In light of recent news revealing that the so-called stimulus didn't create nearly as many jobs as it originally claimed, it seems appropriate at this point to consider if there was perhaps a better use for all that money.
Although, there is some disagreement as to the exact amount, between all the bailouts, the stimulus, and all the other anti-recession spending, the federal government (under both the Bush and Obama administrations) has spent around 10 trillion dollars to help us out of the recession.
And yet, the recovery that all this spending may or may not have sparked has amounted merely to a jobless recovery. In other words the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer as our economy grows without any of that additional wealth being transmitted as wages or salaries.
As long as we were going to spend such an exorbitant amount of money shouldn't we have spent it to actually help the average American through this recession?
In 2003, Americans owed about 6.3 trillion in mortgage debt. It's probably a bit higher now, so let's call it 7 trillion for the sake of argument.
American credit card debt is significantly less than this, about 917 billion. Let's call it 1 trillion for the sake of round numbers.
That means for 2 trillion less than they spent on its failed economic recovery plan, the federal government could have bailed out every American of their mortgage and credit card debt.
Imagine what you could do if you no longer had to pay a mortgage or make credit card payments. I bet you might spend more which of course would stimulate the economy. Maybe you would even put some money into starting that small business that you always wanted to. That would increase competition, lower prices, and create jobs.
Americans would all get a fresh start and the economy would recover in no time.