The Congressional Budget Office has recalculated the overall price tag of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. CBO's new estimate: $814 billion over the 2009-2019 span.
That represents an increase over CBO's $787-billion estimate shortly before the economic-stimulus bill was enacted in February 2009, but a cut from its January 2010 estimate of $862 billion.
The new number is discussed in a CBO report, released Aug. 24, on the stimulus legislation. The latest revised reflects lower-than-estimated revenue losses from ARRA's COBRA health insurance subsidies and from provisions dealing with expensing of capital goods.
CBO also estimates that the ARRA has boosted the number of people on the job by 1.4 million to 3.3 million and cut the unemployment rate by 0.7 to 1.8 percentage points.
The report also notes, "The effects of ARRA on employment and unemployment...are expected to wane gradually in 2011 and beyond."
The only mention of infrastructure or construction spending in the 16-page report is in its discussion of the impact that various sections of the ARRA statute have on Gross Domestic Product.
CBO says that the stimulus measure's "transfer payments" to states and localities for infrastructure and spending for federal purchases of goods and services are the highest "output multipliers" among ARRA's various categories. Those two sectors' multipliers are $1.00 to $2.50 for each dollar spent.
The infrastructure category includes highway, other transportation, Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and housing portions of the ARRA measure.
The federal-purchases category includes some construction-related spending, including General Services Administration federal buildings and energy-efficiency and renewable energy provisions of the stimulus legislation.