Recently, President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers released their final assessment of the president's $780 billion stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Mandated by Congress, this year's report celebrates the fifth anniversary of ARRA. Not surprisingly, the CEA asserts that the spending program was an unqualified success, creating jobs and boosting the nation's output. Yet a closer examination of the report raises a number of questions, making it difficult to embrace the study's findings. Fundamentally, the administration is taking credit for improvements in the economy, without demonstrating that
ARRA is the source of the benefits. While it is normal for administrations to take credit for economic growth, correlation does not equal causation.