Happy birthday, $787 billion stimulus package: you are one year old, and, to celebrate, you were debated far and wide.
The White House sent out a fact sheet telling reporters that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the stimulus is responsible for as many as 2.4 million jobs, while the Council of Economic Advisers estimates about 2 million jobs; it credited the stimulus with fourth-quarter 5.7% GDP growth (reminding us that before the stimulus, the economy was shrinking by about 6%).
Nearly 70 percent of the money has been spent (about a third of the $787 billion price tag is comprised of tax cuts, so there's only $499 billion of spending in the bill); nearly $120 billion in tax relief has been provided.
President Obama defended and promoted the stimulus in a speech commemorating its anniversary, and he credited Vice President Joe Biden and his team with preventing waste--"the dog hasn't barked," the president said.
Senate Republicans didn't agree: they sent out a list of wasteful spending.
A year ago, the stimulus was President Obama's first signature initiative as president--and it remains the largest initiative he and his party have successfully pushed through Congress.
"Our work is far from over, but we have rescued this economy from the worst of this crisis. And slowly, in new factories and research facilities and small businesses, the American people are rebuilding a better future. And we will continue to support their efforts. We will leave our children an economy that is stronger and more prosperous than it was before," Obama said today.