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February 9th, 2010
08:30 AM ET

Your Stimulus Questions Answered

At the CNN Stimulus Desk, we have been breaking down for you what happened to the $862 billion Recovery Act that passed a year ago. Where did your tax money go?

Our team of researchers has been piecing through massive lists of projects to find the ones that might most interest you - and to ask questions about them. Below, just a couple of examples.

What questions do you have about the stimulus? Post here, and we just might tackle them on air.

P.S. Want to get some of the stimulus money to weatherize your home? Billions are available nationwide. Apply here.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • CNN Newsroom • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs • Kyra Phillips • Tony Harris
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Peggy Hennessey

    My question concerning the stimulus is this: Why haven't the people in this country realized that one third...of the stimulus package was a tax CUT for 90 percent of the population. Those in opposition to the stimulus keep saying that a true stimulus would be in the form of tax cuts !!! President Obama CUT taxes !!!! I noticed the extra amount in my paycheck and I am spending it !!!! Hasn't anyone else noticed !!! Is this a simple messaging problem? Why aren't citizens aware that stimulus money was funneled to states to keep their kids' teachers on the job, and their police and firemen kept at adequate levels. Please CNN spread this message along with your other excellent reporting on this stimulus package.
    Thank You.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Why is the government dragging there feet handing out stimulus checks to people on Social Security and Disability .

    February 9, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  3. Daniel Mercer

    I appreciate Peggy's comment. However, I'm just a simple guy living a simple life...and I enjoy simple math. So if you take 900,000,000,000 and divide that by $150,000= 6,000,000. So I would think that 6 million households with zero mortgage would certainly stimulate the economy, not just this month or next. It could stimulate it for years. Or if you did 50,000 per house hold that would stimulate 18 million. I'm sure you get the point by now. Anyway our best and most brilliant minds that sit in Washington think that if you give this money to the very people that already have raped the American people, auto makers, mortgage banks, banks, etc that this will somehow make it better. Oh don't forget all the ridiculous pet projects. When many Americans are struggling to put food on the table and then our leaders say it is OK to spend millions on any sort of animal study or race study etc, it has gone to far. The leaders in Washington are so out of touch and out of their league. Why not turn the problem over to people that have to make real decisions to make their companies work. It is as if they are playing with Monopoly money and they get board every week and stop playing after they have all spent there money. Then they come back the next week and "LOOK guys" there is more money!!! What if they had to work on a performance scale. example; nothing solved-no pay. I think things would work a little different.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  4. Janet

    I live in Fairfax County, VA, and while the president is launching a campaign against child obesity, the FCPS system is proposing a $100 fee for any student playing a school sport.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  5. Janet

    I am in the low to medium income bracket ($30 – $40 K), and while my taxable income was $800 less than last year, my fereal taxes were a $1000 more than last year. How is that a cut???

    February 9, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  6. Austin

    I am an accountant and you guys are totally blowing the analysis. You are not communicating the following:

    1. The number of jobs saved from the money provided to state and local governments (teachers, police, fireman, etc..) and the impact that has on the community.

    2. You are incorrectly reporting the number of jobs created or the employment that is created. When you build a bridge you may only employ 10-20 for the final contruction, but the majority of the money is spent on the material and supplies to make the bridges assembly parts. You are missing the labor associated to make material and supplies. Constantly only same a piece of the labor is misinforming the public and borders on media malpractice.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  7. Ron Ault

    Josh: We see a lot of the bad press for the stimulus money- how about a good story to be "fair and balanced?" In Ross, Ohio, the DOE had the world's largest weapons grade uranium production plant (Fernald) that produced 66 2/3% of all the free world's weapon's grade enriched uranium that was in operation for more than 60 years...with added money to conduct accelerated cleanup the project was completed more than 30 years ahead of schedule and saved taxpayers more than 30 billion dollars...based on that experience, the Metal Trades and Building and Construction Trades Departments of the AFL-CIO lobbyed Congress to add 6.4 billion dollars to the House version of the stimulus bill to accelerate the DOE legancy weapons sites. Look at Hanford, washington as an example of how this additional money will prevent more than a trillion gallons of highly contaminated groundwater from reaching the Columbia River and save untold billions of dollars decades ahead of schedule- and there are thousands of skilled jobs added as a result.
    Ron Ault

    February 9, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  8. Keith M.

    Are the Republicans impeding the flow of the money to it's intended destinations?
    If we gave tax breaks to the rich business owners how would that benefit US citizens if the businesses are outsourcing to other countries?
    If we are intending to go green why are so many Republicans trying to get the offshore drilling rights passed and who pays to clear out the old drilling rigs when we are truly become green?
    Is the stimulus money being used for any big green projects presently?
    Did Colorado Springs get any stimulus money to help them with their shortfalls of public services?

    February 9, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  9. Susy Raybon

    Schools need healthier food options for our children but one thing they can do with almost zero cost is to bring back recess and PE! It costs very little to jump rope, run relays and shoot hoops!

