According the The New York Times, many states have started spending nearly $50 billion dollars that might create up to 400,000 jobs. This in the first three weeks since the bill was made law.
John D. Porcari, Maryland's transportation secretary, said the state: "would quickly put 10,000 people to work resurfacing dozens of roads, painting and repairing bridges, and putting up guardrails".
The construction industry has an unemployment rate twice that of the national average.
When people against this legislation characterize it as a "New Deal" type of package they are wrong.
This package is intended to spend money quickly (states must begin spending money within four months) and states have a lot of leeway on how it gets spent in terms of public works projects.
Many states are opting for smaller, previously shelved projects to repair roads that are in terrible condition.
Some places are opting for major projects, such as the one causing problems in the state of Washington's legislature over whether or not to tear down the Alaska Way viaduct, an elevated highway in Seattle that "blocks off its waterfront" in order to replace it with a tunnel.
Although there are many fights to come within states about how best to spend the money, two things are for sure.
The money will get spent.
People will go back to work.
Families, grocery stores, gas stations, truck drivers, pavement makers, steel workers, restaurants, even banks will benefit from the workers on these projects having a paycheck.
Additionally, people will get off unemployment and other types of public assistance, freeing up those state funds for other things.
Sounds like stimulus to me.
But what do I know?
I'm just a grad student who tries to see the bigger picture... and doesn't expect immediate gratification from a bill that is only three weeks into action...