Official: Stimulus alone won't fix the economy
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – The federal government has sent Michigan $3.8 billion in stimulus money since President Obama signed the recovery act three months ago. The state has used that first round of money to help balance its budget, to avoid cutting people off Medicaid, to extend the length of jobless benefits, and to launch construction projects.
Leslee Fritz is the director of Michigan's recovery office. She says recovery act funding will help create 109,000 jobs over the next two years. That would just replace the jobs that are expected to be lost just this year in Michigan. She says another 24,000 job losses are expected next year: "There's a wide variety of pieces that will factor into reversing the trend in unemployment, reversing the trend in personal income, and the recovery act needs to be treated as one piece of that pie, not the entire pie."
She says the state is waiting now to see if any businesses have won alternative energy research grants, because new jobs in that industry are another piece of the recovery plan