Congress is debating a jobs bill that is expected to cost around $85 billion. It would be helpful if reporters would put this number in some context. This spending would most take place over the next year and a half. GDP over that period will be approximately $20 trillion, so the projected spending in the bill would be a bit more than 0.4 percent of GDP. The government is projected to spend more than $5 trillion, so the spending would be equal to approximately 1.6 percent of total spending.
Given the limited size of this bill, it is likely to have limited impact on employment and the economy.