On its fifth year anniversary, opinions – predictably – are mixed about the success of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama’s massive $800 billion stimulus bill.
A good grade:
The White House: It increased GDP by roughly 2 to 2.5% from late 2009 through mid-2011, avoiding a double-dip recession and added about 6 million “job years.”
Mike Grunwald: “My obsession with the stimulus has focused less on its short-term economic jolt than its long-term policy revolution … the report is a reminder that the Recovery Act succeeded in creating jobs, boosting growth and saving us from a much worse fate … we’re well past the beginning of the end.”
Danny Vinik: “Should the Recovery Act have been larger? Sure … [But] it saved the country from a second Great Depression while funding transformative programs that will benefit America for decades to come.”
A failing grade:
House Speaker John Boehner said in a Twitter message that “more Americans believe Elvis is alive than believe the stimulus created jobs.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, according to Politico: “Well, of course, it clearly failed … underemployment is still too high, the number of people that have dropped out of the workforce is astounding, unemployment remains stubbornly high and our economy isn’t growing fast enough — proof that massive government spending, particularly debt spending, is not the solution to our economic growth problems.”