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History shows that economic stimulus efforts don't work

We are days away from the swearing-in on Barak Obama as president and from this country's move towards spending hundreds of millions of dollars on an economic stimulus package.  The federal government will take the money from the taxpayers and give it back to them in the form of new programs.

Does this kind of effort help jump start the economy or is it just taking money out of the pocket of the taxpayer and putting it in the pocket of the federal government without any practical effect?

This video from the CATO Institute says history clearly shows such efforts don't work.  What do you think?  Why do this if history says such efforts are a ruse?  Is it just political eyewash to give voters the false impression that something's being done?