Today, Rep. Eric Massa highlighted the one year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It was on February 17th, 2009 that President Obama signed the largest tax cut in American history while making significant long-term investments in our economy.
In January 2009, when the previous Administration left office and the 111th Congress first came into session, America lost about 779,000 jobs in that one month alone and the national unemployment rate reached 7.6%. While unemployment has increased during this recession, January 2010 was the first month since April of 2008 to show a decrease in the unemployment rate. During this span, monthly job losses went from 779,000 down to 20,000.
Additionally, in the final quarter of 2008, the Gross Domestic Product showed a 5.4% decrease - however in the final quarter of 2009, we had a 5.7% increase. These two statistics alone demonstrate that the Recovery Act is having a positive effect.
Because of these facts, a recent USA Today Survey of 50 top US economists showed that the experts believe an additional 1.2 million jobs would have been lost had Congress failed to pass the Recovery Act. Additionally, this morning, the New York Times printed an in depth story highlighting the success of the Recovery Act one year later.
"When I came into office, it was a lot like being handed the controls to the Titanic shortly after we started hitting the iceberg," said Rep. Eric Massa. "However by passing the largest tax cut in American history, which now benefits 256,000 families in my Congressional District alone, and making strategic investments in our infrastructure and education, we have saved jobs and started the recovery process. I am more optimistic today than I was a year ago because we have begun to see growth in the Gross Domestic Product which is a leading indicator of an improving economy. The work is not done and I will continue to do everything in my power to create jobs in Western New York, but I know we are moving in the right direction."
"As a New Yorker, I've had some concerns with the way the funds have been distributed through Albany, however I am pleased with the overall success of this program."
In New York's 29th Congressional District, the Recovery Act has made investments of $299,387,241 in our communities according to recovery.gov. This investment has meant increased funding to Title 1 and IDEA to keep our teachers employed all across the 29th Congressional District. It has also meant significant investments in programs such as the I-99 highway project and upgrades to I-86 in the Southern Tier. In Cuba N.Y., it has meant a new wastewater infrastructure program.
Right here in New York's 29th Congressional district 256,000 families, have seen their payroll taxes decrease from the Making Work Pay Tax Credit which puts more money in the pockets of American families.
3,490,782 New Yorkers on Social Security and SSI have received their $250 recovery payment to help mitigate the Cost of Living Adjustment issue.
58,787 families in New York have also taken advantage of the $8,000 First Time Homeowners Tax Credit to help them fulfill the American dream of homeownership.