    February 9, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  10. Mike Smith

    Viewing your national map on CNN minutes ago showing how much in stimulus dollars each state received proportionately, two questions come to mind. First, no one seems to ask the question ever, "how long will these jobs last (either per project or on the average)" and secondly, your shaded map may show more populous states in a darker red simply because they have a larger population, ergo, they should get more funds than say, Idaho.
    Why do you not also report on how much in funds each state gets PER CAPITA so we can see how equitable the distribution may be?
    Another interesting kind of reporting you might consider is to report, if you can find it out, how much more in funds per capita is going to those districts where the most powerful senators and congressmen (especially among the Democrats) reside, where they get elected.
    Finally, reporting on how many stimulus dollars are spent per job is VERY telling, if you will report it. It would seem ludicrous if, for example, it costs $200,000 or $1 million to create each job, especially if the average job lasts only what, 6 months, 12 months per project?

    February 9, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  11. Tom Davis

    How much if any of the stimulus money is going towards increasing,encouraging and/or returning from overseas, manufacturing in our country?

    February 9, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  12. Shawn

    I just want to thank you Tony. Your show is such a breath of fresh air and you're awesome. Thank you.


    February 9, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  13. william

    Hey tony
    I received my job because of the stimulas money. I am employed as a Job Development Specialist with a North Carolina nonprofit agency who recieved stimulas money.
    This agency is spending the money to help prevent job layoffs or bring back laid off workers in small businesses just like the President wanted. The only problem I am having is getting these small businesses to accept the funding. I don't understand why many of the businesses that have layed off workers are not taking advantage of the available programs generated by the stimulas money.
    There is alot of complaining about the stimulas money, but I know for a fact that it is real and it is helping.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  14. Wel-Don

    I think one of the problems with the stimulus money for small business owner
    is that both black and white business owners think there is a catch to all of this. I truly believe that the business owners I spoke to about the stimulas funds avialable to prevent layoffs don't want the presidents plan to work.
    With all the money availabe to help small businesses most of them would rather layoff people than to keep them and I think it's on purpose.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  15. Jeff Robins

    I assume that the stimulus dollars include money spent for project materials, not just salaries. Do the jobs numbers include the additional jobs created to manufacture the materials?

    February 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  16. Josephine Woods

    Hi Tony,

    This is Josephine in Santa Fe NM. Just before 9am this morning I was listening to my local FM radio station and they said that a 28 yr. old man had just been pulled from the rubble of a market in Port au Prince. I have been waiting to hear details from you. Have you heard about this?

    Sincerely, Josephine

    February 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  17. Daniel Mercer

    We live in AZ. We already pay $75 – $150 / sport or activity for our kids to participate. With three kids you can see how that might add up. I don't believe any of our friends in Washington have to worry about that.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  18. James

    How can we sit back and watch our tax dollars go to such ridiculous projects. Why are we not spending our money more wisely, or should I say the Chinese's money more wisely since they are the ones we are borrowing the money from. We build a wetland habitat in Phoenix, while a family struggles to pay their rent or mortgage. This is crazy! Put the money into the hands of the people, or the businesses!

    February 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  19. Dee

    You just aired a story about wet lands outside of Phoenix AZ. I live in Phoenix AZ and I don't understand why they are spending 14 million dollars on 192 jobs for the wildlife when we are getting ready to cut 500 police, fire and service jobs.... never mind the thousands of people that are homeless and living in shelters. I will never understand the thinking of a politician. It seems simple enough to me divert some of the money ear marked for STUPID and give it to the cities that need it...

    February 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  20. DirtPimp

    We have a large budget deficit here in Arizona. Education, police, and fire services are being cut. The Phoenix housing market is devastated, with many homeowners in foreclosure. Yet the government is spending our money to build a wetlands in the "desert". The stupidity of this administration is astonishing.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  21. David Myers

    When you report on the various stimulus projects, you mention that a certain amount of money was spent and that it created a certain number of jobs. Several days ago I heard one commentator note that a particular project amounted to $1.4 million per job created. However, no one seems to mention the 'trickle down' effect of these projects. For instance, consider a highway project costing $15 million and creating 50 jobs. This does not account for the jobs created or retained by suppliers and manufacturers of the concrete, paving materials, steel rebar, gravel, landscaping supplies and even the people who lease, maintain and fuel the earthmoving equipment, trucks and other equipment required to get the project completed. A projec t such as this is like an iceburg in that most of the people involved are not seen or even considered.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  22. James

    You are either a government employee or a contractor because you have repeatedly said this. You don’t think that those fifty jobs are included into the manufacturers and suppliers division? Our president gets on television every ten minutes to talk about how the stimulus has helped everyone and you don’t think he includes these jobs. Get real guy. Get off your democratic high horse and admit that our government has made some pretty bad decisions. This is not a republican commercial, because both sides have screwed up. I am just saying don’t give credit where credit is NOT due.

