There have been a lot of false claims made about the ineffectiveness of the American Recovery act and the stimulus that it administered. But if one actually examines the data and calculates the rise in the GDP over the years since the GDP bottomed out in 2009 in chained 2005 dollars we discover that the rise in the GDP since then as of the fourth quarter of 2012 again, calculated in chained 2005 dollars, is more than twice as large as the stimulus. The precise value of the multiplier is 2.18 Given that state and local authorities and even the federal government were also cutting some expenditures during this period the number is a solid demonstration of the value of stimulus.
According to the official data as of Jan 2013 a total of 493.6 billion has been spent so far under the authority of the Act. Once we adjust that for the average of 2008 chained dollars and 2013 chained dollars its value is 434.4 billion. Similarly the rise in GDP in chained dollars from the first quarter of 2009 -the Recovery act was signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009- is 946 billion. So the multiplier is 946 divided by 434 = 2.18.