White House Economist: Impact of Stimulus Leveling Off

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Posted: Oct 22, 2009 3:37 PM
Associated Press reports:
A top White House economist says spending from the $787 billion economic stimulus has already had its biggest impact on economic growth and will likely not contribute to significant expansion next year.
Woah.  I guess I blinked and missed the stimulus' "biggest impact."  Did anyone else happen to catch a glimpse? 

Christina Romer, the chair of President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said Thursday that the $194 billion already spent gave a jolt to the economy that contributed to growth in the second and third quarters of the year. She told a congressional panel that by the middle of next year, the impact of the stimulus will level off. Romer said spending so far has saved or created 600,000 to 1.5 million jobs but warned that unemployment will remain high, above 9.5 percent, through the end of 2010.

I'm not sure how much of this I buy, especially since even CNN reported that the government doesn't know how to count money or jobs.  Saved or created 600,000 jobs?  At least 200,000 of those jobs are federal government positions! 

So what do you think?  Has the $787 billion stimulus do anything but grow the government?