The five-year anniversary Monday of President Obama’s stimulus package has prompted Democrats and Republicans to spar again over the economy and whether the roughly $800 billion in spending created the number of jobs promised.
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The White House hailed the measure, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in a 70-page report released Monday stating it and other fiscal measures saved or created 1.6 million jobs through 2012 and eventually ended the country’s 18-month-long recession in June 2009.
“The recovery act … helped to avert a second Great Depression and made targeted investments that will pay dividends long after the act has fully phased out,” said Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, which produced the report. “The U.S. economy is undoubtedly in a stronger position than when President Obama took office.”
However, Republicans were quick to criticize the spending — arguing that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats and created far fewer than the 3.3 million jobs touted.