In the early stages of the Recovery Act, one particular program—the $3.1 billion State Energy Program—had more than its share of controversy. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford made headlines by rejecting stimulus dollars tied to the program, classifying it as fiscally unsustainable.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the $825 billion stimulus law (ARRA) enacted in February 2009 has had a significant impact on the economy, including levels of employment. The CBO estimates that  ARRA’s policies had a number of effects in the second quarter of calendar year 2011, when compared with what would have occurred had the stimulus not passed, including an increase in GDP, a lower unemployment rate, an increase in the number of people employed and an increase in the number of jobs.