High, persistent unemployment and a sluggish economy underscore what all but the most-dedicated supporters of Barack Obama know to be true: The president's 2009 stimulus program was a massively expensive bust.
Understanding why the stimulus failed is an important step in understanding how the government can—and cannot—goose economic recovery. To get a better sense of how and where the stimulus went wrong, Reason.tv focused on Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., that's home to a large number of government contractors and other recipients of money earmarked for the sorts of "shovel ready" projects that were going to bring the economy back to life.
President Obama's top economic advisor Larry Summers laid out ground rules for how stimulus dollars should be spent: The funds must be "targeted" at resources idled by the recession, the interventions must be "temporary,"
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