    February 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  23. Sandy G.

    It appears that many of the jobs created by stimulus moneys are construction oriented. My question is: "How many jobs have been created for men, and how many jobs have been created for women? It appears that the bulk of newly created jobs are male oriented. Career areas filled primarily by women have decreased significantly during the past year. For example, education and social services have seen significant cuts, especially at the state and county levels. What is being done to provide jobs for women as well as for men?

    February 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  24. Bill Colburn

    Why can't stimulus money be used by TSA to move part-time folks, who have been waiting over a year, into full-time positions? They've been trained, they've been requesting full-time, they've been waiting – many of them well over a year. Thought we needed more and better security?

    February 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  25. George

    It would be great if you would talk about how many earmarks were added to the Recovery Act and identify what some of them were for.

    February 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  26. M.D.Dean

    Re:mushroom study–all frivolous handouts to states-
    absolutely not! This is absurd! The government needs to at the very least have the common sense of a middle aged, single mother, who raised 3 amazing adults!
    Learn how to say "no" to people want things that are not good for them!

    Thank you.

    February 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  27. Cecelia McLean

    Why after almost a year and over five phone calls to social security have I not received my individual $250 stimulus money. Furthermore, why does the agent at the other end of the line say that it has nothing to do with social securtiy when their web site referred me to that number.


    February 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  28. Louis Pagan

    Thank You for keeping track of the Recovery Act spending. But what happen to the TRAP spending and what happened to the TARP money.

    February 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  29. Charles J. Cafferata, Jr.

    As a future educator of America, I firmly believe that we can create change with the opportunity that the Stimulus package offers. According to a number of studies, children that recieve a proper education and the opportunity to have a stable career most often do not end up in jail, and are productive members of their society. We often discuss in my college courses about overcrowding and have versus have-not, how schools don't have the needed hi-tech resources like computers, while some schools don't even have the basic resources like hot lunches, proper heating, leaks in the schools leaving hazardous conditions, and outdated or insufficient texts and learning aids.

    With the initial failures of No Child Left Behind and the fact that there is Billions of dollars available to fund projects, how much of it is actually going to fund the building and renovation of urban and rural schools that most desperately need it?

    February 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  30. Luwanna Guysville Ohio


    I'm confused. In your report about U of AR you said students are studying fungi in a tropical environment in Thailand. You mentioned that you asked the NSF (National Science Foundation) about why they received the money. Scientific value was the main reason. The reason I am confused is that I know the NSF hands out scientific research grants every year. What I don't understand and you didn't really explain was the connection to the Recovery Act money. Did the Recovery Act give money to the NSF? Did the NSF request money from the Recovery Act pot? Please explain the connection. I am all for research but the recovery act money should be going to projects that help the US economic recovery not science projects. I'm one of those college students who got screwed this past year when the banks decided to stop lending money so if they want to hand out recovery money for science they can start with me.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  31. Hunter, TX

    Is there any help in the Stimulus Package or plans to help in future Stimulus Bill for students, who have now graduated from college and can't find a job due to the recession, for their paying back their student loans? The interest keeps accumulating and the loans keep growing with the students not able to pay, even the interest on the student loan, because they cannot find a job. The banks, generally, will extend the time period for the loans, with the interest still accumulating, but won't lower the loan. I have a daughter-in-law in the situation. She will never be able to pay back her loan unless she can get a good job. Meanwhile, she gets deeper and deeper in debt with her student loan each and everyday. Please let me know if there is anything in the Stimulus Package that will help. Thanks.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  32. lPatrick Neal

    I would like to know how many permanent jobs were created with the stimulus package for manufacturing products that could be sold through exports, there by, increasing employment and our global economic position and rasing the value of the American dollar? Wouldn't that stimulate everything?

    February 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  33. A. Smith, Oregon

    Lump ALL stimulus funds together, Lump ALL Military funds including those stuffed into black projects and squirreled away in NASA and other agency's. Compare those two figures.

    Lump ALL total stimulus projected funds together, Lump ALL total projected Military acquisitions PLUS the Military replacement for nearly 50-75% of all military hardware used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Compare those two figures.

    February 10, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  34. rp

    Is there any money going toward medical residency positions, particularly in primary care?

    February 10, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  35. LvDan

    You talk about Michigan a lot, but what about Nevada? It too has been hit hard. Looking at some of CNN's graphics, it seems like Nevada is getting almost nothing, even though the Senate majority leader is from Nevada! What gives?

    February 10, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  36. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    How much stimulus has been put towards global cooling because global warming is a lie.

    February 10, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  37. Jay

    David Myers has said what I came here to say: We hear the number of jobs created, but there's no mention of the ripple effect. Directly add new jobs and you add or save more jobs than that. The new employees don't sock all their money away in their mattresses. They spend most of it, creating demand and creating or saving more jobs.

