There were two so-called "stimulus" programs. One under President BUSH. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, The law provides for tax rebates to low- and middle-income U.S. taxpayers, tax incentives to stimulate business investment, and an increase in the limits imposed on mortgages eligible for purchase by government-sponsored enterprises (e.g., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). The total cost of this bill was projected at $152 billion for 2008. The 2nd under President OBAMA — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or ARRA. The approximate cost of the economic stimulus package was estimated to be $787 billion at the time of passage. The primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Secondary objectives were to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in infrastructure, education, health, and ‘green’ energy. The Act also included many items not directly related to economic recovery. Was it successful? Depends on whom you ask, of course. Conservatives will say unemployment is near double-digits and growth is slow, so clearly it didn’t work. Liberals will say yes, unemployment is too high but that’s just a sign the stimulus wasn’t big enough. It worked when you think about how much higher unemployment would have been without it. And, come to think of it, we need more stimulus. Each side can find facts and models to fit its worldview. See the debate below.

A STIMULATED Market—not a FREE Market

from Money & Markets,

A recent Wall Street Journal article caused a stir in financial markets last week. “Fed Maps Exit From Stimulus” proclaimed the headline written by reporter Jon Hilsenrath, who many believe has the inside scoop on Federal Reserve policy. Indeed the Fed’s foray into quantitative easing … now in its fourth installment (QEIV).

This is an excellent article on the key factor in growth of the stock market during the recession. Right now, we have a STIMULATED market—not a FREE market. When the punchbowl is removed, stocks may decline hard.

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