Stimulus Working While Message Lags

It seems absurd that a measure of such gargantuan proportions would manage to be twisted into disinformation. The fact is, it worked. And as hard as it might be to imagine that things could have been worse, they WOULD have been far worse. But the democrats have let the narrative be framed by the minority opposition and further have let the opposition control the legislative agenda.
We DO need another stimulus and the money quietly going into principal reduction should be enlarged 100 times over. Housing and finance cannot recover without principal reduction. If you have ideological problems with that get over it. This is about survival not “socialism.”
Somehow we have arrived at the point where money used to benefit 95% of our citizens (who by the way DID receive a tax decrease) is called socialism. But money used for the large banks  and big business, that’s called “free market.” It isn’t free and it isn’t a market where everything is rigged against competition.
February 20, 2010

Truth and Fiction on the Stimulus Bill

It was a pleasure to see President Obama come out swinging this week and win a round in the long-running fight with Republicans over the $787 billion stimulus bill.

On Wednesday, the first anniversary of the signing of the package into law, Mr. Obama and other administration officials detailed the success of the stimulus while Republicans kept trying to label it a failure. Democrats did not shy from pointing out that many Republicans who voted against the stimulus then lobbied to get some of the money for their districts.

(The Wall Street Journal assembled a particularly telling hall of shame by using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain letters written by more than a dozen Republican lawmakers to various government agencies, asking that stimulus money be awarded for job-creating projects in their districts.)

There is virtually no dispute among economists that the stimulus prevented a bad recession from becoming much worse. Among other things, it has preserved or created 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs, according to various private sector analyses, and it is expected, ultimately, to add a total of roughly 2.5 million jobs.

But that hasn’t stopped Republicans — all but three of whom voted against the stimulus — from claiming that it failed to create “a single job.” They also have called it a waste and socialism, when it is basically Economics 101 for how government should act in a deep recession. They also blame the stimulus for the widening budget deficit. Wrong again. Today’s deficits are largely rooted in the profligate Bush years, with stimulus contributing little to the long-term shortfall because the spending is temporary.

The true test of Mr. Obama’s ability to combat misinformation and win public support for stimulus will come in the months ahead. With the economy still exceedingly fragile — as measured by high unemployment and economic growth projections that are well below historical recovery rates — more stimulus is needed to ensure that it does not backslide as last year’s stimulus fades.

The recent Obama budget calls for $266 billion in new spending for jobs and stimulus, including all-important extensions of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and fiscal aid to states that will otherwise face a punishing round of layoffs, canceled projects, spending cuts and tax increases this year and next. The budget also calls for a hiring tax credit that is more generous than the one recently proposed by the Senate, and for direct job creation.

The plan is timely, targeted and temporary — the pillars of a sound stimulus package. The Republicans will go on attacking it, and pretty much every other idea Mr. Obama has, and he will have to keep fighting back.

8 Responses

  1. Neil, you stated that “the narrative is framed by the minority opposition”. There is no OPPOSITION! The Dummycrats have enjoyed a “supermajority”, 60 Senators and control of the House and executive branch for the last year. So anything that troubles them is their own fault. The narrative remains “blame the borrower” and “feed the bankers more cash”. It’s true the Republicans are just a bunch of empty suits (much like Obama), but don’t give me a line about the Democrats being “victims”. We’re the victims. And it definitely is “far worse”, with the deficit ballooning out of control. If the TARP was “so badly needed”, how come only 60 or 70percent was disbursed? The “Porkulus” bill did nothing other than delay the inevitable foundering of state budgets. And putting everyone to work for the government is not a solution, it’s more of the same failed thinking that got us here.

  2. 99libra……I would agreetotally. To begin with the total amount of stimulus is in the 11 TRILLION dollar range, so talking about the 787 TARP is, well, misleading. In the second place a substantial part the 787 billion was used to bailout Goldman sachs, which is a HEDGE FUND. Goldman never makes a loan out to anybody for anything, unless it is to fund one of their financial schemes. Most importantly no one can say for certain EXACTLY WHERE the money actually went. TO to say we dont know where it went, but we know it helped, is absurd.. The argument presented is to frame stimulus in a democrat v/s republican dichotomy, directed towards the SIMPLE MINDED. Finally, GOVERMENT CANNOT CREATE PRODUCTIVE JOBS for the simple reason that Government HAS NO PRODUCT TO manufacture or sell…….BESIDES BUll

  3. I am new to this website so do not know who to address other than editor.
    You wrote;—- Among other things, it has preserved or created 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs, according to various private sector analyses, and it is expected, ultimately, to add a total of roughly 2.5 million jobs.

    I directly challengeyou to cite supstantive sourcing for these numbers, you can’t because there is none!

    I do agree that to furthur extend unemplyment benifits is a good thing,that is the limit of my agreement.

  4. All major religions condemn USURY and for a very
    good reason, cycles like we have now, have happened many time in the past.
    It is the interest on this money created out of nothing that is causing all the world’s problems,
    not the original principal. The interest can never be
    paid back because it was never created in the first
    place, so default and depression are guaranteed by
    this system.
    The only solution is an executive order putting
    a moratorium on all interest payments and leave
    the principal to be paid back. This way, the losses
    of deflation are parcelled out equally between borrowers and lenders until we can come up with
    a new system that works for everyone.

  5. What no one understands in this mix is that WE THE PEOPLE need to stand up and demand the Federal Reserve be abolished. The Fed is owned by the banking elite and they charge us interest on money we can lawfully create under the constitution WITHOUT interest.

    All the bailouts are delaying the inevitable crash and keeping an oppressive system from collapsing and the truth to be known. Wake up, become active and give yourself a history lesson.

    Learn about Roosevelt and his actions in 1933, learn about HJR 192 and the bankruptcy of our government. We can with an honest government control the currency we use in this government and we can vote out all professional politicians but to do so is going to take some hard work and determination.

    We can solve the issues with other global nations in revision of trade agreements and eliminate the bankers from being our middle men that sell us into slavery(debt) forever for their own gain.


  6. I used to think the world of Ron Paul … but he too requested money for his own district. It kind of stinks that he would ask you to support his “transparency audit” of the Fed, yet turn around and take for his own district. It gets uglier by the minute. This article further illustrates that a two-party system in this country is (1) equally responsible for the country’s economic dilemma; and (2) has failed and needs to be restructured. Washington needs an enema!

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  8. I’m sorry, but I disagree. The whole “stimulus” thing was yet another gigantic ripoff by the US government against its own citizens. To think otherwise is “drinking the Kool-aid”.


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