Crapo: Note the Real Cost of the Stimulus

Washington, DC – Idaho Senator Mike Crapo said simple math may show why the overwhelming majority of Idahoans contacting his office oppose the economic stimulus plan that was passed by the United States Senate and sent to the President for his signature. Crapo voted against the $787 billion plan. Having been approved earlier in the day by the House of Representatives, the Senate was set to approve the measure, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

As the final 1,000+ page conference report was made available to Senators less than 24 hours before the final vote, exact figures showing how much money is going to Idaho are unavailable. Initial estimates from the National Governors Association indicated that, under formulas in the bill, Idaho could receive more than $800 million. Other groups have released differing estimates.

“While the final numbers on the total amount of new spending going to Idaho have not been released, reports suggest that the spending in this bill going to Idaho will have roughly the effect of a $500 to $600 benefit for every man, woman and child in Idaho,” Crapo said. “These benefits need to be weighed against the costs to Idahoans. When you add interest costs to the national debt we will incur under this bill, the total cost jumps up to around $1.1 trillion. That breaks down to this bill having the effect of placing a new debt of nearly $3,600 on the head of every man, woman and child in Idaho. Idahoans deserve a better return on the investment of their future tax dollars.”

“As many economists are now telling us, while this bill does provide important relief to help the American people try to survive the recession, such as the extended unemployment benefits and aid to states, the bill does very little to help our country get out of the recession,” added Crapo. “The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that, while this stimulus bill may provide a short-term boost to GDP in the next couple of years, the added debt burden and crowding out of private investment will actually become a net drag on both wages and economic growth within five years.”