Today is the first anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Recovery Act is the biggest, boldest, anti-recession fiscal policy action in American history. After a year, its impact on the economy is apparent. As discussed in Chapter 2 of the Economic Report of the President, the trajectory of the economy has changed dramatically, thanks in large part to the Recovery Act. The CEA estimates that the Act has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 1½ and 2 million as of the fourth quarter of 2009.
It has also played a key role in turning GDP from falling to rising again. These estimates and conclusions are echoed by private sector analysts across the ideological spectrum and by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The Recovery Act provided a tax cut to 95% of working families, helped state and local governments keep teachers and first responders on the job, cushioned the fall in income for unemployed workers, and made pioneering investments in the future of our economy. For details about the impact of the Recovery Act, please read the CEA’s Second Quarterly Report. This report not only discusses the overall economic impact of the Act, it highlights one area of particular investment – clean energy. By investing more than $90 billion in energy efficiency, clean energy manufacturing, renewable electricity generation, grid modernization, R&D, and other clean energy programs, the Recovery Act is helping to jump-start the transition to the clean energy economy.”
Christina Romer is the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers