The Course Of The Recovery (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: September 17, 2012 1:01 pm

The course of the recovery:

Private payrols from February 2008 through August 2012 with significant events noted

Legislation and events marked on the above chart:

  • ARRA – (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or just “The Recovery Act”, i.e., “the Stimulus“), signed February 17, 2009
    • A portion of the ARRA funds was allocated towards sponsored research.
    • It is an unprecedented effort by the federal government to jump-start our economy, save and create millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so that our country can thrive in the 21st century.
    • Part of this stimulus package allocates money to the healthcare industry:
      • Medicaid
      • A 65% subsidy of health care insurance premiums for the unemployed under the COBRA program
      • Health Information Technology (HIT)
      • Health research and construction of National Institutes of Health (NIH) facilities
      • Medical care for service members (the military) and their families
      • Illness prevention and other wellness programs
      • Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
      • Community Health Centers
      • Researching the effectiveness of certain healthcare treatments
      • Training healthcare staff
      • Healthcare services on Indian Reservation
    • “Yes, yes, but I just want to know if it worked! Did it work?” Wonks go head to head, majority claim “yes.”
  • The General Motors (GM) restructuring, which included Chrysler’s reorganization: GM and Chrysler emerged from government-backed Chapter 11 (a form of bankruptcy that involves the reorganization of a debtor’s business affairs and assets) on June 10, 2009. What that means:
    • As of May, 2011, “GM, Ford, Chrysler adding jobs, near pre-crash employment levels“. (Ford restructured without government aid.) Ron Bloom, the president’s assistant for manufacturing policy, wrote that because of President Barack Obama’s “tough love, the American auto industry is now positioned to grow and prosper. […] Since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009, the auto industry has added 115,000 jobs — the fastest pace of job growth in the auto industry since 1998.”
  • The first budget based on President Obama’s proposals entered into effect with the start of the government fiscal year on October 1, 2009.
  • Unemployment Compensation (UC) was extended under the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009.
    • The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) extended the expiration date of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program to January 2, 2013 and made several changes to the program.
      • EUC is a 100% federally funded program that provides benefits to people who have exhausted regular state benefits.
    • The conference report extends the payroll tax cut through the end of the year – [it puts] a full $1,000 in the pockets of the typical American family over the course of 2012, ensures seniors have access to their doctors, and provides as much as 99 weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, depending on the state.
    • The conference report specifically helps unemployed folks in the hardest-hit states.  It preserves Americans’ access to health care and does not include a single cut to Medicare beneficiaries.
    • The conference report guarantees up to 89 or 99 weeks of UI through May, depending on the state; up to 79 weeks through August; and up to 73 weeks through December.  It ensures the economically hardest-hit areas get the help families need to cover their bills and exceeds the President’s UI proposal, giving more support to the states and communities in the greatest need and helping to prevent layoffs.
  • Payrolls reached their lower point of the decline from the Great Recession in February 2010
  • HIRE (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010) signed in March, 2010
    • HIRE is of particular interest to businesses as it includes new tax benefits directly related to hiring employees and writing off investments in equipment. HIRE means new tax incentives for small businesses to hire unemployed workers:
      • Payroll tax exemption of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes on wages paid to these workers after March 18, 2010 and an employer tax credit of up to $1,000 per worker.
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (i.e., “Obamacare”) also signed in March, 2010
    • The Affordable Care Act reins in healthcare costs for the individual, businesses, and our government.
      • If you have insurance you like, you can keep it. Obamacare just makes it cheaper and protects you, the consumer, more.
      • No more denial of pre-existing conditions: If you have a current or past medical issue, insurance companies can not use that as an excuse to deny you coverage or adequate coverage.
      • No dropped coverage when you get sick.
      • Eliminates yearly medical insurance coverage caps: If you have a medical issue, your insurance company won’t drop you if your bills exceed a yearly “cap”.
      • Eliminates lifetime medical insurance coverage caps: If you have a chronic illness or disease, your insurance company can’t drop you or refuse to help you with medical expenses.
      • Caps your out-of-pocket expenses: You should not be forced into personal bankruptcy just because you have been the victim of an accident or fell ill.
      • Requires coverage for preventive care: Preventive care helps doctors spot and treat medical problems before they become severe or deadly.
      • Kids can stay on their parents’ policies until age 26.
      • If you lose or change your job, or start your own business, you’ll still be able to get coverage: You will no longer be trapped in a toxic job because you fear losing your health insurance coverage. If you are laid off or fired, you will no longer lose health insurance coverage.
      • If you don’t have insurance, there will be a new insurance marketplace called The Exchange. It should include a Public Option Plan. These exchanges will be run by the states.
      • It establishes new tax credits and low-cost coverage for individuals and any small businesses who can’t afford insurance.
      • Eliminates the prescription “donut hole” in Medicare Part-D for seniors, which has already saved seniors millions of dollars.
      • It won’t add a dime to the deficit, and it will create over 4 million jobs. There will be an independent panel of medical experts to identify waste, fraud, and abuse. There will be immediate medical malpractice reform projects.
  • The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203, H.R. 4173) was signed into law on July 21, 2010
    • What does Dodd-Frank mean for you? It will increase access to credit scores.
    • If a lender, insurance company, landlord or employer rejects your application or offers you a higher rate because of a credit check, the company must provide you with a free credit score. The score provided must be the score that was used to make the adverse decision. People whose application gets denied because of their score will gain insight into the factors hurting their credit rating.
    • The Federal Reserve would oversee interchange fees charged for the processing of debit card transactions. These fees must be “reasonable and proportional” to the costs incurred by the payment card network, such as Visa and MasterCard, and issuer in the processing of the payment.
    • Merchants can offer discounts as long as they those discounts don’t discriminate towards cards issued by particular financial institutions. The bill also says that payment networks can’t block merchants from setting minimum and maximum transaction amounts for the acceptance of payment cards, as long as the transaction restrictions apply to all issuers and payment networks.
    • This may mean small discounts at the cash register for customers who prefer to pay in cash, and not on credit. (When you choose to pay with cash, you avoid the risk of over-extending your personal credit or falling on hard times and missing a credit card payment (which lowers your credit score). This is an optional but not insignificant bonus.)


