Economic Stimulus Facts

Economic Stimulus Facts

The Obama administration has engaged in additional economic stimulus programs to capitalize on voters’ desires for change and to live up to a campaign promise to reinvest in America. In February of 2009, Democrats used their congressional majority to pass an historic $787 billion economic stimulus package called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The package allows the government to use "spending and tax cuts" to stimulate the economy (About.com 2009). The bill was budgetted to support the economy in the following categories:

• $288 billion in tax relief

• $144 billion in state and local fiscal relief

• $111 billion in infrastructure and science

• $81 billion in protecting the vulnerable

• $59 billion in healthcare

• $53 billion in education and training

• $43 billion in energy

• $8 billion in other areas

The bill was designed to allocate money towards projects that can create jobs quickly.

Controversy surrounds the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 because of perceived lack of oversight, single-party domination in the act’s design, and the fact that it substantially increases the national debt. Others believe that there is no way the government can move quickly enough to resolve the current economic issues. Further compounding criticism of the ARRA is that in the three-month aftermath of its implementation, only 6 percent of the funds were paid out, and after a year and a half, unemployment numbers remain extremely high, with no significant changes resulting from the passage of the bill.

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