How Is The Stimulus Working?

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

If you consider the stimulus package a shot in the arm for the economy, consider Monday a mid-year physical.

"In the first 90 days of the Recovery Act, Michigan's received a little over $3.8 billion in allocations," says Leslee Fritz of the state's Economic Recovery Office.

Fritz talked with us Monday about where we should be seeing the green at this point.

"Citizens working have received a $400 tax credit on April 1, and they should be seeing it in their paychecks. Food assistance also increased as of the First of April," she says.

Plenty of road work is also included in the progress, Fritz says.

"More than 550 projects have been certified to date, many right here in Ingham County. Three are breaking ground right now," she says.

The stimulus projects may all look good on paper. But we wanted to know if people in mid-Michigan have actually noticed a change since the stimulus began 90 days ago.

"Nope, not at all. Everything stayed about the same," says Mike Bruce. He owns Instyprints in downtown Lansing and says if the economy is being stimulated, he hasn't seen it yet.

"I don't know if I had high hopes, but I had hopes we would have changes, people spending money. I think people are just cautious," Bruce says.

Law student Kevin Thomas is on the same page.

"I've seen a lot of stores close, stuff like that, in East Lansing and around here as well. Haven't seen much of the money do anything," Thomas says.

"Nobody has made the claim, or nobody credible at least has made the claim, that the Recovery Act was going to solve Michigan's economic problems or the country's economic problems. It's just one piece of the puzzle," Fritz says.

The state still has about $3 billion more in stimulus money coming to it in the next couple of years. About $1 billion so far of the funds have been used in helping fix the state's budget, and another billion is expected to be used by the time everything is said and done.

If you'd like to track the stimulus projects online, click on the link below.


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