Vice President Joe Biden was eager to get moving. In office for only a month, the Obama administration had already passed a monumental economic stimulus plan to address the biggest downturn since the Great Depression.
Now, at the first implementation meeting in 2009, Biden — with a smudged Ash Wednesday cross still on his forehead — declared that the stimulus would “literally drop kick us out of the recession.”
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Officially called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $800 billion stimulus was the largest economic recovery program in history. Adjusted for inflation, it was nearly five times more expensive than the Works Progress Administration. It was bigger than the Louisiana Purchase, the Manhattan Project, the moon race and the Marshall Plan.
Economists and nonpartisan forecasting firms estimate that the stimulus created and saved more than 2 million jobs. It generated an unprecedented buzz around clean energy. A relatively small pot of education grants goaded 32 states to enact major reforms, such as tying teacher pay to student performance or lifting caps on charter schools. When the last dime is spent, more than 41,000 miles of roads will be paved, widened and improved; 600,000 low-income homes weatherized; and more than 3,000 rural schools connected to high-speed Internet.
But despite these achievements, the stimulus ultimately failed to do what America expected it to do — bring about a strong, sustainable recovery. The drop kick was shanked.
Read More at The New York Post By Michael Grabell, NY Post