Full Video Transcript
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - more commonly known as the Economic Stimulus Package - was part of the federal government's response to the significant economic downturn of late 2008 and early 2009. The law was passed in February 2009 and was one of President Obama's first major economic initiatives.
The act expanded unemployment benefits, expanded spending on infrastructure, education and health care, and implemented tax cuts - all as means of getting the economy growing again. Money was also earmarked to help develop alternative energy and to support green initiatives.
Approximately 20 percent of the more than $780 billiion dollars involved in this act had been provided to businesses for initiatives like these or in the form of tax breaks. Economists are divided on whether the Economic Stimulus was successful in its mission and whether it truly helped us recover from what some have termed the "Great Recession."