Â© 2018 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. We investigate whether US government spendingmultipliers are higher during periods of economic slack or when interest rates are near the zero lower bound. Using new quarterly historical US data covering multiple large wars and deep recessions, we estimate multipliers that are below unity irrespective of the amount of slack in the economy. These results are robust to two leading identification schemes, two different estimation methodologies, and many alternative specifications. In contrast, the results are more mixed for the zero lower bound state, with a few specifications implying multipliers as high as 1.5.