The Great Recession was widely recognized as the worst economic downturn for the U.S. economy since the Great Depression. Upon coming into office, one of the first acts of President Obama was to get the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)of 2009 through the Congress. The ARRA was a fiscal stimulus package of $789 billion. The package was about 2/3 increases in government spending and 1/3 tax cuts to individuals and businesses.

The question for this online discussion is was the ARRA effective or not? Did the ARRA stimulate the economy, or would we have been better without it? After all, while the recession is technically over, the economy is still not growing as fast as it should and unemployment remains high.

We will explore this question in several steps:

1. What is the theory behind the fiscal stimulus? How was the stimulus supposed to work?

2. Do you believe the theory? Why or why not?

3. What is the evidence in favor of or against the effectiveness of the stimulus?

4. Based on your reading of the evidence, how effective *was* the stimulus?