stimulus
January 28th, 2010
09:49 PM ET

Video: Napa Wine Train in middle of stimulus fight

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

It is the quintessential Napa Valley experience.

Passengers aboard sleek antique rail cars pay more than $100 for a four-course meal, not including the wine. A recent lunch aboard the train included steak, lobster cakes and local greens.

During their three-hour journey winding through Napa Valley, passengers can choose from more than 100 wines to complement their meal.


Filed under: John McCain • Randi Kaye • Stimulus
January 28th, 2010
12:20 PM ET
January 27th, 2010
03:53 PM ET

Video: Signs of waste? $1 million used to tout stimulus funds at work in Ohio

Randi Kaye | BIO
CNN'S AC360°

A state senator from Ohio says his state is spending $1 million on road signs to advertise the use of stimulus money for road projects. In other words, the state is using your money to tell you it's spending your money.

State Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Ohio, calls it a waste of taxpayer dollars. The road signs he's concerned about display words such as "Project Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" Some road projects have two signs, and some don't have any at all, but the signs aren't cheap.

The bigger signs can cost as much as $3,000 each, according to Grendell, who says this is just a big "thank you" to the Obama Administration.

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Filed under: Economy • Randi Kaye • Stimulus
January 26th, 2010
08:45 PM ET

Interactive: The economy one year later


A year can make a big difference in the economy. Or not so much in some cases. Take a look at some key economic indicators and how they've gone up, down and all around. Take a look at this interactive of unemployment, foreclosures, the market and fears of inflation.

Filed under: Economy • Stimulus
January 26th, 2010
06:20 PM ET

Stimulus and jobs: what the fight's all about

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/01/25/stimulus.breaking.law/smlvid.boston.construction.file.gi.jpg caption="A shot of stimulus funds is aiding construction projects." width=292 height=169]

Tami Luhby
CNNMoney.Com Senior Writer

One of the most important questions surrounding the stimulus program is also one of the most controversial: How many jobs has it created?

The Obama administration credits the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with turning around the economy and bringing America out of the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Without it, things would have been a lot worse.

Critics, particularly congressional Republicans, say that stimulus has done little to help the economy. They point to the high unemployment rate and to pork-barrel projects they say have done little good.

CNNMoney takes a closer look at the jobs debate.

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Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama • Stimulus • Unemployment
January 26th, 2010
03:57 PM ET

Where does stimulus money come from?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/24/art.fed.meeting.jpg caption="The government can't count on the Federal Reserve to soak up $300 billion of Treasurys." width=300 height=169]

Colin Barr
Senior writer

It's no secret that the government is borrowing huge sums of money. What may surprise you is how much of it is coming from the United States.

Rising domestic demand for U.S. debt allowed the government to sell more than $1.7 trillion of Treasurys during fiscal 2009. Those sales paid for billions of dollars of stimulus spending, without drawing unusually large contributions from overseas creditors such as China or triggering a long-feared interest rate spike.

The big question is whether the feds can pull off that trick again in 2010.

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Filed under: Economy • Stimulus
January 26th, 2010
12:20 PM ET

Stimulus is last chance for U.S. cities

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/01/26/fetterman.braddock.stimulus/tzleft.john.fetterman.jpg caption="For decades, Braddock, Pennsylvania, has been in decline as it lost jobs and people."]

John Fetterman
Special to CNN

In 2001, I came to Braddock, the poorest town in Western Pennsylvania, to serve the community's severely disenfranchised young people by starting an employment and GED program. Their lives were the embodiment of what happened to Braddock and this region: chaos through abandonment.

However, tough times and severe hardship are nothing new. It's been this way for decades.

Once one of the most important steel manufacturing centers in the world, Braddock - what's left of it - solemnly affirms one of the great economic maxims of our society: socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the poor.

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Filed under: Economy • Stimulus • Unemployment
January 25th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

Interactive: Jobs and unemployment by state and industry


Click on the link above to see unemployment rate by state, industry and time period.

Filed under: Stimulus
January 25th, 2010
02:39 PM ET

Interactive: Stimulus Tracker

The Stimulus Tracker FAQ

The government's efforts to rescue the economy were bold and complex. Here is an explanation of our methodology to break down stimulus into its component parts.

Q) What is the difference between "Stimulus 1" and "Stimulus 2?"

Stimulus 1 is the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law in February 2009. It contains a combination of grants, loans, direct spending and tax cuts aimed at creating jobs and alleviating the economic stresses caused by the recession.

Stimulus 2 is a group of extensions of programs enacted by stimulus 1 that were about to expire. It also includes other economic stimulus that was not in the ARRA bill.

Q) What was included in "Stealth Stimulus?"

A) Since the credit crisis erupted in 2008, the government launched several dozen programs aimed at rescuing the financial sector, the housing market and the overall economy. We included only programs that were launched by the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department or Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. since 2008.

Q) I have seen other values assigned to stimulus categories. How did you arrive at these numbers?

A) The Recovery Act is by far the largest stimulus bill ever enacted, and there are many ways to divide the thousands of different programs into groupings. We chose to follow the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the bill, since CBO is an independent evaluator.

CBO grouped the bill's contents into 47 categories, and we further condensed CBO's groupings to seven main categories and 31 smaller parts.

Q) I thought some of these programs have yet to be funded, are winding down or have been paid back. What do the dollar amounts represent?

A) For the Recovery Act and its extensions, we listed the total appropriations for each category. For the Stealth Stimulus section, many of the programs were assigned credit caps that are unlikely to be reached, so we listed the highest value of government support during the life of each program.

Many of those programs are currently at their funding peaks, while others have been fully repaid.

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Filed under: Stimulus
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