    Are you reporting only the direct jobs numbers? If so, you're not giving us an accurate picture.

    February 10, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  38. denise rounds

    I am one of the lucky one's here in California my husband and I have a job. So we are happy to here you follow our tax dollars. These stimulus programs actually are a progrressive idea, however I am concerned they are just a bandaid covering the hemmorage. I think it will up to private sector and lending institutions to let me know the stimulus program has really MADE THE DIFFERENCE.

    February 10, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  39. Bob Spencer

    Why did 2billion go to a drilling company in Brazil and all the findings of oil from this company will go to China. The US gets absolutely nothing. Word is Sorros owns a ton of stock in this company and will make millions. Just another thank you from Obama for his monetary support in his election.
    Also explain to me why the 9 billion that the peple and court said they did not want to go to Acorn ifn fact did and they are to receive another 4 billion from this new 3.8 trillion budget. i guess ma. can thank another one of their liberal poloticians Mr dellahunt. It is this type of corruption and payouts that upset the people of the country. if this is not published or mentioned i will understand.
    Just for your info. I am a liberal who voted for Obama

    February 10, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  40. DCG

    Greetings Josh and thank you for your excellent coverage in this area. I would like to ask a few questions regarding the stimulus funds:

    1. Are stimulus funds available and/or loanable to private individuals?
    2. If so please advise on where one can inquire?

    I ask for 2 reasons- First there appears to be many folks who endlessly advertise about being able to get a fair a share of stimulus money for a nominal fee- Can you please comment on the validity of this ( if any )

    Second- The HAMP program is not working or at best has had minimal success. While on a modified payment plan from my lender/servicer Wells Fargo- The money that I had saved while I was on this modification waiting for the approval to go through ( it eventually did not ) added up to a few thousand dollars- now that the process has been completed for me Wells Fargo is asking for these funds in addition to my regular mortgage payment all in one lump sum to bring the account back up to current status. Wells Fargo is refusing any type of payment plan for these extra funds and is threatening foreclosure action if they are not mailed in with my next payment. Since I do not have this couple of thousand dollars readily available at the moment I was wondering if I can ask the federal government for a grant and/or loan from these stimulus funds in order to satisfy the bank's requirements. Please keep in mind that I am not even sure that these extra funds have to be paid back at all- when asked Wells Fargo they refused to address this issue. What ever advice/assistance/direction that can be provided is greatly appreciated. Thank You- DCG

    February 10, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  41. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Really how much money's were pleged to global warming and are the people going to file charges against the government for fraued .

    February 10, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  42. Richard, ...NEVADA


    Just viewed your latest segment, being informed what some States are receiving in Stimulus Money ~ and, again there is no mention of NEVADA ~ regarding the number of jobs saved from the money provided to state and local governments, especially for teachers, police, etc.... MAYBE because we are not getting any? Or, not very much? As our State of NEVADA (Yes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's State), per our Governor Jim Gibbons, has just called for yet another (the 4th in 3-years) Special Legislative Session to cut our States Spending Budget – AS WE ARE APPARENTLY NOT GETTING – any Stimulus Money ~ Especially for our Education System ~ now poised to layoff some 2,000 + more TEACHERS and other supportive Education Employees!

    OUR STATE, which includes 'Las Vegas', has approximately 13% (and, rising!) Unemployment, with another hotel (The Ritz-Carleton, at the Lake of Las Vegas – in Henderson, NV) announcing yesterday, that it is closing its doors – for another 350 + jobs lost! AND, not to mention that NEVADA has the HIGHEST Mortgage Foreclosure Rate in the Nation, at nearly 1 in every 3 Homes.


    February 10, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  43. Carolyn Mandel

    ABC Diane Sawyer 2/9/10 did a story on a massive wind farm being errected in Texas with $450 million stimulus money. Good idea except the turbines & windmills are all being manufactured in China! So our tax dollars are creating jobs in foreign countries? Apparently the Ways & Means Committee stated there is nothing written that says materials or products used in our Green Revolution projects have to be made in USA, that also includes the jobs the materials & products generate. This is rediculous! Aren't we trying to stimulate our economy & our jobs in this country? There is a company in Pennsylvania that makes these turbines & windmills, also included in this story. Can you follow up? America should be outraged! Carolyn

    February 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  44. Jack Carey

    Hi Josh,
    I appreciated today's report that education was the largest recipient of stimulus dollars. It certainly needs it and deserves it! However, I have a couple of questions about that:
    a. why, then, are teaching positions being cut in New York State during the school year? (Ex. Saugerties and many others),
    b. why are New York superintendents claiming multi-million dollar shortfalls in January? (Ex. Poughkeepsie and others)
    c. why has the Governor of New York seen fit to reduce State Aid to Education during the current school year?
    d. why are school taxes continuing to increase in New York State?

