The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus, became law three years ago this week, signed by President Obama less than a month into his presidency. At the time, financial and housing crises had plunged the American economy into a deep recession — in January 2009, the economy lost more than 800,000 jobs, more than in any single month in 60 years.
With its investments into infrastructure projects, tax cuts, and aid to states, the stimulus was designed to curb the effects of the recession and turn the economy back around. Though Republicans have criticized the effort and subsequent attempts to stimulate the economy as “failed policies,” early analysis has shown that the stimulus saved and created millions of jobs and pulled the American economy away from the precipice of collapse.
In a new analysis, Center for American Progress Director for Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden examined the American economy in three parts — before the recession, during the recession, and after the stimulus passed — to find out if the stimulus did, indeed, work. As the video below shows, there is no doubt that the stimulus turned the economy around and put it on the path to recovery: