Happy Birthday, Dear Stimulus

Three years ago, President Obama signed into law the famed stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. "Stimulus" is such a dirty word today that hardly anybody in the White House says it publicly anymore. But for old time's sake, let's go to the highlights reel:

"What makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save three-and-a-half million jobs over the next two years. … It's that we're putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done, work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come." - President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009

"If it fails, I'm dead." - Vice President Biden on Sept. 24, 2009

"I just took a moment to look over the draft from Chairman [David] Obey and the draft outline from Chairman [Charles] Rangel. Oh. My. God." - House Minority Leader John Boehner on Feb. 15, 2009

"If Barack Obama thought the American people, who are really suffering, are going to take all of this and say, 'Oh, yeah,' he's not living in the real world." - Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Feb. 5, 2009

"I know there is a tendency, and there always will be, to focus on, as I mentioned yesterday, two one-hundredths of one percent of a piece of legislation. I have a hard time believing that the 98 one-hundredths of the other 99 percent aren't the large focus of members of Congress that are going to vote both today and over the course of the next few weeks." - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Jan. 28, 2009

"You could spend a million dollars for every day since Jesus Christ was born and not reach the size of the stimulus package." - Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh on Feb. 20, 2009

"The stimulus money ought to go back, that which is unallocated, to go and repay the debt that we have incurred." - House Minority Whip Eric Cantor on July 13, 2010

"I think the important point is to think about precisely where those economic activities will occur. You're talking about improvement in 100 national parks. I think that's a pretty good bet for a summer activity." - White House adviser Jared Bernstein on June 8, 2009

"In Massachusetts, it hasn't created one new job and throughout the country as well." - Sen. Scott Brown on Feb. 4, 2010

"Let's build a bunch of bridges and stuff like that, and we know last time we had a great big stimulus, it was supposed to be for that shovel ready stuff that wasn't so shovel ready. What did those jobs cost us? A quarter of a million dollars apiece? How many of those people still have those jobs?" - Fox News host Steve Doocy on Aug. 3, 2011

"Just a wish list from a lot of people who have been on the sidelines for years … to get a little bling, bling." - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on March 12, 2009

"Those of us who say that the stimulus was too small are often accused on after-the-fact rationalization: you said this would work, but now that it hasn't, you're just saying it wasn't big enough. The quick answer to that accusation is that people like me said that the stimulus was too small  in advance. But the longer answer is that it's all in the math: Keynesian analysis provides numbers as well as qualitative predictions, and given reasonable projections of the economy's path in January 2009, the proposed stimulus just wasn't big enough." - New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on July 28, 2010

"Our most significant critics are often members, Republican members of Congress, and governors, who voted against the stimulus who were saying it's a bad idea, but they're lining up for stimulus dollars and in letters to federal agencies and others they're saying, 'We need these dollars for project X or Y because it is helping the economy, it's going to help grow jobs in our community.' " - Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine on Feb. 19, 2010

"If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama's economic recovery plan, they should refuse to take the money." - Democratic strategist Paul Begala on Feb. 16, 2009

"Once, as [Council of Economic Advisers chief Christina] Romer pressed for more stimulus spending, [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner snapped. Stimulus, he told Romer, was 'sugar,' and its effect was fleeting. The administration, he urged, needed to focus on long-term economic growth, and the first step was reining in the debt. Wrong, Romer snapped back. Stimulus is an 'antibiotic' for a sick economy, she told Geithner. 'It's not giving a child a lollipop.' " - The Washington Post on June 7, 2011

"It didn't go to construction projects, which people could smell and see, and I think that's what bugs people, and that's why Pelosi's not popular. She's not popular because she presided over the creation of a big grab bag of stuff, from condoms to God knows what." - MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Oct. 12, 2009