Debate begins over impact of Obama stimulus

Debate begins over impact of Obama stimulus

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Highway construction spending was part of the massive government  program. (Source: FOX) Highway construction spending was part of the massive government program. (Source: FOX)

(FOX) - It was one of America's darkest economic moments, and President Obama had just taken office.

Four million people had lost jobs and many lost their lifetime investments as the economy tanked.

Five years ago, Obama signed a huge stimulus package aimed at jolting an economy on life support.

Five years after President Obama signed the more than $787 billion economic stimulus package, a new White House report says the economy is "brighter" and while far more work remains, "...there can be no question that President Obama's actions to date have laid the groundwork for stronger, more sustainable economic growth in the years ahead."

In a report to Congress detailing how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act helped avert a second recession, the White House says it was the vital cash infusion which kept the country afloat.

Some economists say the stimulus didn't live up to promises.

"Every program virtually across the board got massive increases and the economy didn't improve," said Steve Moore, senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal.

Republicans believe that huge government spending is not the answer to improving the economy.

"...unemployment remains stubbornly high and our economy isn't growing fast enough," said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL.

Well into the president's second term, the White House predicted 5 percent unemployment.

In reality that number is 6.6 percent.

The economy - a top issue in 2014.

"Obamacare, the president's job approval rating, and it's where the economy is. All the rest is sort of smoke and mirrors," said Tom Bevin, realclearpolitics.com editor.

On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Illinois to mark the five-year anniversary of the Act and talk about how the stimulus package has helped America's economy.

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