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Money Well Spent?

The Truth Behind the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus, the Biggest Economic Recovery Plan in History

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The 2012 presidential campaign will, above all else, be a referendum on the Obama administration’s handling of the financial crisis, recalling the period when Obama’s “audacity of hope” met the austerity of reality. Central to this is the ’’American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’’—the largest economic recovery plan in American history. Senator Mitch McConnell gave a taste of the enormity of the money committed: if you had spent $1 million a day since Jesus was born, it still would not add up to the price tag of the stimulus package.
A nearly entirely partisan piece of legislation— Democrats voted for it, Republicans against— the story of how the bill was passed and, more importantly, how the money was spent and to what effect, is known barely at all. Stepping outside the political fray, ProPublica’s Michael Grabell offers a perceptive, balanced, and dramatic story of what happened to the tax payers’ money, pursuing the big question through behind-the-scenes interviews and on-the-ground reporting in more than a dozen states across the country.

Publishers Weekly Review

Dec 19, 2011 – ProPublica reporter Grabell puts the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" under a microscope, focusing on its effect in three cities: Elkhart, Ind., whose civic plaza advertised "File Your Unemployment Electronically"; Aiken, S.C. where stimulus money funded the Savannah River cleanup; and Fremont, Calif. home to solar panel startup Solyndra, which received over $500 million. Grabell shares stories of workers who lost jobs and homes, and discusses the impact of the stimulus on goals like increasing Internet connectivity, improving education, and creating green jobs. From an energetic, auspicious beginning, with promises of detailed online tracking and immediate economic impact, the stimulus has played out over two years with some wins (the successful river cleanup created many jobs) and some losses (Solyndra went bankrupt). However, "With money spread so thinly... it was difficult for the public to grasp what the stimulus was about. But it was easy for small projects to capture the media coverage... and overwhelm the narrative the administration was desperately trying to reclaim." Grabell concludes that the problems that were seen nationwide were not a surprise: politics, insufficient funding, and cost overruns. "In this new era, audacity had met reality." This thorough exploration of the stimulus will educate readers about where money went, not just in the focus cities but around the country, and the lasting impact of the Great Recession.
Money Well Spent?
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  • $19.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Politics & Current Events
  • Published: Jan 31, 2012
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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