WASHINGTON (2/28/09)—President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law yesterday in an action the administration has said it hopes will create 3.5 million jobs and bolster the troubled U.S. economy. Last week, as the stimulus debate closed on Capitol Hill, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Chief Economist Bill Hampel said the jobs-creation portion of the effort should have been even bigger. In a Feb. 13 article in Politico, called “Economists predict stimulus effects,” Hampel said, “The biggest requirement of the stimulus package is to break the current near-term downward cycle” of rising job loss, falling consumer confidence and plunging spending.” Hampel added, “You get some of the biggest bang for the buck” by preventing layoffs, since a dollar spent to keep someone in a job is just as effective as one spent to hire a worker – and it takes a lot less time than other forms of spending. The CUNA chief economist also reminded that even with the bill signed into law, it will take time for its impact to be felt. Among other things, the bill funnels money to alternative energy projects, provides tax cuts for individuals and businesses and gives aid to states. The stimulus package also carries provision for tax cuts, infrastructure projects, and aid to the states. Politico is a prominent publication widely read on Capitol Hill and by Washington's political establishment. Use the resource link below to read the full article.