Written for the Huffington Post. Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent, and millions of words were argued. And now a little ice cream shop in Santa Cruz, California has made it clear why the stimulus program was worth it.
The facts say the stimulus worked, as in the recent Congressional Budget Office report showing millions of jobs saved or created plus solid increases in GDP.
But more powerful than facts are stories, like the one told in this video, by the owners of the new Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz:
Kendra Baker and Zachary Davis, the owners of the shop, describe how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) made it possible for them to get the loan they used to open their business. They hired service providers and employees, bought equipment (US-made) and supplies (from local vendors), and now have a thriving store that’s helping to boost the economy of downtown Santa Cruz. They made the video because they wanted to thank President Obama; their senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer; and their congressman, Sam Farr.
These ice cream entrepreneurs make the case that many a politician has struggled with. They drive it home simply by cutting from one person to another saying, “They hired me… and they hired me… and they hired me.”
That’s basically the way stimulus spending should work when credit stalls in a recession, and that’s the way it did work this time.