    Your report made it look like education, as the recipient of big stimulus $$$, must be in good shape. I don't think so. Someone in comptroller capacities need to look at what's happening with the stimulus $$$. We need to look at models of financing education before we look into standards, testing, teacher quality, etc.. First things first!

    I appreciate your reports...go deeper!!!

    February 10, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  45. Rob

    With so many unemployed for more than we like to be, seems that is confusing to understand what type of extended unemployment benefits is available as the deadline of Feb 28th looms for many. It seems that when there is one job, there are hundreds of people applying for that one job. It is harder to get a job. When and who would qualify for the extensions.


    February 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  46. Rick

    I agree with David , you haven't talked about the trickle down effect enough. Didn't we learn in economics class that when the government spends money it keeps moving around from person to person till it is either taxed back out by some form of government, hid under your bed, paid to a bank (who should lend it back out). The only way that it doesn't make its way back in the end through taxes is if it is spent on something from out of this country or sent out in some way.
    Buy American, the easiest way to help make Stimulas work!!!

    February 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  47. Edwin Batis

    Include Puerto Rico in your report. We received more that 6 Billons,we need to know where is the Money..The P.R Educational Dept. received more than 2 billons and fired more than 7000 worker and this Fraiday 1000 more . Plaese investigate. Thank

    February 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  48. R Whiddon

    I saw on CNN this morning about Iowa getting $869M in stimulus money for education. Iowa only represents a fraction of the US population. How is it that this TINY state gets a major chunk of change for education? This is why.....the political engine of Iowa is controlled by ADM. ADM controls corn, ethanol and the massive political contributions that fuel the corrupt political caucus system in the US. No candidate who did not switch to support ethanol ever made it to second base. Ethanol is a horrible additive for gas yet ADM gets $2 per gallon US subsidies on top of corn subsidies. Putting corn in our SUV's is amoral and unethical.

    I'd like to see CNN go after this corruption and expose the connection between ADM and our corrupt caucus system in the US.

    I's also like to see a justification for a state of 3 million getting a massive education funding while much larger states did not.

    February 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  49. Rick Bettendorf

    Ali, you and the team are doing a great Job. What you have not shown is what appropriations from the Senate finance committee have been written and approved. Just because a president says he has directed and approved that the money be spent, doesn't mean that congress has approved that the money be spent.

    February 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  50. Gene Lampione

    Here's a question about the stimulus bill. Under the clean energy part of the bill, the big windmill's that produce energy for an energy farm in Texas, are being built in China. They are employing about two thousand Chinese workers to build them, but only 300 Americans to install them.

    I thought the bill was to give Americans job's, not source them out.

    I voted for Obama, but like Hillary said I don't think he is ready yet. I can't only blame him. I blame his advisers, and the nut jobs in congress.

    February 10, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  51. frances quattlebaum

    You are right – people are sick of the bickering going on in Washington. The politicians are not representing us – it is ridiculous watching them run to microphones to call each other names and posture.
    Many of us are very worried and don't know what is going to happen to this country

    February 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  52. Dave

    I've been watching the stimulus sigment for some time now, but I haven't seen anything on the allocation of moneys to updating the power grid. This is an area that will have an immediate impact across the country but seems to be moving extremely slowly and or flying below the radar.
    What is the current status and who are some of the major players? I've read artlicles over the last year regarding such compamies as Duke, Con-Ed, Ambient and others, but it appears to be all quite on the power grid front..!

    February 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  53. Fred Mitchell

    On wed. show you showed how many jobs were saved or made but what about all the jobs that were made or saved by people that it takes to service this many people .I know it would be difficult but don.t you think it would worth mentioning / Things sometimes just aren,t as simple as dividing jobs into amount spent.

    February 10, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
  54. A. Smith, Oregon

    It has been stated that 2/3 of the entire Federal Govt. income goes to All of the Military branches and black programs, Social Security and Medicare-Medicaid. The entire Republican Party since Ronald Reagan onward have been actively trying to ax the Social Security and Medicare-Medicaid programs thru various guises.

    So, my question, 'How much of the entire pie goes to ALL of the Military branches and their black programs which span many additional agency's within the federal government in their attempts to hide them?

    Too difficult you say? Add Social Security spending PLUS Medicare-Medicaid spending, subtract that from the entire gross national income to the US Federal Government and see what percentage those programs use. It should be far lower than 66%, the difference making it 66% would be the Military Spending.

    February 10, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  55. Reyna

    Dear Josh where do we go to apply for whetherization for my house
    hope to hear from you soon

    February 11, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  56. Otis

    Can you give me some direction on how to apply for stimulus money for the purpose of weatherization of my home in the Atlanta area?

    February 11, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  57. Sandy Swanseen

    Are you kidding me??? A million dollars (reference "quitting smoking") from the stimulus plan that provided ONE fulltime job?

    This government is so out of control. It is truly sickening.

