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White House projects impact of jobs bill on Georgia | News

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White House projects impact of jobs bill on Georgia

ATLANTA -- The White House claims Georgia will receive billions of dollars from President Obama's new jobs bill that will support and protect thousands of jobs, but an Emory economist has doubts about the administration's numbers.

The White House website includes a page on the proposed American Jobs Act and its potential impact on Georgia.

RELATED: In letter, Obama urges Congress to pass Jobs Act

The president's jobs plan, according to the White House, would give to Georgia almost $3.6 billion to create and save tens of thousands of jobs in the state.

"This is a bill that will put people back to work all across the country," said the President at a Rose Garden speech on Monday.  "This is the bill that will help our economy at a moment of national crisis. This is a bill that is based on ideas from both Democrats and Republicans."

Out of that $3.6 billion that would go to Georgia, most of it -- $2.9 billion of it -- would save or create a total of 38,200 jobs in Georgia by modernizing highways, transit and rail, and keeping teachers, police officers and firefighters on the job.

Here's how that $2.9 Billion breaks down:

Transportation Infrastructure Improvements:

According to the White House, Georgia would receive at least $1,044,800,000 to support a minimum of 13,600 jobs, modernizing highways, transit and rail.  That calculates, to $76,823 per job.  (The plan calls for a total of $50 billion, nationwide, for transportation infrastructure improvements).

Teachers, First Responders:

According to the White House, Georgia would receive $956,700,000 to support 12,800 jobs in teaching, policing and fire fighting.  That equates to $74,742 per job. (The president has proposed spending $35 billion nationwide to prevent layoffs of teachers and first responders).

School Facilities Improvements:

The White House website says Georgia would receive $909,500,000 for school infrastructure modernization (out of $25 billion, nationwide), supporting 11,800 jobs. That equates to $77,076 per job.

A White House spokesperson said President Barak Obama's economic team came up with the numbers, using specific formulas for each spending category.

A professor of economics and finance at Emory University's Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, Raymond Hill, who has been an open critic of the president's previous stimulus bill, said Monday he doesn't believe this new plan will generate the jobs the White House is forecasting.

"Those numbers come out of an economic model," said Hill. "We've already seen the same model used to predict the course of the economy, and the economy isn't performing to what economists forecast... You remember those shovel-ready projects that weren't really shove-ready?  Well, it looks like we're going to go through the same thing.  And I don't see it moving the needle on unemployment."

The White House said the numbers are all preliminary and subject to change.

What about the tax cuts the president is proposing?  The White House estimates that the typical household in Georgia would receive, next year, a bonus of $1,330 under the plan.

But Hill said that based on what he's seen of consumer behavior during the recession, what most families would do with that extra, one-time $1,330 is not spend it on retail goods.

"When consumers know this is temporary, it gets [the checks] into their hands and they pay down their credit card debt and they increase their savings, but they don't really spend a lot of it," Hill said. "So you don't get a big spending impact from it, and I don't think you're going to see many firms hire people."

Obama's plan also calls for reforming the system of unemployment insurance. The White House says that those reforms could help put back to work 259,000, long-term, unemployed Georgians.