Government spending and tax cuts kept the financial crisis from getting worse. They also taught fiscal-policy lessons the U.S. might need soon.
It’s been a decade since Congress approved a huge emergency package of spending projects, payments to individuals and tax cuts to stimulate a U.S. economy staggered by the 2008 recession. We know now that it worked, limiting the damage caused by the downturn and vindicating the idea that government spending during periods of economic weakness saves jobs and speeds recovery. We also know that it could have worked better.