February 17th, 2009
02:25 PM ET
11 years ago

Stimulus: Now for the hard part

Obama will sign the stimulus bill into law Tuesday.

Obama will sign the stimulus bill into law Tuesday.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama on Tuesday will sign the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. But he's far from being able to declare "Mission Accomplished."

Even though debate over the legislation was fraught with partisan fighting and what some characterize as strategic missteps by the nascent administration, getting the law passed was the easy part.

Far more difficult will be gauging whether the legislation's trademark initiatives - which include improving physical infrastructure, investing in energy projects and providing financial relief for families by way of tax cuts and increased government benefits - are really doing the trick.

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Filed under: stimulus plan
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    Obama Cares February 17th, 2009 3:32 pm ET
    at least this money will stay in America, not in some foriegn country on a war based on a bunch of lies
    Sorry, your wrong! This money is in a foreign country... The USA! This is Chinese money since they are buying our debt!

    February 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. frodo

    @ obama cares,
    February 17th, 2009 3:32 pm ET

    at least this money will stay in America, not in some foriegn country on a war based on a bunch of lies.

    What math are you using? much won't be spent in the US and the debt that we just signed up for is having the interest paid to China and Russia.

    Look at it this way, we have maxed out our credit card and have been paying interest to China. Rather than figuring out how to payoff the debt, we just signed up for a credit card with double the limit and a higher interest rate, again going to China and Russia...the money IS NOT staying in the US.!!

    February 17, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    February 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    February 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Matthew, Detroit

    Barack Chavez – El Presidente For Life.

    Are we in Russia Danny?

    February 17, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. boered1

    For oyu people who do not understand let me try one more time. the PURPOSE of the STIMULUS is just that, to stimulate, to jump start the economy. It WILL NOT built long term jobs nor is it intended to. It does not give some strange socialist powers to the Government nor was it intended to. basically it does two things, one it STARTS the economy up again, so instead of losing record hnumbers of jobs (as done under the end of the bush administration) it reduces that impact and potentially reverses it (yes for the short run I understand). But more importantly it instills confidence in the AVERAGE person, the drivers of the economy. If the average person sees the economy turning around (say a drop in unemployment of a reduction in foreclosures) they feel more confident about their jobs and start spending again thus turning the economy around and causing an upswing. Finally for those who point to WALL STREET for their determination of whether the economy is working... umm are you just stupid or do oyu really think those who buy and sell stocks, at a rate to impact the market, have ANYTHING to do with the average person? These are the ones that PRESIDENT Obama has threatened in the pocketbook, they, like the radical religious right, do not want this plan to work and so will try, again like the radical religious right, to derail it as much as possible.


    February 17, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Alan

    Obama victim -

    Nice job. Such an optimist. I'll take Obama's "inexperience" and WILLINGNESS TO ADMIT MISTAKES AND LEARN (the TRUE signs of genius) over what your party gave us the past eight years.

    I can't believe all the cries of "pork" pointing to programs that will OBVIOUSLY create jobs and rebuild the nation Bush and Cheney allowed to crumble around us...hiring people who need help.

    If we do nothing, it ALL falls down. Then what do you expect the cost of feeding and housing everyone who is out of work and out of a home would be? FIVE TIMES what we're putting into trying to stimulate the economy to turn it around now.

    Oh wait - I forgot. You're obviously a Republican. Your attitude is "every man for himself. Let them starve."

    It's exactly why your party is OUT of power and I predict will remain so for possibly decades.

    You must be wearing blinders.

    But you are right about one thing - there are only three years and 11 months to go - 'till you get to watch the man get RE-ELECTED.

    February 17, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. BT

    Obama Victim February 17th, 2009 2:26 pm ET

    not a chance…………..only three years and 11 months to go.

    I am a victim, also. A VICTIM of eight years of your KING GEORGE!

    February 17, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Chris from NY

    God. I have never witnessed in my life, such a vicious attack and accusation levelled against a new administration like the media has against Obama. It's like the media thrives on conflict and they have heaped it hard on Obama in the last fwo weeks. This is a President that has not even been in office a month now and it seems like he took office 3 years ago. That's if you listen to the media. God bless Him. I don't know how he sleeps at night.

    February 17, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Nicki

    Thats what she said!

