Economic Growth and Stimulus


Policymakers can take action to stimulate the economy. Timely and decisive government action may prevent long-term damage to the economy and substantially soften the impact on the most vulnerable. 

Stimulus measures can take a variety of forms, including direct payments to individuals, support for small businesses, enhanced unemployment benefits, and support for industries most negatively affected, among others. The correct mix will depend on the unique needs of the moment. The wrong combination of policies may undermine both effectiveness of the stimulus and long-term economic performance. 

Past research has demonstrated that some policies are more effective than others at stimulating the economy in the short run. Analysts use the concept of a multiplier to measure the impact of stimulus policies. The multiplier quantifies how much additional economic activity a dollar of government spending creates. The higher the multiplier of a given policy, the more appropriate it is as a stimulus. 

Immigration can spur economic growth as well as contribute to the economic, social, and cultural foundation of the nation. American society is aging. Increasing economic growth and meeting labor demands require an ever-increasing number of people. Immigration can, in part, respond to this demand.



Stimulus criteria

A variety of criteria should be used when evaluating proposals to stimulate the economy: 

  • Policymakers should promote programs that are well-targeted to those most in need. 
  • They should prioritize relief programs that can be implemented quickly and generate the most new economic activity. 
  • Proposals should create or preserve jobs in the near term and accelerate investments with great benefits to society. 
  • The consequences of inaction, the effects on the long-term economic growth and debt, and consistency with long-term policy goals should also be considered. 

Relief criteria

Relief packages for people facing hardships due to economic downturns should be temporary and well-targeted. Preference should be given to measures that also would stimulate economic activity. 


The debate over immigration to the U.S. should balance the country’s history of immigration; American values of fairness, justice, and freedom; and the need to promote a sound economy and an open society. 

Any immigration reform should sustain the health and economic security of older Americans regardless of country of origin.