Yes, it seems that despite extreme skepticism from conservatives, the stimulus could be having a positive impact on the economy. Jobs reports have come in for the month of November and to everybody's surprise, the US lost only 11,000 jobs in a time frame where most economists were projecting around 130,000 jobs to be gone. Indeed, it turns out that over the last previous three months, our indicators were off by 130,000 jobs perceived as lost, but actually remain. These numbers bring the unemployment rate down from 10.2 percent to 10 percent.
These are meager gains but possibly hopeful ones. Even as fiscal deficit spending increases, conservative cynics admit that the promising fiscal third quarters are mostly due to government spending. As reported by conservative writer Niall Ferguson in Newsweek, half to two-thirds of real growth in Gross Domestic Product can be attributed to government programs, such as Cash for Clunkers and subsidies for first-time home buyers. These programs make up only 4 percent of the GDP, but account for 2.8 percent of growth in the third quarter which has led many economists to say we may be starting a slow economic recovery in the next fiscal year. And despite the lack of apparent accuracy in the government's recovery.gov, the more reliable and nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported on Dec. 1 that the stimulus created or saved 600,000 to 1.6 million jobs in 2009 that would otherwise not exist.
So, perhaps all the criticism of government expenditure, the stimulus that is modeled modestly after aspects of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, may actually be having success, if only also modestly. This may inform the desire for a smaller "Jobs Bill," i.e. extra stimulus, being passed next year.