President Bush and President Obama’s Stimulus Packages: Were They A Success
In 2008 President Bush put into action a bi-partisan stimulus package called the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. Its focus was on cutting taxes in order to increase American’s disposable income, and inspiring them to spend more money in the open market. Bush’s primary vehicle to stimulate the economy was tax cuts, often referred to as the “Bush Era Tax Cuts”, to both households and businesses. President Obama signed a stimulus package in 2009 called the, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Obama’s approach had more aspects than President Bush’s, and included tax cuts, increase and extended benefits like unemployment, and job creation through government contracts (Amadeo, 2012). Obama’s approach was very Keynesian in theory while Bush’s was much more laissez-faire which stuck with their differing political ideologies. While these stimuli had different approaches, they had the same end goal, to prevent the American economy from falling further into recession. Therefore, the criteria necessary to evaluate these two decisions can be shared: -Did the stimulus package improve the living standards of Americans? -How did the package impact the overall American economic indicators? -Did the package stem the tide of the recession?
Ultimately I think both of the stimulus packages were effective. Both have helped to impact the economy positively. Since the stimulus packages were put into effect unemployment has reversed. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the current unemployment rate is 8.3%. It had peaked at 10% before beginning to decline. While this is higher than it was both prior to the Obama and Bush stimulus packages they have slowly gotten the unemployment rate moving in the right direction. Also, since 2008 GDP per capita has begun to recover. These are two key indicators of the...
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