    February 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  58. Lissette

    This Stimulus Plan is a JOKE. Seriously, nearly $1million towards quitting smoking? This money belongs to the American people yet it is being used in ridiculous ways. These progressive radicals WILL be voted OUT of Congress come the November elections. They are acting in an un-American manner and are completely ignoring the Constitution. Spending money left and right is clearly not the intelligent way to "get us out" of this recession. Common Sense.

    February 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  59. mattie fowler

    It's good to see you finally digging into the issues.

    Perhaps you will come to understand why most of the country is so angry. One job created for almost a million dollars.

    You only hinted at your skepticism. You should be outraged!

    Perhaps I should start smoking to get my free Blackberry, which up to this point I had deemed too expensive for my own budget. Now I get to buy one for a bunch of strangers who are unwilling to discipline themselves.

    February 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  60. virgil

    I heard over CNN news this morning about a free blackberry to quit smoking but I did not hear how to apply for it. Kindly email me the info.
    thanks and keep on reporting good news like this. Do you have stimulus money for small business like a restaurant?

    February 11, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  61. raa

    I just watched Josh Levs discussing weatherization and how little has been expended. He says the web address is too long to show so we have to go to his site to get it. It is not there. Nice public service effort, CNN.

    February 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  62. Tom Dullaghan

    Hi Josh, Need info on how I can apply with my state. It's North Carolina. Looking for help on how to make my home enery smart.
    Thank you.

    February 11, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  63. Connie L

    I came to the link you gave on air to find the info about how to apply for stimulus money to weatherize our home. I don't see said link. Am I blind?

    February 11, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  64. Marie Carson

    Where do I get the paper work to apply for stimulus money for new windows for my home under the stimulus plan?

    February 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  65. Connie L

    Yes, it seems I AM blind. Sorry...I found it. Thanks

    February 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  66. Sue Cadenhead

    What type of improvements are allowed for Stimulus ?
    How much is allowed per household?

    February 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  67. Alice Colwye

    Can you give me some direction on how to apply for stimulus money for the purpose of weatherization of my home in Michigan..

    February 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  68. fbocch

    Hi, where do I sign up of the stimulus $ for winterizing my house? Why would CNN report on it and not give any details of how to get the $...or should I just go to city hall?

    February 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  69. Eric Newell

    Thanks, Josh:

    I went to to find the web site explaining how to apply for home energy savings stimulus money. It wasn't there.

    You should work for the government, Josh!


    February 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  70. fbocch

    So, how do I get the stimulus $ for winterization?

    February 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  71. fbocch

    I've been reading thru some of this baloney and if you think that the stimulus is creating jobs, I'd say you're right...govt jobs...who the frig wants those! Not me. Who beleives having the govt run anything that's job related is actually going to help in either the short term or long term...those that raised your hand...I don't need to talk to you cause you're drinkin the coolaid that the messiah is pourin. Robert Riech said stimulus jobs shouldn't go to white workers necessarily, that says all I need to know about this could anyone beleive that the messiah and his cronies are worse than Bush?

    February 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  72. Susan

    looking for progams for energy updates to my home using stimulus money in Colorado.

    February 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  73. Brenda

    Josh spoke about stimulus money available for home weatherization. What is the procedure to apply for these funds? Is the money available to homeowners, or just to the companys who contract to do the work?

    February 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  74. Ed Simpson

    Debt never increases financial stability or economic stability. Debt has to be paid back and Americans are scared of their and their children's future. Bailing out the banks postponed the housing market recovery because the banks that made the bad loans delayed lowering the home prices of their foreclosed inventory because of stimulus money.

    Without the bailout, the banks would have been forced to sell off the foreclosed properties quickly to get their asset ratios in check, or the bankrupt banks' assets would have been acquired by creditors and sold quiclky off to recover their invested money. The effect would have been an instant decrease in home values, but the excess foreclosed inventory would have been bought up by investors like myself that invest in homes that need fixing up.

    Since banks won't lend me or other or other home investors like myself, the buyer pool is limited to qualified first time home buyers. The supply of homewners that upgrade to a larger home means their house now goes on the market. Many buyers regardless of the tax credit refuse to buy until the housing market shows a turn around hedging their risk

    I have paid back over $4,000,000 in commercial loans that were backed by houses and homes I was constructing. Now, I can't get a bank to loan me a dime to help buy up the excess housing inventory to refurbish or repair homes in bad condition. First time home buyers cannot buy homes that need excess repairs because the home must be in liveable and good condition. Search for "AS IS" homes in your local market and you will see what I mean.

    I am a builder and Realtor and the worst thing that ever happened to this country was the bank bailout, especially AIG. They should have gone bankrupt like everyone other business that fails in the real world.

