The debate over the number of economic stimulus jobs created or saved by the $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will continue long after the recession is over, but the only apparent success so far is related to the infrastructure jobs fostered by the $130 billion earmarked in ARRA for that purpose. As the government coffers run dry, the only way to end the financial crisis is for Washington to start building real public confidence in the U.S. economy and help move massive amounts of private money off the sidelines and into productive parts of the economy. This amount is far more than the government could ever muster and will be allocated by more effective means.
No matter what the ARRA job count is, the number is far less than the 6.9 million jobs that the private sector has shed since the recession began in December 2007. Unfortunately, the stimulus law was heavily loaded with support for social programs that have little or no long-lasting impact on the economy. Only about 17% went for infrastructure.