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NC State Economist Mike Walden – “Did the Stimulus Work?”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if the stimulus worked.  Mike, even five years past the recession, there is still debate about the federal stimulus plan begun in 2009.   Some say it was essential to preventing the recession from being worse than it was, while others say it was a waste of money.  Is there any resolution to this debate?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. New research from the Federal Reserve indicates the stimulus did boost economic growth during the recession
  2. Also, the stimulus was  relatively larger than previous stimulus programs in the post-WW II era
  3. Downside – of course – the stimulus did add to the national debt
  4. So one way to look at it – stimulus borrowed from future to improve economy now
  5. So tradeoff – suffer less now, but pay for later
  6. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service