A New Price Tag for Stimulus: $862 billion, not $787 billion

Amongst its usual cracker jack budget projections yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office provided a few toy surprises for budget watchers. One is an updated estimate of the direct budget costs of the 2009 stimulus bill, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

CBO originally estimated that ARRA would cost $787 billion from 2009 through 2019. Its new estimate is $862 billion, about $75 billion higher.

Key changes to the estimate:

  • Food stamps (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program): $34 billion more than expected
  • Build America Bond program: $26 billion more
  • Unemployment compensation: $21 billion more
  • Medicaid: $3 billion less than expected
  • Other spending: $3 billion less

(CBO did not make any updates for the tax provisions in ARRA.)

For an earlier discussion of the stimulus being bigger than expected, see this post.

For a discussion of why the $862 billion figure (formerly known as the $787 billion figure) is not really the right measure of stimulus, see this post.

Note: CBO provides many details about ARRA in Appendix A of yesterday’s report.

25 thoughts on “A New Price Tag for Stimulus: $862 billion, not $787 billion”

  1. Food stamps are “stimulus”? Well I guess one can’t look for a job on an empty stomach. Oh, and extended UI is “stimulus”? I had someone tell me the other day she had turned down jobs paying more than twice the minimum wage because she gets as much on UI. The theory that generous UI stimulates people to ride the sofa is validated in practice in this one instance at least.

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