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So, Did the Stimulus Work?
Screenshot from the Center for American Progress.
In 2009, almost exactly three years ago, members of Congress voted to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the economic stimulus.
The Center for American Progress released a video that examines the effectiveness of that legislation. The video notes that after the stimulus, the rate at which the nation’s gross domestic product decreases is slowed; the number of jobs begins to gain; and private-sector layoffs begin a dramatic decline. Ultimately, the film concludes, “these graphs tell the same story. By early 2009 the economy was headed off the cliff. But all of a sudden, just after we enacted the stimulus, the country swerved away from the edge and started heading back in the right direction.”
Whether you agree or not, it’s important to note that the stimulus package included funding for programs that protect poor and hungry people. Specifically,
- $500 million for the Women, Infants, and Children special nutrition program (WIC);
- $150 million in extra commodities for food banks;
- a temporary 13 percent increase in food stamp payments;
- and important improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit that helped millions of families out of poverty.
For many low-income families, the stimulus package provided funding for programs that kept them from going hungry.
So what’s your take? Did the stimulus work? Watch the Center for American Progress video below, and share your thoughts in the comments.
Jeannie Choi is associate editor at Bread for the World. Follow her on twitter @jeanniechoi.
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