WBP Releases Analysis of Stimulus Benefits
Happy half-birthday to The Recovery Act!
Tomorrow marks the 18-month anniversary of The Recovery Act. To celebrate, the Wisconsin Budget Project has released an analysis that found that six types of direct benefits provided by the Act generated more than $3 billion for Wisconsin residents between February 2009 and May 2010. Wisconsin residents have received an average of $532 in direct benefits per person.
Most people know that the stimulus has provided funding for “shovel-ready” projects such as highway maintenance, but it is a well-kept secret that more than one in five stimulus dollars went straight into the pockets of people struggling to make ends meet.
The direct benefits and the amounts allocated in Wisconsin are:
• the Making Work Pay tax credit for workers – $1,547 million;
• additional weeks of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed – $683 million;
• an additional $25 per week of jobless benefits – $324 million;
• a one-time “Economic Recovery Payment” to many elderly people, veterans and people with disabilities – $254 million;
• increased FoodShare benefits – $162 million; and
• health insurance premium assistance – $54 million.
The Wisconsin Budget Project analysis includes estimates for county-by-county distribution of funding from six direct benefits. For example, you can look at the analysis to determine the amount that Sheboygan County residents received through Making Work Pay tax cut ($32.6 million), or the amount that Milwaukee County residents received through COBRA premium assistance ($10.8 million).
The analysis is posted on the Wisconsin Budget Project website.