That's it. That is all the report can really tell us. 671,607 FTE jobs for three months. Everything else is conjecture and estimates and, when you get right down to it, make-believe. There is no data to support the report's claims that they impacted real GDP or that they had any meaningful impact on unemployment. There is not enough data to prove that ARRA had any real or meaningful impact.A little further research indicates that it really isn't the CBO's fault that the data was a joke. They don't set or implement policy. All they do is interpret data for Congress. It was ARRA itself (specifically section 1512) that set the compliance and reporting standards.
Try again, CBO. Bring us actual evidence next time. A report telling us that you can't actually demonstrate any causal link between ARRA and anything meaningful in the economy is not good enough.
The reports are still a joke. That hasn't changed. But we should blame the legislators that wrote the joke into law, rather than the Federal agency that is forced to make sense out of the joke.