  • The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 was signed on September 27, 2010. The Act provides critical resources to help small businesses continue to drive economic recovery and create jobs. It extended the successful SBA enhanced loan provisions while offering billions more in lending support, tax cuts, and other opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
    • The law reaffirmed “parity” among federal small-business contracting programs. When awarding contracts that are set-aside for small businesses, contracting officers are free to choose among businesses owned by women and service-disabled veterans, as well as businesses participating in HUBZone and 8(a) programs.
    • SBA loan provisions, with the 90% guarantee and reduced fees, were extended through 2010. The $505 million in subsidy for Jobs Act loans supported more than $12 billion in overall small business lending. According to self-reported data, a significant share of Jobs Act loans went to rural (22%), minority-owned (21%), women-owned (16%) and veteran-owned (7%) businesses.
    • The Act provides many benefits to small businesses, including new tax cuts:
      • The law increases the small business expensing limit to $500,000 for 2010 and 2011.
      • The law makes a permanent change to allow qualified small businesses to carry back their general business credits to offset five years of taxes.
      • The law temporarily puts in place for 2010 the elimination of all capital gains taxes for those who invest in small business.
      • The law temporarily increases the amount of start-up expenditures entrepreneurs can deduct for 2010.
      • The law permanently provides deductions for employer-provided cell phones
      • The law allows the self-employed to deduct health insurance costs for themselves and their family members this year.
      • The law changes, beginning this year, the limitations on penalties for errors in tax reporting that disproportionately affect small business
      • The law extended 50% bonus depreciation through 2010; however, the new Tax Relief Act of 2010 further extends and expands this to 100% of any productive capital investments in 2011.
  • The extension of some provisions of the ARRA (i.e., the “Stimulus”) via the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 signed on December 17, 2010
    • Building off the gains made in the Recovery Act, the agreement will extend key provisions including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that disproportionately benefit women and working families. In summary:
      • Women represent about 60 percent of the parents benefitting from the EITC and CTC expansions in the agreement.
      • One out of every three families gaining from the extension of these credits is headed by a single mother. Families headed by single mothers are among the most economically at risk in our fragile recovery. This extension of the EITC and CTC would direct substantial resources to these families, with an estimated 4 million of the families gaining being headed by single mothers.
  • The signing of the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) on January 4, 2011.
    • The FSMA is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years and aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. This act gives FDA new and enhanced mandates and authorities to protect consumers and promote public health.


From State of Thought


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