    February 17, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Maggie

    Ya know, if Bush and company hadn't destroyed our economy, we wouldn't be in this recession/depression and we wouldn't be arguing about whether or not a stimulus bill would work.

    What would have to argue about then?

    February 17, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Mark Ramsey MD, Milwaukee WI

    Obama will have two terms, so start getting used to that idea now. The question is, how many more seats will the republicans have to lose before they realize America is tired of partisan politics and wants their representatives to work together?

    February 17, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Renee

    WRECKLESS AND TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE!! I can't believe the American people are allowing their country to be sold out from underneath them like this………to the Chinese.


    How do you think the US could afford to wage a war in Iraq AND give a tax break? China was Bush's favorite bank.

    I wish he would have told Pelosi to do better and not signed the bill. She is everything that is wrong with politics, but this is what we have so I hope it works.

    February 17, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Snake eyes

    Hey NY Rep,
    the DJIA is not meant to be read as the sole economic indicator, since there are only like 30 companies in it!!! it is just one dial on the economic dashboard. why do you think there is a big fuss over other companies' quarterly reportings and publications of other economic indicators???

    besides, everyone and their mother says dont rely on single-day performances–this is precisely to weed out knee jerk reactions.

    further, if you want to be critical about 271 pts what do you have to say for the 7,000 pt drop at the end of last year???

    you should read a little more bc you just got schooled about economics by a Democrat!!

    February 17, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. al in memphis

    I didn't know that being President meant that all of your ideas will automatically work. So people stop acting like Obama should have power to see into the future.
    Atleast, he is attempting something other than giving more money to big business and the rich. Both of these groups are motivated to do something only if they can gain more than their fair share..

    Personally, I rather go with the guys that are motivated by something greater than extreme greed.

    February 17, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. lady in the know

    boered 1-I take it economics wasn't your strong suit? Your analysis doesn't make any sense. People have to have jobs to spend money to stimulate the economy. By the last numbers posted, more than 2,000,000 people lost their jobs so far and that number is rising. Obama promised to "create" 3-4 million jobs when he was campaigning. Now he is going to "save" jobs. Which is it? And what happens when these jobs created to stimulate the economy end? Do we have the same situation we have today? And if that happens, are you still going to blame President Bush? Probably. Far be it for anyone to blame the annointed one for anything. I don't call receiving 30,000,000 dollars for a mouse a stimulus unless you are Nancy Pelosi. That must be some mouse. And the high speed rail line "earmark" that Reid received in the bill doesn't seem to me to be much stimulus for the rest of the country either. And that brings up another Obama promise/lie-the days of the earmarks are over in his adminstration...yea, right. We need real jobs, jobs that aren't going anywhere after a couple of years like the ones that are being promised now. And thirteen dollars a week in people's paychecks is a joke. With the price of gas going up again, where do you think that money is going? And the only economy being stimulated by that is Saudi Arabia. Obama has no grip on reality here. He is living in his own fantasy world with a huge ego that will come crashing down sooner rather than later and we are all going to suffer for it.

    February 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. ran

    The hard part is having to listen to the Nay Saying Republicans who will not even give the bill a chance to work because they want it to fail so they can get back the power. I just do not get it how any American would not want this to work. If we can not get together as a country and soon we will not have a country.

    February 17, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. tennisguypitt

    Wow, some of these comments are HILARIOUS!

    Some of these comments are very stupid, too. I drastically hope this stimulus will work. It may, it may not. I don't know. But I am giving our president and this stimulus a chance. I honestly believe that some parts of the bill will create some jobs we need in infrastructure and green technology. If we can get some jobs back into the economy, we (both dems and repubs) will be able to fix the economy.

    Whatever happens, it's not going to be easy.

    February 17, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. CAW in MD


    Yes, when the economy is not working properly, and banks aren't loaning to each other, and credit is frozen, yes, you spend your way out of the recession, even though it puts you further into debt. Why? Because the alternative is worse.

    This is not liberal orthodoxy, this is basic economics. While there might be debates between liberal and conservative economists over what the right proportions are for spending versus tax cuts, you will find very few people who advocate doing nothing.

    What I dearly hope is that if/when we clear this mess, that we take seriously the responsibility to start paying down that debt. That means a combination of tax *increases* and service *cuts*. Nobody wants to hear that, but the piper must be paid.

    February 17, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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