So, I’m no economist, but I gather that this much-talked-about economic stimulus package that Congress passed on Friday, February 13 is kind of a big deal. Because it’s so important, here are some articles and resources that provide basic information.
You can read the full text of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009(ARRA) at whitehouse.gov (where you can also view a slideshow of Callie Shell-eque photos of President Obama working to win passage of the ARRA). The House Committee on Appropriations site also provides the bill’s entire text and related information as well as a summarizing press release.
An important aspect of the ARRA is the government’s promise to be transparent about its use. In that interest, the not-yet -active site recovery.gov will serve as part of “an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency and unecessary spending in our government” and allow taxpayers to see how and where the $787 billion are spent.
News coverage that analyzes the package includes The New York Times, which published a chart, ” The Stimulus Plan: How to Spend $787 Billion,” that breaks down monetary allocations by category. The Times also approached the plan from an individual perspective with its article “What’s in the Stimulus Bill for You,” as did the Associated Press in “How the Economic Stimulus Plan Could Affect You,” and USA Today in “How Will the $787 Billion Stimulus Package Affect You?”
To find out how the ARRA will impact Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and Pennsylvania, read this article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that details the plans representatives submitted for infrastructure improvements in local and state transportation and construction. It also links to some informative charts that list how PA will spend its $23 billion, a side-by-side comparison of other states’ allotments and more.
With so much money and our economic livelihood at stake, there are nearly endless sources of information, controversial opinions and uncertainty. Should you need help navigating them, you know what to do: Ask a librarian.