    February 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  75. Anna

    I think Josh needs to check his facts. Weatherization money is not available to everyone. I live in Middletown, NY. I am 61 yrs old and retired. After taxes, my income is $41,077 which I am not complaining about, but worked at the same job for 36 years to earn.
    I live in a 6 room,101 year old house which really needs weatherizing.
    I inquired about getting grant money or a low interest loan through the
    neighborhood improvement program and was told my income is too high. I, like a majority of middle income homeowners, do not have the cash up front to pay for the needed improvements. Where is the help that Obama has constantly and consistently promised the middle class? The Fed. government takes $7,400 of my retirement check for taxes. Between my mortgage pmts., outrageous utility bills and just increased property taxes, there isn't much left. And, by the way, my fed. tax withholding increased Jan. 1st, so now my retirement check is even less. I'm still trying to figure out who the 90% are that got a tax break??

    February 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  76. Viewer2010

    I see others have posted comments that they are also struggling to find the link that Josh promoted on TV but buried as a "P.S" in the middle of this cluttered page. The link is there, just a frustrating waste of time trying to find it. Now that I've found it, I'm posting that URL here for others – hope this helps some of you!

    stay warm out there!

    February 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  77. Leon Green

    Thank's for the information I appiled IT was easy!

    February 11, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  78. Barbara Wilson

    Josh, could you please give me some direction on how to apply for stimulus money for the purpose of weatherization of my home in the Virginia area.

    February 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  79. talen

    josh spoke about stimulus money available for home wealtherization.
    how do i apply for these funds? i have cancer, zero, personal, phisical energy. Desperately need some help with my house. please give web site or something that will help me.

    February 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  80. R. Dukes

    FACT CHECK Josh, NO!!! NO!!! info on stimulus money for home
    weatherization. WHERE IS IT?

    February 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  81. ronald e wells

    winterize my home

    February 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  82. Rhone Jones

    What do you suppose would happened had the Federal Government given each family/household a half million dollars each? Surely, many would have paid off debt, and enabled the enconmy to not take such a hard drop.

    February 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  83. Brian O'Neill

    How can I find information on government programs that help with the expense of weatherproofing my home?

    February 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  84. DCG

    Would someone be so kind and post the link to apply for stimulus $$ for weatherization of your home- I live in NY State- Thank You- DCG

    February 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  85. Ernest Milfort

    Hello Josh,

    My name is Ernest Milfort, I live in Beltsville MD I would like to know how to weatherize and winterize my house. Can you provide the appropriate link please.


    February 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  86. SteveSC

    A million dollars to create one job to give Blackberrys to smokers. Where is the outrage! This is such BS on the justifciation from both CNN and the government. When are the American people going to finally wake up and see this Administration is bankrupting this country?

    February 12, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  87. David Nation Sr

    I'm getting SSI and we were told that we are not getting a cost of living raise for 2010 because there wasn't a cost of living in 2009..what palnet are these people living on?

    February 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  88. Darrell

    The fact check on the President on health care does not show the President was wrong. He said that more people THIS YEAR (2010)or maybe including 2009 got there health care through there states. The polls you guys just used were from 2007 and 2008 which has nothing to do with 2010. When you fact check make sure you check the the time periods that are in question.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  89. george a wachtel

    The $527,000 to study dieting was said to create just two jobs. Perhaps these are two additional full-time employees, but the bulk of this money must be being used for other goods or services which also have an economic stimulus effect. What I am saying is that more than two full-time equivlanet jobs probably result from this spending. Also, there shouldn't be any bias in spending money on research versus services versus construction – they all contribute to jobs and earnings.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  90. tony snow

    Where is the money going to come from for the stimulus? Throughout history people of the nations that spend money they dont have come to regret the day overspending started.At the end of all this ,more jobs end up being destroyed than created.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  91. Sandy

    come on can you defend a study at CalTech on will power in eating with jobs equaling (2) and a paycheck of nearly 600,000 thousand. How pathetic! especially with California's state of disrepair and facing critical economic collapse?! Bet divided among small businesses alot more than (2) people could have seen a paycheck !!! California's higher education programs for residents probably played a big part in their economic crisis to begin with....students get residency, pay very little, graduate then move on to states where they can actually afford a house. I know this as fact!

    Sandy-Salt Lake City

    February 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  92. Joel Stern

    When you report spending of $525,000+ and the creation of 2 jobs, do you follow how the rest of the money is spent? How much did the 2 employees get in salary and benefits? Where did the rest of the money go and did it create work for people?

    Why are you not converting part time or temporary work to an equivalent fraction of a year for reporting?

