ProPublica’s “Recovery Tracker” has an interesting chart listing how much federal stimulus funding went to each state, juxtaposed with that state’s rate of unemployment from 2008 to 2010. Remember, the main purpose of President Obama’s $850 billion stimulus package was to “save or create jobs,” and Obama’s economic team went even further to claim it would create jobs.
The District of Columbia – which Obama swept in 2008 with 93 percent of the popular vote – got $3.9 billion in stimulus funding. But its unemployment rate nevertheless surged from 4.9 percent in 2008 to 8.5 percent in 2009 to the current 9.8 percent.
The same thing happened in President Obama’s home state of Illinois, which he won in 2008 with 62 percent of the vote. Even after getting $14.2 billion in stimulus funds, the unemployment rate in Illinois doubled from 5.4 percent in 2008 to 10.8 percent in 2010.
Obama easily won California with 61 percent of the vote, but even $41.6 billion in federal stimulus spending couldn’t keep the jobless rate there from soaring from 6.0 in 2008 to 12.3 percent now.
Ditto New York, where 63 percent voted for Obama, who returned the favor with $25.5 billion in stimulus funding. But that was still not enough to prevent the 2008 unemployment rate (4.4 percent) from nearly doubling to 8.2 percent just two years later.
Fifty-seven percent of Michigan voters who picked Obama over Republican John McCain no doubt believed in “hope and change,” but did they expect the “change” to be a 7 point jump in unemployment despite the federal government pumping $12.9 billion into their state?
In contrast, the three states with the lowest unemployment rate this year – North Dakota (3.8 percent), South Dakota (4.5) and Nebraska (4.9) – all voted for McCain.