President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden credited the Recovery Act with saving jobs and halting the U.S. economy’s free fall on the one year anniversary of the act.
The White House also released a statement on Feb. 17 describing the results of the act, often called the Stimulus Package. The act was meant to revitalize the American economy after it crashed into a severe recession in the last quarter of 2008.
Mr. Biden told the story of college graduate Mr. Gonzalez of Saginaw, Michigan. After he was laid off from a car company, he took a stimulus-funded training course and got a good paying job at Dow Corning, said the vice president. Biden said the course will train 100 people who will go directly into good jobs.
The president thanked "my outstanding vice president and his extraordinary team that have done just a great job managing this program." He said in a huge program like this, one would expect reports of misspent funds to emerge, but "that dog hasn't barked."
The administration statement said independent entities have found the Recovery Act created or preserved jobs. "According to the nonpartisan CBO, the Recovery Act is already responsible for as many as 2.4 million jobs through the end of 2009. … Analysis by the Council of Economic Advisers also found that the Recovery Act is responsible for about 2 million jobs."
Tax relief of nearly $120 billion for individuals and businesses and financial support for state education and health programs, especially Medicaid, and health insurance for people in poverty, were major parts of the package. Some governors did not accept the money for their states. The federal government funded more that 55,000 projects. Large road projects, other transportation projects for airport and rail improvements, green remodeling of military bases, and projects to manufacture high tech batteries were among the ongoing tasks the government supports. Concerns about the growing deficit have fueled criticisms of the act.