President Barack Obama declared that stimulus legislation passed last year continues to create jobs, even though many Americans doubt that the economy is recovering.
Twelve months after he signed the stimulus act into law, President Obama said, "It is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second Depression is no longer a possibility," a claim that is supported by some independent analysts, including the Congressional Budget Office.
The $787 billion stimulus act pumped money into the economy with $120 billion to tax cuts for individuals and small business and billions for public works like building new roads and bridges.
But with the national unemployment rate still in the double digits, polls show that many Americans don't think it's working.
NewsHour Jeffrey Brown reports on federal efforts to promote the efficacy of the stimulus and then get opposing views from analysts John Cochrane, University of Chicago and Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute.
"One year later, it is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second Depression is no longer a possibility." - President Barack Obama
"There's a lot of factors that go into counting a job. It's not like lining up a work crew and tapping hardhats. In addition to that, there are these indirect and induced jobs, things like, when people who have gotten extra food stamp money or unemployment benefits are now going to the store and being able to buy as many groceries as they used to, put all that together, you're saving the job of a grocery clerk." - Michael Grabell, ProPublica
"Despite the extraordinary work that has been done through the Recovery Act, millions of Americans are still without jobs. Millions more are struggling to make ends meet. So it doesn't yet feel like much of a recovery." - President Obama
1. What is unemployment? How does it impact the economy?
2. What has happened to the American economy in the past year or two?
1. Do you think that they economy is improving? Have you seen any changes for the better?
2. Why is employment such an important issue?
3. Do you think President Obama made an effective case for the stimulus package?
4. Do you believe that it is the role of the federal government to create jobs? Why or why not?
5. Has the economic downturn affected your community in any way? If so, how?