First, a little background. Geoff over at Innocent Bystanders has put together a chart, showing white house predictions of future unemployment assuming the Porkulous bill passed or not.
Note that without the pork, unemployment was projected to max out at about 9%, whereas if all that pork was funded, the rate would top out at a mere 8%. Look what spending $3T can buy you.
Well, here we are, and the unemployment rate has already reached 8.9% over a year early.
Remember that promise about how 95% of us would get a tax break? Here's how that works. When you lose your job, you fall into a no-tax bracket for federal income taxes. To save the world, though, there will be a stiff cap-and-tax on your expenditures for gasoline, heating fuel, and electricity. This will amount to some percentage of the income tax you no longer have to pay, but not all of it. The difference is your tax reduction.
What you are expected to pay this with is left as an exercise for the taxpayer.
What I sort of wonder is what rate unemployment must rise to to make the premise of tax reductions for 95% of the population come true.