    Also, it seems to me that the hiring of new employees is not the only benefit of the stimulus money. If the money causes X number of hours of constructive work, than somewhere people are hired or not laid off.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  93. Chris

    I watched your program on 2/10/10 and you spoke of a program the government is supposed to be sponsoring and you stated information to apply for the program would be posted on this site. I have looked carefully across this page and nothing is mentioned about it. Please advise.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  94. Percy Schlecht

    Day after day as I watch how many stimulus dollars are being spent on silly things, it becomes more and more frustrating facing the reality that we may not have enough dollars to keep our city pool open for the four month season this year. We are cutting corners, having more and more fund raisers and still that is not enough to even thing about the funds needed to replace cement walks,sand blast and repaint pool surface.Our kids deserve better than this.
    Percy Schlecht
    Gackle ND Park Board Member

    February 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  95. Lesley Mays

    Re: Blackberries for smokers

    What an outrageous waste! Did you know that Medicaid does not cover prescriptions for less expensive, more effective, stop-smoking aids? Doesn't it seem like that would be a better place to start? Anything that would make quitting smoking less expensive in the short term than smoking would get my vote.
    As a smoker, I am frustrated with the fact that quitting smoking would be more expensive than continuing to smoke if it took longer than a day to quit, which it likely would. It took me years to develop the habit, and I expect that quitting will be a slow process as well.
    Think about it.
    -Still Smoking.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  96. Ramona Angelo

    It's a breath of fresh air to finally have a government agency admit their daily procedures are inefficient and ineffective for the functions for which their departments are held to task. If the Commerce Department takes money from the stimulus program because it will expedite their normal functions, then certainly we need to scrutinize the procedures in which the Treasury Department dissiminates monies already allocated to all governmental departments. If the Treasury Department's procedures are archaic, we know it is not because of technology, but because of the breauracratic power struggles in Washington that slows normal daily operating procedures down. And that's only issue number one.

    Then there's issue number two. If the stimulus monies are strictly allocated and dissiminated only to agencies and corporations that will use the monies to create new jobs, then how is it the Commerce Department so easily got its hands on these stimulus funds? Who is the gatekeeper, and why is it not adhering to the precise rules for which these funds are to be allocated?
    It goes to show you the government can't be trusted with any of our money, because they don't keep their word about their intentions for using it.

    If the government writes the terms, regulations and laws for how our money is to be used, then why is it they don't receive severe penalty when they don't uphold them?

    Oh, I see now. That's why Americans complain about paying taxes. It's taken me 52 years to discover how my parents learned the phrase, "Rules are meant to be broken." If the government doesn't play fair, then why should the American people continue to fear adhering to these so-called rules?

    February 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  97. mamamilkies

    Ali, why does the buck not stop at the Governors desks in reference to stimulus money? Let me know if I understand the stimulus money correctly. States raise their hands and tell the Federal Government that they want some money for projects that will save or create jobs. The Federal Government says...O.K., here is some money......go with our blessing and save or create jobs.......keep us posted as to how that is going. Now, we blaspheme Obama's name if that Governor and that state legislature does not save or create jobs! Why are we not tracking the success of each state's Governor? Who are the top 10 Governors when it comes to using the Stimulus money? Let's have a "Governors Challenge" and see who is doing their job .......I would like to praise the states doing well and know who is not.

    February 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  98. John Twedt

    This is simply outrageous. You can argue that this is creating jobs, but there's hardly any way that you can spend money without creating (or sustaining) jobs, so it's a moot point. Think about it.

    When I hear about Obama "creating jobs", I know it's a catchphrase for "spend". Here, we have the results.

    Does anyone out there think that there is a better way to spend $1 million? Bear in mind that that's about 20 people working for a year, at $50k annually...

    Btw, I'd like the number to that stop-smoking hotline. My phone is showing it's age...

    February 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  99. Sarah Burnett

    Using the Blackberries to help people quit smoking is a great idea as long as they are able to follow up to see if it works. Having the Blackberry with people is a constant reminder of their intention to quit; being able to stay connected with others who offer support and counseling is also a good behavioral principle. Do they have to return the Blackberries if they fail to quit? If so, then this is a negative reinforcement consequence that should also be motivating. The public needs to understand that the study is being funded by tobacco settlement funds and not people's taxes. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine tried giving people monetary rewards to quit–it helped but not that much. This is a better idea.

    February 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  100. DM

    I too would like information on winterizing my home. Where can I find how to apply for these monies?

    February 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  101. donald

    Create ONE job for almost $1B? By the time we knock 1% off the unemployment figure, since this a "stimulus", it will cost those of us who pay taxes trillions upon trillions of dollars more. Where are these dummies in Washington taking us?

    February 14, 2010 at 6:32 am |
  102. mary vit

    Providing free blackberries to smokers to help them quit smoking is a ridiculous waste of money.It would just invite abuse and fraud. It just invites abuse. Smokers who really want to quit will don't need to get a free blackberry to do it. If the govt is insistant on doing something like this, a limited access cell phone with only preprogramed support phone numbers into a phone would be a better idea.

    February 14, 2010 at 6:38 am |
  103. donald

    sorry, did not check my spelling.....$1Mil

    February 14, 2010 at 6:38 am |
  104. Kitty Levin

    I thought it was supposed to be a stimulus bill to stimulate jobs and the economy. How does spending $1 million to create one job handing out blackberries to smokers do anything for me or anyone else. The sad part is that it doesn't surprise me that the government would waste the taxpayer money this way.

    February 14, 2010 at 7:23 am |