Within his first 30 days of taking office, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law, on February 17, 2009. The $787 billion stimulus package was intended to provide a boost to the U.S. economy in the wake of the economic downturn and was predicted to save or create 3.5 million jobs.
The Act included federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions, in addition to domestic spending in education, health care and infrastructure.
Yet the slide continues
During the first three months of 2009, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index saw record-setting declines. In addition to market deterioration, the economy is still experiencing a rise in unemployment, foreclosures, credit card defaults and ongoing bank troubles.
President Obama and other economists think the biggest sign of success will stem from an improvement in the unemployment rate, with the understanding that if people are employed, they will have the confidence to make purchases and investments.