Recovery Act 101
President Obama signed into law a $787 billion stimulus bill on Feb. 17, 2009. Formally called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), this bill has enough money to provide $2,570 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. (Do the math and you’ll find it’s based on a population of about 306 million.) Instead of directly giving us that kind of stimulus, the government has tailored the bill with the objective of saving or creating millions of jobs to halt the deepening recession and get the economy back on track. Pennsylvania’s Republican Senator, Arlen Specter, provided one of the key swing votes that allowed passage of the bill. Senator Specter said, “I supported the economic stimulus package for one simple reason: The country could not afford not to take action. The unemployment figures, the latest earning reports, and the continuing crisis in banking made it clear that failure to act would have left the United States facing a far deeper crisis in the future.”
As it was finally enacted, the Recovery Act includes close to $300 billion in tax breaks to individuals and businesses. The remainder of the funding will be in the form of government spending through a host of federal agencies, and will support a laundry list of projects affecting infrastructure, energy, healthcare, education, and so on.
Benefits for printers
The Recovery Act has a number of provisions that could have a positive impact on the package-printing community—primarily in the form of opening up credit markets to sustain and grow businesses, and also in the form of tax breaks. A press release issued by The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, on March 16 stated, “The Obama Administration firmly believes that economic recovery will be driven in large part by America’s small businesses, which have generated about 70 percent of net new jobs annually over the past decade.”