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A year after the 2009 stimulus: five ways to gauge the impact

Is the massive $787 billion spending package stimulating the economy? Here’s a look at the impact of the 2009 stimulus at the state level.

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After a year of operation, President Obama's Recovery Act for the economy has generated controversy but is also drawing bipartisan praise in places where the money has reached.

Is the massive $787 billion spending package stimulating the economy? Here are five points of reference that go beyond that headline number to gauge its Main Street impact.

• California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is grateful for it. While Mr. Obama was on a podium in Washington Wednesday touting what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has accomplished, the Republican governor was standing on the site of an ARRA-funded highway expansion, holding his own celebration. "This money has been very, very helpful to a lot of struggling Californians," said Mr. Schwarzenegger. The state is the largest recipient of ARRA highway funds and high-speed rail funding, he said. He's not the only Republican at the state level who's glad to be on the receiving end of federal largess.

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