TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act turns 1 tomorrow. And the Obama Administration is hitting the road to tout its benefits. Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson is with us live from New York with more on that story. Good morning, Jeremy.
Jeremy Hobson: Good morning, Steve.
Chiotakis: President’s off talking about green jobs today, and Vice President Biden off to job-starved Michigan, I mean Cabinet secretaries are off and hitting the road. What’s going on here?
Hobson: Well the short answer is recent polling suggests a majority of Americans don’t like the stimulus, and we’re nine months away from the mid-term elections. It is the Administration’s biggest legislative victory so far, so it’s already, as you know, becoming a big issue in the run-up to the elections. Republicans saying it hasn’t worked and is increasing the deficit, and Democrats saying it pulled us back from the brink of economic collapse and is helping to save and create jobs.
Chiotakis: Yeah but Jeremy, when are we going to hear from the Administration that we haven’t already heard?
Hobson: Probably not a whole lot of substance, Steve, but they’ll be highlighting individual projects that are being funded by the stimulus. The Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, will be outside of Atlanta today at a medical center that got stimulus money. Remember, about a third of the stimulus was federal grants like that one; the rest was tax cuts and stuff like unemployment benefits. And the funny thing is even though the polling suggests that the stimulus itself is not popular, those individual components do appear to be popular. So the Administration will need to convince the public that the stimulus is simply a sum of its popular parts.
Chiotakis: Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson in New York. Jeremy, thanks.
Hobson: Thank you.
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