As his first year in office comes to an end, President Obama has touted the benefits of the massive stimulus package he signed just weeks after being sworn in, and he called for additional spending in the coming months.
The president spoke about the quarterly report to Congress prepared by his Council of Economic Advisers, which estimated that the $787 billion Recovery Act, consisting of spending and tax cuts, resulted in a 2009 growth rate that was about 2 percentage points higher than it would have been otherwise. It also saved between 1.5 million to 2 million jobs, according to the Associated Press (AP).
"This analysis shows that we are on track … [to build] a strong foundation for sustainable growth and a more globally competitive America," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in response to the new report.
But most GOP members were unimpressed, calling the stimulus package wasteful and pointing to a persistently high national unemployment rate of 10 percent, and the fact that the economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, as reported by the Bureau of a Labor Statistics.
Pelosi’s response was that "years of inaction and lax oversight crippled our economy—and we have more work to do to help it recover," while president Obama acknowledged that "the road to recovery is never straight."
He also called for an additional $5 billion in future spending on green manufacturing and pledged $2.3 billion in tax credits to promote clean-energy jobs.