A great debate about if the Stimulus Bill worked, and a fine size-up by Dave Weigel in Slate.
Did the stimulus do less than President Obama said it would? Absolutely. In the first months of 2009, when the president sold the bill, got it passed, and defended it, he tossed off predictions for job growth that got progressively higher and were never matched. At his most optimistic, he said the stimulus would be a success if it “created or saved” 4 million jobs. It fell far short of that. But ambitious, expensive bills have fallen short before, and it hasn’t discredited their reasons to exist. George W. Bush’s tax cuts were supposed to balance the budget by 2010.
Weigel does an excellent job showing how the dynamics between media, policy and politics determine public opinion and why. It’s a ‘last hurrah’ warning to conservatives in Congress against pulling the deficit reduction reigns too tight.
The Republican leadership is being pushed into the same mistake the Roosevelt Administration made in 1937 when it was forced by Congress to cut back on stimulus and the Depression double-dipped. Why are we repeating history?