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Is the stimulus actually working?

President-elect Barack Obama introduces his economic team during a press conference at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago. He named, from left, Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, as Treasury secretary; Christina Romer, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers; Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary under President Clinton, director of the National Economic Council; and Melody Barnes, executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, director of his White House Domestic Policy Council.

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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: This morning, President Obama's top economic advisor will give an update on the Recovery Act Congress passed earlier this year. Reporter Tamara Keith looks into that hot potato question:
"Is the stimulus package working?"


TAMARA KEITH: Depending on who you ask, the stimulus package is either a jobs creating success or it's a royal failure, a bloated waste of taxpayer dollars. But economist Lakshman Achuthan says not so fast.

LAKSHMAN ACHUTHAN: We don't know yet.

Achuthan heads the Economic Cycle Research Institute. He says the question of whether the stimulus is working assumes most of the money is already out in the economy.

Achuthan: The bulk of government spending, checks to be written from the stimulus package have yet to be spent.

So far, administration officials say roughly $100 billion have gone out. That's about an eighth of the money in the stimulus package. Achuthan says the remaining stimulus money will probably help reinforce an economic recovery that seems to be starting on its own.

In Washington, I'm Tamara Keith for Marketplace.

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